Action-Filled Qualifying Expected Saturday at Indy Practice in preparation for qualifying for the 90th running of the Indianapolis 500 concluded today with "Fast Friday II", a nearly-full day of on-track action at Indianapolis Motor...
Action-Filled Qualifying Expected Saturday at Indy
Practice in preparation for qualifying for the 90th running of the Indianapolis 500 concluded today with "Fast Friday II", a nearly-full day of on-track action at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, with 34 of the 35 drivers and teams entered to date taking to the track.
Marlboro Team Penske's Sam Hornish Jr. posted the fastest lap speed today at 227.925 mph, but Target Chip Ganassi Racing's Dan Wheldon heads the combined speed charts for all seven practice days at 228.663 mph.
In all, Hornish has been fastest in six of the seven practice days, but Wheldon claimed overall speed honors in the practice held on Sunday, May 14, just before rain washed out qualifying. Tony Kanaan was the 2005 pole qualifier with a four-lap average of 227.566 mph.
This year, it has been the "Month of Rain" in Indianapolis, with nearly every day of practice shortened by adverse weather conditions, and last weekend's scheduled first two days of qualifying completely rained out. However, the weather forecast for the coming weekend is encouraging, with only a chance of occasional showers predicted as Honda prepares to supply engines to the entire 33-car starting field for the first time.
A total of 35 drivers have turned 8,094 laps in practice this week, for a total of 20,235 miles. There have been three Honda engine changes thus far at Indianapolis, with Buddy Rice and Thiago Medeiros receiving new engines as a precaution following their crashes earlier this week. Friday, Bryan Herta also received a new engine for the remainder of practice and qualifying due to an internal problem detected by telemetry.
Roger Griffiths (Race Team Technical Leader, Honda Performance Development) on qualifying all 33 cars in one day: "We're in pretty good shape for qualifying, I believe, and we have a pretty reasonable plan developed for our race preparations as well. I'm amazed by the ability of some of these teams to assemble a '500' program in so short a period of time. It shows how well developed the overall IRL package has become. It should be an exciting weekend, and I'm looking forward to it."