Andretti tops first Indy practice day
|By Jeff Olson||Friday, May 8th 2009, 02:30 GMT|
The usual players were near the top of the speed chart on Thursday during the first day of practice for the full field in preparation for the 93rd Indianapolis 500.
Andretti Green's Marco Andretti, who finished third last year and second in 2006, had the fastest lap of the day at 39.9152 seconds (225.478 mph) around the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval.
Following him were Helio Castroneves, second at 225.237mph, his Penske team-mate, Ryan Briscoe, and last year's race winner, Scott Dixon (Ganassi).
While Andretti's speed raised eyebrows, it was, like most other top laps, achieved with some variation of a tow.
"Tomorrow is going to tell more of the story," Andretti said of Friday's six hours of practice before Saturday's pole qualifying.
Castroneves, who won the pole in 2003 and 2007, said he expects qualifying averages to be somewhat below Dixon's four-lap average of 226.336 mph last year.
"Remember, it's four laps," Castroneves said. "So you're not going to see a lot of people who think they're on the pole not end up getting it."
Dixon's Ganassi team-mate Dario Franchitti was behind him in fifth. Dan Wheldon was sixth-fastest for Panther Racing, while Robert Doornbos (Newman/Haas/Lanigan), Danica Patrick (AGR), Graham Rahal (NHLR) and Will Power (Penske) rounded out the top 10.
Practice resumes on Friday at noon local time, with qualifying is scheduled to begin at noon on Saturday following one last practice session at 9am.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap 1. Marco Andretti Andretti Green 39.9152s 2. Helio Castroneves Penske 39.9579s + 0.0427s 3. Ryan Briscoe Penske 40.0171s + 0.1019s 4. Scott Dixon Ganassi 40.0983s + 0.1831s 5. Dario Franchitti Ganassi 40.1499s + 0.2347s 6. Dan Wheldon Panther 40.1747s + 0.2595s 7. Robert Doornbos Newman/Haas/Lanigan 40.2518s + 0.3366s 8. Danica Patrick Andretti Green 40.3130s + 0.3978s 9. Graham Rahal Newman/Haas/Lanigan 40.3594s + 0.4442s 10. Will Power Penske 40.3776s + 0.4624s 11. Hideki Mutoh Andretti Green 40.4049s + 0.4897s 12. Paul Tracy KV 40.4184s + 0.5032s 13. Tony Kanaan Andretti Green 40.4321s + 0.5169s 14. Ed Carpenter Vision 40.4364s + 0.5212s 15. Scott Sharp Panther 40.4609s + 0.5457s 16. Mario Moraes KV 40.5132s + 0.5980s 17. John Andretti Petty/Dreyer & Reinbold 40.5569s + 0.6417s 18. Sarah Fisher Fisher 40.6037s + 0.6885s 19. Davey Hamilton Dreyer & Reinbold 40.6094s + 0.6942s 20. Alex Lloyd Schmidt/Ganassi 40.6833s + 0.7681s 21. Justin Wilson Coyne 40.6872s + 0.7720s 22. Vitor Meira Foyt 40.6979s + 0.7827s 23. AJ Foyt IV Foyt 40.7165s + 0.8013s 24. EJ Viso HVM 40.7347s + 0.8195s 25. Mike Conway Dreyer & Reinbold 40.7894s + 0.8742s 26. Raphael Matos Luczo Dragon 40.8669s + 0.9517s 27. Milka Duno Dreyer & Reinbold 40.8943s + 0.9791s 28. Alex Tagliani Conquest 41.0051s + 1.0899s 29. Nelson Philippe HVM 41.0110s + 1.0958s 30. Ryan Hunter-Reay Vision 41.2221s + 1.3069s 31. Stanton Barrett 3G 41.2676s + 1.3524s