9:00 a.m. -- GREEN FLAG. Helio Castroneves in the Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Toyota/Firestone is the first car on track. *** Scott Dixon won the 2003 Toyota Indy 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, his first of three wins en route to the series...
9:00 a.m. -- GREEN FLAG.
Helio Castroneves in the Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Toyota/Firestone is the first car on track.
*** Scott Dixon won the 2003 Toyota Indy 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, his first of three wins en route to the series championship. Dixon's win last year marked the third consecutive season in which the winner of the first race went on to win the championship. Sam Hornish Jr. won the 2001 and 2002 championship after winning the first race of the season.
Ed Carpenter, Kosuke Matsuura and Mark Taylor will compete for the Bombardier Rookie of the Year Award this season. Carpenter and Taylor competed in the Menards Infiniti Pro Series last season, with Taylor winning the championship and Carpenter finishing third in points. Matsuura competed in the Formula Renault V6 Eurocup Championship last year, finishing third in the championship.
10:18 a.m. -- YELLOW FLAG. Tow-in for Ed Carpenter (No. 52 Red Bull Cheever Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone)
10:29 a.m. -- GREEN FLAG.
10:50 a.m. -- YELLOW FLAG. Track inspection.
11:00 a.m. -- GREEN FLAG.
11:36 a.m. -- YELLOW FLAG. Track inspection.
11:44 a.m. -- GREEN FLAG.
12:00 P.M. -- CHECKERD FLAG. Lunch break. <pre> TOP SPEEDS FROM MORNING PRACTICE: 1. Tony Kanaan Team 7-Eleven D/H/F 216.766 2. Ed Carpenter Red Bull Team Cheever D/C/F 215.913 3. Dan Wheldon Klein Tools/Jim Beam D/H/F 215.781 4. Tomas Scheckter Pennzoil Panther Racing D/C/F 215.585 5. Bryan Herta Andretti Green Racing D/H/F 215.456 </pre> QUOTES FROM MORNING PRACTICE:
BRYAN HERTA (No. 7 Andretti Green Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "It is good so far. We got a fair amount of work done, and the speed is pretty good right now, even though we weren't really focusing on that. We are making the car better and better, so it has been a good morning with the new car for us."
SCOTT SHARP (No. 8 Delphi Dallara/Toyota/Firestone): "It was good to get out with the Delphi Kelley team. There are a lot of new faces on the team. The guys have worked hard the last few months and changed our car around, so this is really our first chance to start dialing it back in."
DARIO FRANCHITTI (No. 27 Archipelago Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "It felt good to be in the car. It was good to be running with some other cars and getting to do what I love. Everything is coming back to me, and we're focusing very much on getting the most out of the car for the upcoming races."
ED CARPENTER (No. 52 Red Bull Cheever Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "It was a rough day. I expected to get started a little quicker our first day. We had a couple of electronics issues and then adjusted the balance when we finally got going. We really didn't get on track after getting the electronics sorted out until there were only 15 minutes to go in the session, but I'm really happy with how things went."
1:31 p.m. -- GREEN FLAG.
Two IndyCar Series veterans are here this week to help two series rookies. Davey Hamilton is the spotter for Ed Carpenter, and Roberto Guerrero is the spotter for Mark Taylor. Hamilton finished second in the points championship to Tony Stewart in the 1996-1997 IndyCar Series season. He also finished second to Kenny Brack in the 1998 season. Guerrero, a veteran of 15 Indianapolis 500 starts, finished second in his first start in 1984 and again in 1987.
2:42 p.m. -- YELLOW FLAG. Track inspection.
2:51 p.m. -- GREEN FLAG.
3:06 p.m. -- YELLOW FLAG. Track inspection.
3:16 p.m. -- GREEN FLAG.
3:34 p.m. -- YELLOW FLAG. Track inspection.
3:43 p.m. -- GREEN FLAG.
4:30 p.m. -- CHECKERED FLAG. <pre> TOP SPEEDS FROM AFTERNOON PRACTICE: 1. Dan Wheldon Klein Tools/Jim Beam D/H/F 217.820 mph 2. Alex Barron Red Bull Cheever Racing D/C/F 217.482 3. Ed Carpenter Red Bull Cheever Racing D/C/F 217.223 4. Tony Kanaan Team 7-Eleven D/H/F 216.894 5. Tomas Scheckter. Pennzoil Panther Racing D/C/F 216.561
TOP PRACTICE SPEEDS (OVERALL): 1. Dan Wheldon Klein Tools/Jim Beam D/H/F 217.820 2. Alex Barron Red Bull Cheever Racing D/C/F 217.482 3. Ed Carpenter Red Bull Cheever Racing D/C/F 217.223 4. Tony Kanaan Team 7-Eleven D/H/F 216.894 5. Tomas Scheckter Pennzoil Panther Racing D/C/F 216.561 </pre> POST-PRACTICE QUOTES:
DAN WHELDON (No. 26 Klein Tools/Jim Beam Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "We only completed 43 laps, and certainly, the Klein Tools/Jim Beam car was very strong. The team did a fantastic job. It is a tough undertaking to put together four cars."
ALEX BARRON (No. 51 Red Bull Cheever Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "It is a big step up from where we were this morning. We had a debriefing at lunch and then changed some things, and things began to turn around for us. All in all, at the end of the day, we are very happy at Red Bull Cheever Racing. We haven't done as much testing a some of the other teams, but we're happy with the results."
ED CARPENTER (No. 52 Red Bull Cheever Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "The day started off a little slow. We had some electrical problems right off, but the guys did a good job sorting things out over time. I'm just happy to drive at this open test. Like Alex mentioned, we only did one test over the off-season, so it was really important for us to get started on the right foot. It feels good. The guys are all working together really well."
MARK TAYLOR (No. 2 Menards/Johns Manville Panther Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/ Firestone): "It was great getting in the Menards/Johns Manville car with the limited amount of time we get. Today was really good, and we are looking forward to tomorrow. It feels really good to be back, and this afternoon we were just trying to work on the best setup. I'm already beginning to feel more comfortable, and it will get better every test we get."
TOMAS SCHECKTER (No. 4 Pennzoil Panther Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "I'm quite happy with the way things went today. We spent a bit of time sorting some things that aren't just 'start of season' things, but I'm very happy with the car and the Chevy motor. It's fun to run in traffic again with the rest of the guys. The season is here, and we're ready to go racing." <pre> THURSDAY'S SCHEDULE: 7 a.m. Garage opens 8: 15 a.m. IndyCar Series driver meeting 9 -- 12 noon IndyCar Series testing 12 -- 1:00 p.m. Lunch break 1:30 -- 4:00 p.m. IndyCar Series testing 4:00 p.m. Press conference: Top-3 fastest of the day 4:30 p.m. Garage area closes