IRL: Hornish continues to top Indy speed chart

Sam Hornish Jr. continued to stay atop the speed chart at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, setting the fastest lap for the third consecutive day. "So far it's been a dream week," said Hornish. "The car is spot-on. We make changes to it every day...

Sam Hornish Jr. continued to stay atop the speed chart at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, setting the fastest lap for the third consecutive day. "So far it's been a dream week," said Hornish. "The car is spot-on. We make changes to it every day to try to find more and we've been able to do it. The big thing for us is to continue in the direction that we're heading and make sure that we don't make any mistakes."

The track opened nearly two hours late due to overnight showers that persisted throughout the day, ultimately forcing track officials to close the track 30 minutes early.

Although high winds and low temperatures kept several teams in the garage for the day, Hornish and his Team Penske teammate Helio Castroneves turned a total of 31 laps, with Castroneves recording the third fastest lap of the day. His lap of 225.547 mph moved the Brazilian to third on the three-day combined speed chart.

"It was very windy today, so it was tough to see if the changes we made were an improvement from yesterday," said Castroneves. "Fortunately, we were able to put up a good time early on, so we decided not to run too much in these conditions."

Second fastest of the day, with a lap at 226.088 mph, Dan Wheldon continued to keep his runner-up position on the combined speed chart. Wheldon and Hornish are now the only two drivers to have topped 226 mph.

"I think we made some improvements again," Wheldon said. "We've still got some work to do but the good thing is each day we've been making some gains. We'd love to contend for the pole, and I think we will, but we're a little off that now."

Scott Dixon improved his speed today. He turned 27 laps with a best of 225.309 mph on his 16th tour of the oval.

Fernandez Racing drivers Scott Sharp and Kosuke Matsuura did not practice today, dropping Matsuura from third to fifth on the combined speed chart.

Due to the poor weather conditions today, only seven drivers improved upon their previous best. In addition to the Team Penske and Ganassi Racing drivers, Dario Franchitti was one of three Andretti Green Racing drivers to gain speed. Dario Franchitti was fifth fastest on the day at 224.742 mph, moving him to sixth overall on the combined chart.

"It was definitely a positive day," Franchitti reported. "I would say we've gained some strides toward the front and we've gained some pace but we're still not where we need to be. I think I speak for all five cars when I say that."

The father and son team of Michael and Marco Andretti also improved today, both turning laps in the 223 mph range. My car picked up speed today," said Marco Andretti. "It appears everyone else improved as well. It's hard to tell if it's the track, the wind, or what, but it's not easy to drive now."

Buddy Rice was involved in a single car accident when he spun coming out of Turn one and made heavy contact with the SAFER Barrier in Turn two. Rice climbed from the car unassisted before being taken to the infield medical center where he was checked and released. "It's weird, it just took off," said Rice. "We weren't even into the turn yet when I lost it. We just need to come back tomorrow and get cleared by Dr. Bock."

Rice, who sustained contusions to both knees, has not been cleared to drive. His status will be reevaluated in the morning.

Marty Roth lost control exiting Turn two and did a quarter spin before the car straightened out, allowing Roth continued unscathed.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Scott Sharp , Dario Franchitti , Scott Dixon , Dan Wheldon , Buddy Rice , Marty Roth , Marco Andretti , Kosuke Matsuura , Sam Hornish Jr.
Teams Team Penske