IRL: Phoenix open test, day one report

Kanaan Leads First Day Of Testing at Phoenix AVONDALE, Ariz., Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2005 -- Defending IRL IndyCar® Series champion Tony Kanaan posted the fastest lap as Andretti Green Racing led the first day of Open Testing at Phoenix...

Kanaan Leads First Day Of Testing at Phoenix

AVONDALE, Ariz., Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2005 -- Defending IRL IndyCar® Series champion Tony Kanaan posted the fastest lap as Andretti Green Racing led the first day of Open Testing at Phoenix International Raceway.

Kanaan, who has won the last two IndyCar Series events held at the 1-mile oval, recorded a lap of 20.6994 seconds, 173.918 mph in the No. 11 Team 7-Eleven Dallara/Honda/ Firestone. Kanaan's teammate Dan Wheldon was second-fastest with a lap of 20.7183 seconds, 173.759 mph in the No. 26 Klein Tools/Jim Beam Dallara/Honda/Firestone, while Scott Sharp was third-fastest with a lap of 20.7703 seconds, 173.324 mph in the No. 8 Delphi Panoz/Honda/Firestone.

In all, 20 cars turned 3,248 incident-free laps.

In other IndyCar Series news, Tony George, founder and chief executive officer of the Indy Racing League, announced the latest entries for the 2005 IndyCar® Series and the Menards Infiniti Pro Series.

George and wife Laura have founded Vision Racing, LLC., which will field a Toyota-powered Dallara for Ed Carpenter in the IndyCar Series and a Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone for Jay Drake in the Menards Infiniti Pro Series.


TONY KANAAN (No. 11 Team 7-Eleven Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "Phoenix has been very, very good to us. We're just doing our normal stuff, just testing a lot, trying different pieces and making big changes. Sometimes we do it, and sometimes we don't. That's the way we should be testing. I was pleased with the lap time. We have a good car, but there are a lot of people around, so we have to keep improving. It's all going to be different when we come back here, different weather and different racetrack. It's not going to count until we come back here."

DAN WHELDON (No. 26 Klein Tools/Jim Beam Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "Today's conditions are very non-representative of what it's going to be like. I remember last year it felt like 95 or 100 degrees or whatever it was. I think the downforce numbers are going to be significantly different, and I think that's going to change the way the cars handle. It's really good to be back in Phoenix. It's a tough track. It's going to be a difficult traffic. I'm looking forward to it. I think everybody's just looking forward to going racing."

SCOTT SHARP (No. 8 Delphi Panoz/Honda/Firestone): "I'm thrilled. Just thrilled. I've had some success at PIR in the past and always enjoyed the track. The last couple of years, I just really fought the car. I spun a couple of times in practice and was lucky not to hit anything. It was just an evil car, and that changes your like to dislike. We had a great day with the Delphi Fernandez team. Right out of the box, I felt comfortable immediately, made some improvements throughout the day, and learned some things that give us a great place to pick up for tomorrow."

SAM HORNISH JR. (No. 6 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Toyota/Firestone): "Phoenix is a place I always like coming to. It's a real driver's track. You have to have the car handling well, you have to be able to work well in traffic, so we feel like we've got a pretty good race car right now, maybe not quite as good for qualifying as what we'd like, but the car handles really well over the long run. Hopefully, it'll be that way when we come back. The only difference, it tends to be 20 or 30 degrees hotter, so we'll make our best guess when we come back."

DARIO FRANCHITTI (No. 27 ArcaEx Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "We're just doing a normal test session really for us. Trying some different things, looking for a nice comfortable race car. We did a couple of long runs in there. We're reasonably happy, with some stuff to work on tomorrow. All in all it was a good day for the ArcaEx team."

<pre> FASTEST SPEEDS OF THE DAY Pos. Car Name C/E/T Speed 1. 11 Tony Kanaan D/H/F 173.918 mph 2. 26 Dan Wheldon D/H/F 173.759 mph 3. 8 Scott Sharp P/H/F 173.324 mph 4. 6 Sam Hornish Jr. D/T/F 173.239 mph 5. 27 Dario Franchitti D/H/F 172.863 mph

THURSDAY'S SCHEDULE: (all times local): 9 a.m -- noon IndyCar Series practice Noon -- 1 p.m. Lunch Break 1 p.m -- 4 p.m. IndyCar Series practice


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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Scott Sharp , Dario Franchitti , Tony Kanaan , Dan Wheldon , Jay Drake , Tony George , Jim Beam , Sam Hornish Jr. , Ed Carpenter
Teams Team Penske