IRL: Indy 500: Rahal Letterman Racing day nine notes

BUSY DAY AT INDY ENDS WITH RAIN SPEEDWAY, Ind. -- Beautiful blue skies and warm temperatures greeted the field of participants at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as practice resumed for the 90th running of the Indianapolis 500. Nearly 1500 ...

BUSY DAY AT INDY ENDS WITH RAIN

SPEEDWAY, Ind. -- Beautiful blue skies and warm temperatures greeted the field of participants at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as practice resumed for the 90th running of the Indianapolis 500. Nearly 1500 laps were turned by 32 cars which took to the track. Weather conditions still managed to play havoc with the track as a heavy spring thunderstorm brought an end to the day's practice shortly before 5 pm local time.

Rahal Letterman Racing was led by 2004 Indy 500 champion Buddy Rice who logged 43 laps and posted a fast lap of 222.895 mph which was fourth quick overall.

"It felt good to get back out on the track," said Rice. "We learned some things on Sunday afternoon and we used them today. I think the car feels better with a little heat on the track. But overall I believe we have a very good racecar. I think we can make the first three rows and be ready to race up front. There is no doubt that we have been a little slower than we would like early on this month. But today we showed more speed and I think we can do that each day leading up to qualifying. I have been in the pole before and that is a great feeling. But I am here to win the race. That is the No. 15 Argent Honda team's goal."

Jeff Simmons piloted the No. 17 Team Ethanol Honda/Panoz to 11th quick with a fast lap of 221.802 mph.

"It was nice to be back in the car," said Simmons. "I think there were a lot of drivers getting a little anxious to drive on the track. I know that it has been nearly week since we had more than thirty minutes in the car. So today we went back to your team's plan of setting up the car. It was good to be out there with other cars and learn how the traffic will set for the race. With a few more days on the track, our Team Ethanol crew will be able to get more information on the various track conditions. We want to be as prepared as possible."

Danica Patrick endured a frustrating day posting the 20th quick lap at 219.526 mph. Patrick and her No. 16 Argent Mortgage Honda team did make progress late in the day.

"It was a tough day in the Argent Mortgage Honda," said Patrick. "My engineer Ray [Leto] and I looked at all aspects of the car and put it all back together and with the advances my teammates made I feel like we are headed in the right direction."

Penske Racing dominated the speed charts again running one-two with Sam Hornish Jr. (224.381 mph) and Helio Castroneves (223.392 mph). Fernandez Racing's Scott Sharp was third quick at 223.293 mph.

Practice will resume on Thursday weather permitting. Qualifying in scheduled for Saturday and Sunday.

-Rahal Letterman Racing

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Scott Sharp , Helio Castroneves , Buddy Rice , Jeff Simmons , Danica Patrick
Teams Team Penske