IRL: Hornish again and rain too at Indy

Team Penske continued to top the speed chart at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway with Sam Hornish setting the fastest lap of the day at 224.951. "We worked on the race setup of the car today and I think things went well," said Hornish. "We wanted...

Team Penske continued to top the speed chart at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway with Sam Hornish setting the fastest lap of the day at 224.951. "We worked on the race setup of the car today and I think things went well," said Hornish. "We wanted the chance to run in traffic this afternoon, which we were able to do, and I'm happy with the way the car is handling in the pack."

While Hornish and Castroneves earned the top two spots today, Ganassi Racing teammates Dan Wheldon and Scott Dixon managed to take the next two positions. Both Ganassi Racing drivers were in their back up cars today.

Weather continued to interrupt on activities at the Speedway with morning showers lingering long enough to delay the track opening until 3:45 pm. Track officials had hoped to open the track earlier but a second band of showers arrived just as the safety crews were finishing to dry the track.

"Today was kind of a roller coaster with all the changes in the weather," said Castroneves. "I had my fire suit on ready to go at noon, so I was inching to run when the track finally dried out."

Once the track opened, weather continued to be a factor as wind gusts to 35 mph kept speeds lower than expected.

"The wind blew around a lot," said Scott Sharp, fifth on the speed chart. "Everyone had to deal with it but it was pretty consistent, which is good. It is worse when it is gusty. Certainly, you felt it the most going down the back straightaway. It would move the car side to side."

Arie Luyendyk Jr. and Thiago Medieros were involved in single car incidents at the south end of the track. Luyendyk spun exiting Turn one before making moderate contact with the outside wall in the short chute. The car then slid down the track, where it came to a rest on the inside of Turn two. Luyendyk climbed from the car without assistance from the safety crew.

"It was our first lap out," said Luyendyk. "We came out of the pits, went through Turn 3 and 4 and everything felt great. By the time I got to Turn 1, I wasn't even up to speed yet. I don't feel I drove it into Turn 1 very hard."

Medieros incident occurred in the same area. His car made heavy contact with the SAFER Barrier in Turn 1 before coming to rest in the short chute. Medieros said he saw Kosuke Matsuura behind him and was waiting for the Japanese driver to pass him. "I thought there was enough room below me, but I guess there wasn't, so I moved up a little bit and lost it."

Neither Luyendyk nor Medeiros were injured in the separate incidents.

Jeff Simmons was the fastest of the Rahal Letterman Racing trio today. His lap of 221.716 mph put him sixth on the speed chart. His teammates Danica Patrick and Buddy Rice both drove their backup cars today, placing 11th and 13th on the speed chart, respectively.

Vision Racing continued to show promise with two drivers in the top ten today. Townsend Bell was eighth and Tomas Scheckter ninth. Despite rain shortening practice to two hours, Scheckter managed to record 59 laps today, the most of any driver.

Scheckter used his two hours wisely, running with his teammates to make sure the Vision cars will handle well in traffic.

Ed Carpenter is still the fastest of the three Vision Racing drivers with his lap at 225.262 mph set May 14.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Tomas Scheckter , Scott Sharp , Scott Dixon , Townsend Bell , Dan Wheldon , Buddy Rice , Kosuke Matsuura , Thiago Medieros , Jeff Simmons , Danica Patrick , Ed Carpenter , Sam Hornis , Arie Luyendyk Jr.
Teams Team Penske , Chip Ganassi Racing