The Road to Indy: Target's Day of practice Day IV Practice at Indy-- Dark clouds loomed and rain finally wiped out much of the afternoon practice schedule at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in preparation for Saturday's Pole day qualifying attempts.
The Road to Indy: Target's Day of practice
Day IV Practice at Indy-- Dark clouds loomed and rain finally wiped out much of the afternoon practice schedule at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in preparation for Saturday's Pole day qualifying attempts. Target's Scott Dixon (224.296 mph) and rookie Ryan Briscoe (224.371 mph) did get in a few laps running 13 and 14 respectively, but both were happy with the Target team's preparations this week.
"It's been a productive week and the atmosphere has been more fun to I think because there seems to be a lot more people this year probably because they are more excited with format in general and it will certainly make this weekend more intense," said Dixon who drew fifteenth spot for the no.9 Target Toyota and 33rd for the no.9T back up car in the qualifying order draw. "Hard to tell where we were at today as we found ourselves chasing the track a bit. We did make some really good gains this week and the car is really decent. All three of the Target cars are pretty even so we do expect to make the top 11 in qualifying tomorrow. I think we'll see the top speed in the mid 227 mph range."
Driver of the #33 Target Toyota, Briscoe will have his back up car placed tenth in the qualifying line while his primary will be in nineteenth spot.
"It's been a really good week," said Briscoe of his first experience at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. "You can really feel the build up this week. It's been fun to get to know the history of this place, meet some of the interesting characters and fans and hear the stories associated with this race. On track, the Target team has done a lot of work fine tuning the car for qualifying. I feel really confident with car. I got to test it in all kinds of different conditions; hot, cool, wind coming at various directions and intensities. I certainly learned a lot and it's great to get all time to test on the oval. I feel like I have a lot of the tools now to be much more comfortable out there. Working with Arie Luyendyk has given me lots of valuable information and has had the effect of keeping everyone on the crew a little more relaxed. The only expectations I have for qualifying is to exercise patience while waiting to qualifying and maybe requalify and then on track be smooth and fast. I'm confident that Toyota will provide us with a good engine so we just have to go out there and get the job done."
Following contact with the turn 2 wall in Thursday practice, Darren Manning was to return to the track on Friday in his primary Target car until the weather disrupted the team's plans. The no.10 Target Toyota will be sixth in the qualifying line while the No.10 Target back up car will be 35th in the order.
"The weather buggered us a bit today as I was hoping to run later in the afternoon," said Manning. "Losing the #10T Target Toyota back up car in the accident on Thursday was a small set back but we've gotten a lot of good work done throughout the week and we're looking forward to qualifying. With the new format it certainly will make things interesting for ALL involved."
The top speed of the day was registered by Tomas Scheckter who pushed it up to 227.804 miles per hour.
Qualifying on Pole day begins at 1 pm EDT.