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Penske still on top in morning practice

Ryan Briscoe, Penske, Indy practice 2009Ryan Briscoe and Team Penske continued their strong form in the final practice session prior to today's Pole Day qualifying at Indianapolis.

The Australian's team-mate Helio Castroneves made it a Penske one-two, repeating yesterday's practice result, with Will Power taking a strong fifth in the third Penske entry.

Ganassi was Penske's main rival again, with Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti third and fourth fastest, although Franchitti stopped on track due to a gearbox problem 25 minutes from the end.

Mario Moraes put in an impressive performance for KV Racing to take sixth place.

After disappointing times in practice so far, Tony Kanaan has switched to a new car for today. Based on the chassis his Andretti Green team-mate Hideki Mutoh used at Kansas Speedway, the patchwork liveried machine was seventh this morning.

Graham Rahal (Newman/Haas/Lanigan), Marco Andretti (AGR) and Dan Wheldon (Panther) completed the top ten.

Rahal's team-mate Robert Doornbos had the only accident of the session, spinning into the Turn 2 wall. The Indy 500 rookie was using his back-up car this morning after crashing his primary chassis yesterday, so must be a doubt for this afternoon's qualifying session. He was still classified 12th fastest despite the incident.

The six-hour qualifying session commences at midday local time. All drivers get three shots at challenging for pole position in the session, which will set the top 11 places on the Indy 500 grid.

Pos  Driver             Team                     Time      Gap
 1.  Ryan Briscoe       Penske                   39.9676s
 2.  Helio Castroneves  Penske                   40.0847s  + 0.1171s
 3.  Scott Dixon        Ganassi                  40.1992s  + 0.2316s
 4.  Dario Franchitti   Ganassi                  40.1999s  + 0.2323s
 5.  Will Power         Penske                   40.2098s  + 0.2422s
 6.  Mario Moraes       KV                       40.2547s  + 0.2871s
 7.  Tony Kanaan        Andretti Green           40.2876s  + 0.3200s
 8.  Graham Rahal       Newman/Haas/Lanigan      40.3339s  + 0.3663s
 9.  Marco Andretti     Andretti Green           40.3352s  + 0.3676s
10.  Dan Wheldon        Panther                  40.3607s  + 0.3931s
11.  Danica Patrick     Andretti Green           40.3743s  + 0.4067s
12.  Robert Doornbos    Newman/Haas/Lanigan      40.3844s  + 0.4168s
13.  Justin Wilson      Coyne                    40.4273s  + 0.4597s
14.  Vitor Meira        Foyt                     40.5413s  + 0.5737s
15.  Raphael Matos      Luczo Dragon             40.5681s  + 0.6005s
16.  Ed Carpenter       Vision                   40.6116s  + 0.6440s
17.  Paul Tracy         KV                       40.6417s  + 0.6741s
18.  Alex Lloyd         Schmidt/Ganassi          40.7173s  + 0.7497s
19.  EJ Viso            HVM                      40.8051s  + 0.8375s
20.  AJ Foyt IV         Foyt                     40.8156s  + 0.8480s
21.  Davey Hamilton     Dreyer & Reinbold        40.8278s  + 0.8602s
22.  Milka Duno         Dreyer & Reinbold        40.8410s  + 0.8734s
23.  Mike Conway        Dreyer & Reinbold        40.8671s  + 0.8995s
24.  Sarah Fisher       Fisher                   40.8672s  + 0.8996s
25.  Nelson Philippe    HVM                      41.0524s  + 1.0848s
26.  Hideki Mutoh       Andretti Green           41.1706s  + 1.2030s
27.  John Andretti      Petty/Dreyer & Reinbold  41.1828s  + 1.2152s
28.  Ryan Hunter-Reay   Vision                   41.9439s  + 1.9763s

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