IRL: Indy 500: Dario Franchitti Opening Day summary

SPEEDWAY, Ind. (May 9, 2004) - Archipelago Exchange (ArcaEx) driver Dario Franchitti started working toward a successful run in the Indianapolis 500 today at Indianapolis Motor Speedway as practice officially began for the 88th edition of the ...

SPEEDWAY, Ind. (May 9, 2004) - Archipelago Exchange (ArcaEx) driver Dario Franchitti started working toward a successful run in the Indianapolis 500 today at Indianapolis Motor Speedway as practice officially began for the 88th edition of the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing."

Franchitti, who drives the ArcaEx Dallara/Honda/Firestone, turned laps in the #27T during the hot, windy afternoon practice session as he searched for a baseline setup from which to work. After logging a total of 22 laps in his backup machine, Franchitti notched a best speed of 214.040 miles per hour (42.0453 seconds, which ranked him 25th of the 33 cars that practiced on Sunday.

Defending Indy Racing League® IndyCar® Series champion Scott Dixon recorded the fastest speed on Opening Day at 219.760 miles per hour (40.9537 seconds). He was followed by Helio Castroneves, who clocked in at 219.752 miles per hour (40.9552 seconds). Adrian Fernandez was third at 218.342 miles per hour (41.2197 seconds) and was followed by Tomas Scheckter at 218.308 (41.2261) and Franchitti's Andretti Green Racing teammate, Dan Wheldon, at 218.007 (41.2831).

Practice for the Indianapolis 500 continues tomorrow, beginning at 12 p.m. (EDT).

Dario Franchitti, #27 ArcaEx Dallara/Honda/Firestone:

"You wouldn't know it by looking at our times, but we're not too shabby with the ArcaEx car right now. It's certainly a good starting point. We've just scratched the surface and worked on some race stuff. The times really aren't an indication of where we're at right now. We just wanted to shake things down a bit. Tomorrow we'll go to work on the speed."

Allen McDonald, Race Engineer, #27 ArcaEx Dallara/Honda/Firestone:

"I think we've got a reasonable baseline to work from after today. Obviously, we've got a bit of work to do on both the race car and the qualifying car. But, we're fairly happy with where we started off. Disregard the times at the moment; that will come. The important thing is to have a good baseline and I think we've got that."

- AGR -

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Dario Franchitti , Scott Dixon