IRL: Mid-Ohio: Honda Friday notes

Franchitti Fastest on Friday at Mid-Ohio Indianapolis 500 winner and IndyCar Series championship points leader Dario Franchitti paced the field Friday at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in preparation for Sunday's Honda Indy 200. Franchitti...

Franchitti Fastest on Friday at Mid-Ohio

Indianapolis 500 winner and IndyCar Series championship points leader Dario Franchitti paced the field Friday at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in preparation for Sunday's Honda Indy 200. Franchitti was quickest in the second of two practice sessions today at the 13-turn road course, located midway between Columbus and Cleveland. Franchitti's Andretti Green Racing teammate, Tony Kanaan, was quickest in the morning practice and second fastest on the day.

Team Penske's Helio Castroneves was third fastest, and the only other driver to best 120 mph around the hilly, 2.33-mile circuit. Teammate Sam Hornish Jr. was fourth, with Scott Dixon, winner of the two most recent IndyCar Series races, rounding out the top five.

Marco Andretti ran fourth quickest in the morning, sixth overall, while Panther Racing's Vitor Meira vaulted up the charts in the afternoon session to end the day in seventh. Danica Patrick made it four Andretti Green Racing Hondas in the top eight. Darren Manning ran an excellent ninth for A.J. Foyt Racing, with 2004 Indy 500 victor Buddy Rice completing out the top 10 for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing.

In other news, Ryan Hunter-Reay has been named to drive the #17 Team Ethanol/Rahal Letterman Racing Honda, replacing Jeff Simmons.

Dario Franchitti (#27 Andretti Green Racing Honda) quickest in practice: "We started out this morning with a setup on the car similar to what we ran here in testing last month, but the weather is considerably different [cooler], and we had to make a lot of changes as the day went on. In addition, the track is getting a lot of rubber put down this weekend, and the additional grip that provides means heavier steering, later braking, higher g-loads in the corners, and makes it harder to breathe in the corners as a result. By the time you've raced here for 85 laps on Sunday, you'll have done a hard day's work!"

-credit: honda

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Darren Manning , Helio Castroneves , Dario Franchitti , Scott Dixon , Tony Kanaan , Ryan Hunter-Reay , Buddy Rice , Marco Andretti , Jeff Simmons , A.J. Foyt , Danica Patrick , Vitor Meira
Teams Panther Racing , Team Penske , Dreyer & Reinbold Racing