The Team Penske duo of Sam Hornish and Helio Castroneves were back atop the speed chart at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway after another day abbreviated by rain. The yellow was shown for moisture in the area at 4:26 pm and the track was officially...
The Team Penske duo of Sam Hornish and Helio Castroneves were back atop the speed chart at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway after another day abbreviated by rain. The yellow was shown for moisture in the area at 4:26 pm and the track was officially closed 12 minutes later.
Speeds were down across the board, failing to approach the fastest of the month, a lap at 228.663 mph, set by Dan Wheldon on Sunday.
Although speeds were down, Hornish's best of the day was nearly a full mile an hour faster than his teammate at 224.381 mph. "It's a pretty neat feeling going out there and being quick again today," said Hornish. "I didn't get a whole lot of practice time today, so we're really thankful for what we got.
Castroneves drove his backup car today with a best lap of 223.392 mph. He drove the backup car on Sunday, posting a lap at 227.888, the third fastest lap of the month. "We worked on our race setup today, and I think everything went according to plan. The most challenging part of the afternoon was that the track was really green because of all the rain the last few days. We really had to be sure everything was in order with the car. If it's like this on race day, I think we'll, be in good shape."
For most of the day the weather was perfect with sunny skies and mild breezes. It wasn't until late afternoon that the skies darkened and rain moved quickly into the area.
Scott Sharp ended the day third fastest driving his Dallara primary car to a lap at 223.293 mph. Sharp has yet to try his backup car, which is a Panoz chassis. Fernandez switched to the Dallara chassis this year and has only used the Panoz at the St. Petersburg street course. "We've just been carrying on, working on our race setup," said Sharp. "For us, any track time we can get is a big advantage to learn more about the Dallara chassis.
Buddy Rice went to his backup car today, setting the fourth fastest lap of the day and his best of the month at 222.895. Rice's previous best, set May 9, came in his primary car when he turned a lap at 222.762 mph.
"It felt good to get back out on the track," said Rice. "We learned some things on Sunday afternoon and we used them today. I think the car feels better with a little heat on the track. But overall I believe we have a very good racecar. I think we can make the first three rows and be ready to race up front."
Dan Wheldon turned 41 laps in his backup car today, setting the fifth fastest of the day at 222.615 mph.
Vision Racing put two cars in the top-10 today with Townsend Bell recording a lap at 222.511 mph, putting him sixth fastest, and Tomas Scheckter tenth fastest at 221.815 mph.
Andretti Green Racing also put two of the drivers in the top ten. Tony Kanaan and Dario Franchitti, both in their primary cars, were seventh and ninth fastest, respectively. Franchitti, who admitted that he was working on his race day setup, said, "it was probably a good idea since the weather came in pretty quickly. If we get a couple more hours of this rain, we're going to be in trouble. Every chance we get, we've got to focus on the race and work on our setup."
Scott Dixon drove his backup car to the ninth position on the speed chart.