As expected, Indianapolis Motor Speedway was inundated by thunderstorms today, allowing only four minutes of practice shortly after the official start time of 11AM EST this morning. Only four drivers made it on-circuit and Sarah Fisher turned the...
As expected, Indianapolis Motor Speedway was inundated by thunderstorms today, allowing only four minutes of practice shortly after the official start time of 11AM EST this morning. Only four drivers made it on-circuit and Sarah Fisher turned the sole competitive lap time of 212.616mph in her #39 Bryant Heating and Cooling Dallara/Toyota.
While this day is normally known as "Fast Friday", the only things moving quickly through the 16th and Georgetown Roads complex were storms, one right after the other, leaving Tony Kanaan's Wednesday speed of 222.668mph in his #11 Team 7-Eleven Dallara/Honda as the one to beat. "It's going to be an interesting day tomorrow," Kanaan said. "I'm hoping tomorrow is going to be really good." He'll qualify the primary 59th; his backup car is set for 3rd in the lineup.
Teammate Dan Wheldon is second in the #26 Klein Tools/Jim Beam Dallara/Honda at 221.953mph, also on Wednesday and the Briton knows, "Tomorrow is a big day. The closer to the front we start, the better I think we will be. This field is so close, it will be difficult," Wheldon realizes. Wheldon will be poised in 15th position to qualify.
Sophomore Roger Yasukawa, driving the #16 Sammy Panoz G Force/Honda has the fifth best speed of practice to date at 221.248mph, set on Wednesday. Yasukawa "will be going out early Saturday and I like that." He drew 5th qualifying slot in the blind draw held at 3:30 this afternoon.
Helio Castroneves lies sixth in the speed charts with his #3 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Toyota and is eighth and 36th in the qualifying order. Teammate Sam Hornish Jr., who practiced seventh - both Penske drivers set their quick laps on Thursday - in his #6 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Toyota drew the #6 spot in line tomorrow (#21 for his backup).
The reigning Indy Racing League IndyCar Series champion, Scott Dixon set the eighth best practice speed of the meeting on Wednesday. His draw in the qualifying line is #33 for his primary #1 Team Target Panoz G Force/Toyota; the #1T is #42 in the lineup.
Teammates Buddy Rice (#15 Argent Mortgage/Pioneer Panoz G Force/Honda) and Vitor Meira (#17 Team CENTRIX Panoz G Force/Honda) round out of the top ten in practice laps thus far in the month of May. Rice drew #44 for his primary car and #20 for the backup; Meira lies 51st in the qualifying line.
The weather cells that have hung around the Midwest over the past few days are expected to dissipate and leave behind sunshine for the balance of this all-important weekend. The cars and drivers on-site will have two hours of practice beginning at 8AM tomorrow morning, while the qualifying line begins churning at 11. Who will get the MBNA Pole Position and the check for $100,000 that accompanies the honor?