PATRICK LEADS FAST PRACTICE SPEEDS THURSDAY IN PREPARATION FOR SUNDAY'S SEASON FINALE AT LAS VEGAS
All Four Andretti Autosport Cars Show Solid Speed on Fast Oval Track
LAS VEGAS (Oct. 13, 2011) - Danica Patrick served notice Thursday that she is ready to battle for the win in Sunday's IZOD INDYCAR World Championships at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
The driver of the No. 7 Team GoDaddy.com machine posted the fastest speed of the day with a sensational 224.719 mph lap on the 1.5-mile, high-banked oval north of the Las Vegas Strip.
Patrick, in her final IZOD IndyCar Series race, led the Andretti Autosport contingent that included Ryan Hunter-Reay in third, Mike Conway in fifth and Marco Andretti, who was seventh in his 100th IndyCar start.
At one point during the one-hour practice, the Andretti Autosport team sat in positions one through four on the speed charts. The four drivers worked well in traffic and showed impressive performance in hot conditions.
Hunter-Reay, the New Hampshire winner, drove his No. 28 Team DHL/Circle K/Sun Drop Citrus Soda machine to a clocking of 223.888 mph as he looks to improve on his fifth place finish from Kentucky two weeks ago. Conway, the Long Beach champion, piloted the No. 27 Grime Boss entry to a lap of 223.558 mph, while Andretti, in the all-new Dr Pepper TEN livery, recorded a best of 223.509 mph. Andretti raced Dario Franchitti for the lead at Kentucky before a pit incident knocked him off of the race.
Hunter-Reay and Andretti are currently seventh and eighth, respectively, in the seasonal standings and are attempting to reach the top-five with a strong showing in Sunday's 12:45 p.m. PDT feature.
Qualifying is set for Friday at 3 p.m. PDT. Sunday's World Championships will be televised live on ABC-TV.
MARCO ANDRETTI, #26 TEAM DR PEPPER TEN CAR
Ended the practice session in P7
"The Dr Pepper TEN car had a strong practice today - this is the car to win the race. Now we just need to capitalize on what we have. It'd be great to win in my 100th career start."
MIKE CONWAY, #27 TEAM GRIME BOSS CAR
Finished the session in P5
"We were okay today. It is going to be a crazy race on Sunday. This place is fast. I wasn't too fast by myself, but we were better in the draft. We'll see how things go for the Grime Boss car in Friday's practice and qualifying."
RYAN HUNTER-REAY, #28 TEAM DHL/CIRCLE K/SUN DROP CITRUS SODA CAR
Ended practice in P3
"It was a pretty good first outing in the DHL/Circle K/Sun Drop car. We ran pretty well as a team. I think we have great race cars. We were good at Kentucky in the race too. We were able to run in similar conditions as Sunday's race. It's going to be hot and it's going to be intense for 200 laps."
DANICA PATRICK, #7 TEAM GoDaddy.com CAR
Finished practice at the top of the speed chart
"It's fast here. Almost a 225 mph lap is like Indy speeds. There is a lot of grip here and therefore the setup of the car will be a little bit easier. The track is nice and smooth and we'll be three-wide out there, which will be exciting. The race is going to be crazy and the crashes will be spectacular. Nothing would let me turn the page better than winning here in the GoDaddy.com car."