IRL: Hot day at Indy puts Dixon tops on Thursday

Under the watchful eyes of two-time Heisman Trophy winner Archie Griffin, the skies cleared, the temperatures soared, and Chip Ganassi Racing's Scott Dixon put in a clutch last-second performance to earn the spot on top of the speed charts at ...

Under the watchful eyes of two-time Heisman Trophy winner Archie Griffin, the skies cleared, the temperatures soared, and Chip Ganassi Racing's Scott Dixon put in a clutch last-second performance to earn the spot on top of the speed charts at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Thursday (May 10th).

The New Zealand driver's fastest lap of 226.473 mph came late in the day, and topped all of the twenty-six competitors who took to the track during summer-like conditions on Thursday.

Andretti Green Racing's Danica Patrick was second-quick with a tour of this 2.5 mile oval at 226.358 mph while Dan Wheldon put in a lap of 226.206 mph for third-best on the day.

Vision Racing's Tomas Scheckter was fourth-fastest on Thursday, while Ryan Briscoe looked very racy finishing fifth with a lap of 225.995 mph. Marco Andretti's 225.881 mph lap got him sixth best of the afternoon-long practice session.

Defending Indy Racing League champion Sam Hornish, Jr. scored seventh, and was followed on the day's timesheet by Panther Racing's Vitor Meira and Kosuke Matsuura; while Team Penske's Helio Castroneves, AGR's Dario Franchitti and Tony Kanaan filled out the remainder of the top dozen.

Samax Motorsports' Milka Duno continued her love affair with the fans at Indy, arriving at Noon sharp in the front seat of her team golfcart with a homecoming queen's smile and a wristy wave to the stands as she worked her way North to her practice day pit assignment.

Duno's best lap of 218.908 mph was the result of forty-seven trips around the Brickyard, as she continues to pile up the most-laps practiced for the month, but leaves her significantly slower than the standard set by the front-runners.

At 4PM the ambient temperature stood and held at eighty-six degrees and the track temperature was pegged at a hot 130 degrees. A few clouds in the late afternoon helped soften the heat as fans began arriving in numbers to watch the cars, the drivers, and each other at the Speedway in May.

Ohio State University football legend Archie Griffin admitted to being "a little scared" as he circulated the Speedway at speeds over one hundred miles per hour with IndyCar Series Safety Car driver, and former Indianapolis 500 champion, Johnny Rutherford.

"When people ask me what car racing I watch, I tell them I watch the Indianapolis 500!" said Grffin, who waved the green starter's flag to kick off the afternoon's on-track activities.

Tomorrow's "Fast Friday" practice is the last prior to Saturday Noon qualifications for the IndyCars. With sunny weather forecast for the next several days, the odds are speeds will continue to rise as Pole Day draws nye.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Milka Duno , Tomas Scheckter , Helio Castroneves , Tony Kanaan , Dan Wheldon , Kosuke Matsuura , Chip Ganassi , Danica Patrick , Johnny Rutherford , Sam Hornis , Vitor Meira
Teams Panther Racing , Team Penske , Chip Ganassi Racing