Foyt IV tops morning practice
|By Matt Beer||Sunday, May 18th 2008, 15:28 GMT|
AJ Foyt IV showed he should have the speed to make the field by topping morning practice prior to the Bump Day qualifying session at Indianapolis.
The Vision Racing driver has yet to make onto the Indy 500 grid after an error and then a gearbox problem on his two qualifying runs yesterday, but his practice speed of 219.379mph would be comfortably sufficient to qualify if Foyt can repeat it in this afternoon's six-hour session.
His teammate Davey Hamilton set the second-fastest speed in practice, then brought the session to an early end when he suffered an apparent - and unusual - Honda engine failure. Practice was halted ten minutes ahead of schedule to allow the track to be cleaned up.
Only 13 cars participated in the session, although many more are likely to fit extra runs in during the gaps between qualifying attempts later today.
Of the other drivers yet to qualify, Mario Dominguez was a tentative 10th-quickest for Pacific Coast as he shook the car down following his crash yesterday.
The Rubicon team have also successfully repaired Max Papis' car, but were not quite ready to take to the track in morning practice.
But the recently-formed American Dream Racing currently look unlikely to make their first Indy 500 in the wake of Phil Giebler's heavy crash - and subsequent hospitalisation with bruised lungs - yesterday. The team have not ruled out acquiring another car and recruiting a replacement driver in time to make a Bump Day run, but their hopes currently look slim.
Buddy Lazier (Hemelgarn) and Marty Roth (Roth Racing) are the two drivers most vulnerable to being bumped out of the field today, and although both slightly improved their speeds in practice, it might not be enough to keep them in the race when Foyt, Papis and Dominguez make their qualifying runs later on.
Pos Driver Team Speed 1. AJ Foyt IV Vision 219.379mph 2. Davey Hamilton Vision 218.219mph 3. Justin Wilson Newman/Haas/Lanigan 218.173mph 4. Buddy Lazier Hemelgarn 218.078mph 5. Graham Rahal Newman/Haas/Lanigan 218.005mph 6. Jeff Simmons Foyt 217.795mph 7. Tony Kanaan Andretti Green 217.764mph 8. Marty Roth Roth 217.475mph 9. Ed Carpenter Vision 217.031mph 10. Mario Dominguez Pacific Coast 216.755mph 11. EJ Viso HVM 214.929mph 12. Darren Manning Foyt 195.496mph 13. Enrique Bernoldi Conquest 95.814mph