IRL: Kanaan tops speed chart on day five at Indy

INDIANAPOLIS (May 9, 2002) - Tony Kanaan finally found the speed he had been looking for all week, setting the fastest lap of the day six minutes before the end of practice. Kanaan's struggles came to the point where he decided to try his...

INDIANAPOLIS (May 9, 2002) - Tony Kanaan finally found the speed he had been looking for all week, setting the fastest lap of the day six minutes before the end of practice. Kanaan's struggles came to the point where he decided to try his teammate's backup car on Wednesday afternoon. That seemed to do the trick as Kanaan was easily running competitive speeds within six laps.

Today he was able to run 229.503 mph in his primary car.

"I wasn't comfortable at all until today to run in traffic," said Kanaan. "I didn't have much confidence in my car. I didn't have any confidence in myself. It's a new place for me, so today I felt much better."

Kanaan and Kenny Brack both ran laps over 229 mph today, but were not able to better Laurent Redon's 229.808 mph lap from Tuesday.

"I said yesterday that the car is coming around, and it did today," said Brack, whose teammates Jeff Ward and Bruno Junqueira were fourth and fifth, respectively. "It was good to post a speed (229.025 mph) like that today. It's good for the confidence of the team and for myself. I'm very happy for the guys."

Helio Castroneves, who turned just 15 laps today, set the third fastest lap of the day at 228.736 mph, his best of the event. "Today we made very good progress, the track is getting better and better and the cars are getting faster. Once again we did our quick speed on our own, which is very important as we prepare for qualifying."

Defending Indy Racing League champion Sam Hornish Jr. was sixth fastest after recording his best lap of the event at 228.294 mph.

Tomas Scheckter improved by shaving three-tenths of a second from his previous best in his second day on the track. Scheckter was seventh on the day with a lap at 227.599 mph. "We were working a little more on qualifying setups," Scheckter said. "We're taking the car out and trimming it up. It's getting better and better and our times are getting better.

"Hopefully tomorrow we will improve a little bit more."

Rounding out the top ten were Alex Barron, Eddie Cheever and Scott Sharp.

Mark Dismore was involved in the only incident of the day when his car spun in turn one and made contact with the SAFER barrier before coming to a stop at the inside edge of the track. Dismore suffered a concussion and was taken by ground to Methodist Hospital where he will be held overnight for observation.

Notes from the 86th Indianapolis 500:

Provimi Veal announced today they would continue their relationship with Arie Luyendyk, driver of the Meijer G Force entered by Treadway-Hubbard Racing. Provimi Veal will also sponsor Arie Luyendyk Jr's entry in the Infiniti Pro Series.

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Oriol Servia has been signed to drive the No. 15 Walker Racing entry in the 2002 Indianapolis 500. Servia turned 11 laps before the throttle cable broke and had to be towed back to the pits.

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For the fourth consecutive day practice was delayed by rain. The track was opened for practice at 12:30 p.m. local time. Despite high winds for most of the day, 40 cars were on track recording a total of 1446 laps.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Tomas Scheckter , Eddie Cheever , Jeff Ward , Scott Sharp , Arie Luyendyk , Mark Dismore , Helio Castroneves , Bruno Junqueira , Tony Kanaan , Oriol Servia , Kenny Brack , Alex Barron , Laurent Redon , Sam Hornish Jr.