IndyCars Return To Road Racing at Infineon

Defending IndyCar Series champion Tony Kanaan led the Honda-powered field Friday at Infineon Raceway north of San Francisco and the Indy Racing League began its first weekend of permanent road course racing in the 10-year history of the League.

Kanaan posted a lap average speed of 108.072 mph around the hilly, 2.62-mile Sonoma, California, road course in the second of two practice sessions. That placed him third overall on the day, behind the cars of former Formula One test driver Ryan Briscoe and two-time Indianapolis 500 race winner Helio Castroneves.

Kanaan's Andretti Green Racing teammates, Dario Franchitti, Bryan Herta and Dan Wheldon, finished the day in the sixth, seventh and eighth positions, respectively. Continuing the "teammates running together" theme, Rahal Letterman Racing duo Buddy Rice and Vitor Meira were 11th and 12th on the day; with Fernandez Racing teammates Scott Sharp and Kosuke Matsuura running 15th and 17th overall. Rookie points leader Danica Patrick was 19th in her Rahal Letterman entry, with Roger Yasukawa 20th for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing.

IndyCar activities continue Saturday at Infineon, with additional practice in the morning, followed by qualifying to set the field for Sunday's 80-lap Argent Mortgage Indy Grand Prix.

Tony Kanaan (#11 7-Eleven Andretti Green Racing Honda) third fastest in practice: "It was a 'work day' for us, trying to see what combinations [of springs, shocks and suspension settings] work best on the car. Our goal for today was to find the right setup, and stay somewhere in the top five, and we accomplished both of those things, so I'm happy. And it's always a good day to be back on a road course, like in the 'good old days'."