Wheldon & Sharp Lead Indy 500 Opening Day Practice Already a three-time winner in 2005, Andretti Green Racing's Dan Wheldon led the field in opening day practice Tuesday as on-track action got underway for the 89th running of the Indianapolis...
Wheldon & Sharp Lead Indy 500 Opening Day Practice
Already a three-time winner in 2005, Andretti Green Racing's Dan Wheldon led the field in opening day practice Tuesday as on-track action got underway for the 89th running of the Indianapolis 500. Wheldon, who set a new Indy Racing League record with three victories in the opening four races this season, posted a top speed of 226.808 mph on a resurfaced 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway, already six miles an hour quicker than Buddy Rice's 2004 pole qualifying speed.
Delphi Fernandez Racing's Scott Sharp made it a 1-2 for Honda-powered drivers, with defending series champion Tony Kanaan running fourth, 2004 Indy 500 and IRL Rookie of the Year Kosuke Matsuura (fifth) and Dario Franchitti (sixth) making it five of the top six positions for Honda.
Danica Patrick, who led the eight-driver rookie field in traditional "Rookie Orientation" on Sunday and Monday, ran 11th today for Rahal Letterman Racing, with teammates Vitor Meira in ninth and Rice 15th. Veterans Roger Yasukawa and Adrian Fernandez ran limited laps today as they worked to set up new cars, while rookie Jeff Bucknum is scheduled to begin practice on Wednesday. Practice continues through Friday, running from noon through 6 p.m. EST. Qualifying for the pole position and first 11 starting positions takes place Saturday, with live television coverage on ABC/ESPN2/ESPN.
Dan Wheldon (#26 Jim Beam/Klein Tools Andretti Green Racing Honda) IndyCar Series points leader, fastest in practice today : "It's never easy, but this year's Indy 500 is shaping up to be very, very competitive. I can see at least 15 potential race winners in the field here. It's good to be fast, but this is only the first practice day. And I'm just happy to be back here; I love this place."