HOMESTEAD, Fla. (Feb. 27, 2004) - ArcaEx driver Dario Franchitti took his first steps toward a successful start to the 2004 Indy Racing LeagueÂ® (IRL) IndyCarÂ® Series season Friday in the initial practice sessions for Sunday's opener at ...
HOMESTEAD, Fla. (Feb. 27, 2004) - ArcaEx driver Dario Franchitti took his first steps toward a successful start to the 2004 Indy Racing League® (IRL) IndyCar® Series season Friday in the initial practice sessions for Sunday's opener at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Franchitti overcame a technical problem during the morning session and went on to complete 77 laps on the day with a quick lap of 214.709 miles per hour. Franchitti's ArcaEx crew pounded out more than 60 laps in the 45-minute afternoon session, focusing on race setup in preparation for Sunday's 300-mile event.
Overall, the four Andretti Green Racing drivers put in more than 570 miles of practice on Friday to open the weekend, combining for 383 trips around the newly- reconfigured 1.5-mile Homestead oval. Klein Tools/Jim Beam driver Dan Wheldon was the quickest of the four, posting a fast lap of 216.336 miles per hour. He was followed by Bryan Herta, who ran a lap of 216.082 miles per hour in the #7 XM Satellite Radio Honda-powered Dallara. Tony Kanaan wheeled the Team 7-Eleven machine to a best lap of 215.472 miles per hour.
Franchitti and his teammates will work through one more practice session Saturday morning before the first qualifying session of the season at 1:15 p.m. (EST). Sunday's race, which is the first of 16 on the 2004 schedule, is set to go green just after 2 p.m. (EST) Sunday.
Dario Franchitti, #27 ArcaEx Dallara/Honda/Firestone:
"It was a pretty good day. This morning was difficult because we had some early technical problems, but we were happy with the ArcaEx car this afternoon. We went out, did a long run and were reasonably happy with our balance and speed. We've got a little bit of work to do, but all in all, it was a pretty good day."
Kyle Moyer, General Manager, Andretti Green Racing:
"Today was a pretty good day. We didn't get everything done this morning that we wanted to. There were a couple things we wanted to test. But, Bryan Herta had a pretty good car this morning, so we sort of went in his direction. It's a shame we're in the practice group we're in. We'd rather be running with our teammates, but a couple guys hooked up with us this afternoon and let us go through what we wanted to. The ArcaEx car is pretty good for racing right now, so now we'll concentrate on qualifying tomorrow and go from there."