Franchitti Heads Honda Phoenix Test Runs Dario Franchitti again led the Honda-powered field in final testing prior to the start of the 2004 Indy Racing League IndyCar Series season, setting the quickest time on Wednesday afternoon, and ...
Franchitti Heads Honda Phoenix Test Runs
Dario Franchitti again led the Honda-powered field in final testing prior to the start of the 2004 Indy Racing League IndyCar Series season, setting the quickest time on Wednesday afternoon, and fourth-quickest overall during the two-day test period.
Franchitti paced a seven-driver Honda contingent in the overall standing, including five of the top 10 overall positions. Franchitti's Andretti Green Racing teammates, Dan Wheldon, Bryan Herta and Tony Kanaan, claimed the fifth through seventh positions overall, followed by Access Motorsports owner/driver Greg Ray in ninth. After his Team Rahal crew replaced the entire wiring harness overnight, Buddy Rice rebounded to record the 12th quickest time of the test, while rookie Kosuke Matsuura was 17th for Super Aguri Fernandez Racing.
The 16-race 2004 IRL IndyCar season opens February 29 at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Florida.
Dario Franchitti (#27 Andretti Green Racing Honda) fastest Wednesday afternoon, fourth overall in testing: "It was an interesting couple of days because the track changed a lot; not just from one day to the next but from one hour to the next, but we got a good bit of work covered. Hopefully, what we've discovered will work for us when we come back here to race. Our tests have been very beneficial, but I'm sure the practice days for our races are going to be busy, no matter how much running we've done."
Dan Wheldon (#26 Andretti Green Racing Honda) fifth fastest: "It is nice to be back on a short oval. The car is improving with every run. One thing that you learn on these short ovals is how important the race setup is. My teammates and engineers have helped me to improve on these tracks and we are trying to find the best possible setup for the race. When we come back here next month, we have a very limited amount of track time, so everything we learned here these past two days will help us."