IRL: Indy 500: Honda first week practice summary

Honda Drivers Set the Pace Leading to Pole Day Qualifying Honda drivers claimed the top five positions as six days of practice came to a close on Friday, leading up to MBNA Pole Qualifying Saturday for the 88th running of the Indianapolis ...

Honda Drivers Set the Pace Leading to Pole Day Qualifying

Honda drivers claimed the top five positions as six days of practice came to a close on Friday, leading up to MBNA Pole Qualifying Saturday for the 88th running of the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race. A total of 10 Honda drivers took part in practice this week, with seven ending up in the top-10 overall ranking.

Andretti Green Racing's Tony Kanaan headed the speed chart for Wednesday, and overall for the week, as he became the only driver to exceed 222 mph. Teammate Dan Wheldon was second fastest Wednesday and for the week at 221.953 mph.

The remaining Andretti Green drivers, Dario Franchitti and Bryan Herta, spent much of the week working on gathering race chassis set-up information, but still managed to run 12th and 13th of the 27 drivers to practice this week. New Honda team Newman-Haas Racing and driver Bruno Junqueira took a similar path and posted a best speed of 218.999 mph, good for 19th overall.

Super Aguri Fernandez Racing rookie Kosuke Matsuura was fastest on Tuesday with a speed of 221.857 mph, third overall; with his team owner/teammate Adrian Fernandez next at 221.705 mph. Rahal Letterman Racing's Roger Yasukawa rounded out the top five with a speed of 221.248 mph, posted on Wednesday. His teammates, Buddy Rice and Vitor Meira, rounded out the top 10.

Although rain shortened practice on both Thursday and Friday, the weather forecast for "Pole Day" is encouraging, calling for partly cloudy skies and a high temperature of 70 degrees (F). Activities start with practice at 9 a.m. EDT, with qualifying runs scheduled to get underway at 12 pm EDT. Television coverage will be provided by ESPN from 12-1 and 5-7 p.m. EDT, and by ABC from 1-3 p.m. EDT.

Tony Kanaan (#11 7-Eleven Andretti Green Racing Honda) fastest in practice this week: "It's going to be an interesting day tomorrow. We'll have a few qualifying attempts [before he is scheduled to qualify], plus some practice in the morning, so I'm excited. The whole team has worked hard all week and I'm hoping tomorrow is going to be really good for us."

-honda-

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Adrian Fernandez , Dario Franchitti , Tony Kanaan , Bryan Herta , Dan Wheldon , Roger Yasukawa , Buddy Rice , Kosuke Matsuura , Vitor Meira