INDIANAPOLIS - Seven is considered a lucky number in many circles, but luck has had little to do with Rahal Letterman Racing locking down the seventh spot in the practice results for each of the last two days at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The #17 Rahal Letterman Racing DAFCA Special with Oriol Servia behind the wheel again ended its day by carding the seventh-best time for next Sunday's Indianapolis 500 as Friday's practice saw Servia stop the clocks at 40.6982 seconds (221.140 mph) on his best lap of the day. The veteran driver turned 61 laps around the 2.5-mile speedway today, with his fastest trip around the facility coming on his final stint of the afternoon.

The day's session marked the last full day of practice before this weekend's qualifying runs set the final 33-car field for the May 24 Memorial Day classic. The team will look to put the car in the race during tomorrow's qualifying session and then wait for Sunday's Bump Day festivities to set the final grid.

Servia will be looking to earn the second Indianapolis 500 start of his racing career, having had a strong run in his rookie outing a year ago as he finished on the lead lap in the 11th position. After setting a strong time in Thursday's practice in Rahal Letterman Racing's first practice of the season, Servia reports that his mindset changed on Friday from being happy to be here to being happy to search for speed.

"Another great day at the speedway. Yesterday I was happy to finally be in a race car, today I was happy to be doing my job which is to make it a fast one," Servia said. "We continued working with the car following all the steps we had on our day plan. The car is behaving exactly as we expected so we hope to continue our path and tomorrow be able to qualify a fast car early on and go back to race setup for the rest of the day. Really happy with the crew and the progress made and I am looking forward to a great day tomorrow!"

The Rahal Letterman Racing DAFCA Special, which carries a distinctive blue-and-white paint scheme that evokes memories of the vaunted Gurney Eagles of the mid 1960s, has been running along with the powerbrokers of the IndyCar Series despite having just two days of practice to its credit. The steady hand and heavy right foot of the veteran Servia and the work of the experienced RLR crew has team co-owner Bobby Rahal hopeful for good things as qualifying approaches.

"Things have gone about as good as we could have hoped for this week," said Rahal. "Our guys have done a great job in getting the car ready and Oriol has stepped in and gotten it up to speed straight away. If things continue to go as they have in the first two days, we will be in shape to do well on race day."

-credit: rlr