IRL: Watkins Glen: Honda Friday report

Kanaan Quick For Honda at Watkins Glen Defending IndyCar Series champion Tony Kanaan led the Honda-powered field Friday at Watkins Glen International Raceway in upstate New York in opening practice for the third and final ...

Kanaan Quick For Honda at Watkins Glen

Defending IndyCar Series champion Tony Kanaan led the Honda-powered field Friday at Watkins Glen International Raceway in upstate New York in opening practice for the third and final road-course event of the 2005 Indy Racing League season.

Kanaan posted a lap average speed of 130.619 mph around the historic, 3.37-mile Watkins Glen circuit, former home of the United States Grand Prix. That placed him second quickest on the day, behind fellow Brazilian and two-time Indianapolis 500 race winner Helio Castroneves.

Two of Kanaan's Andretti Green Racing teammates -- Dan Wheldon and Dario Franchitti -- finished the day in the fourth and fifth and Wheldon will clinch his first IndyCar drivers' championship when he starts Sunday's race. Bryan Herta rounded out the top 10 in his AGR Honda. Vitor Meira led the three-car Rahal Letterman effort in seventh, with Buddy Rice 12th and rookie points leader Danica Patrick 18th.

Kosuke Matsuura led the Fernandez Racing team in 13th, with teammate Scott Sharp 15th. Roger Yasukawa ran 16th for the single-car Dreyer & Reinbold Racing team. IndyCar activities continue Saturday at Watkins Glen, with additional practice in the morning, followed by qualifying to set the field for Sunday's 60-lap Watkins Glen Indy Grand Prix.

Tony Kanaan (#11 7-Eleven Andretti Green Racing Honda) second fastest in practice: "It was a fun day. We got a chance to drive in the rain [in the morning practice session], which I hadn't done in three years and missed a lot, and I loved it. 'Another day in paradise,' as I call it, back on a road course. We did a lot of work today but it paid off as we're in a good position for qualifying, making the second-to-last run. Now it's up to us to put on a good show."

-honda-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Scott Sharp , Helio Castroneves , Tony Kanaan , Bryan Herta , Dan Wheldon , Roger Yasukawa , Buddy Rice , Kosuke Matsuura , Danica Patrick , Vitor Meira