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INDYCAR NEWS 

Franchitti tops opening practice

Dario Franchitti, Ganassi, Sears PointLast year's winner Dario Franchitti edged out championship leader Will Power in Friday IndyCar practice at Sears Point.

Just 0.0041 seconds separated the Ganassi and Penske drivers, as Power got straight onto the pace on his return to the track where he suffered a serious back injury last year.

Alex Tagliani vaulted to third for FAZZT in the final seconds, pushing Ganassi's Scott Dixon back to fourth. Justin Wilson (Dreyer & Reinbold) rounded out the top five.

Sixth-placed Marco Andretti (Andretti Autosport) was among the early pacesetters as the Ganassi and Penske drivers sat back in the pits for much of the sole hour of opening day practice. Panther's Dan Wheldon also took a turn on top before slipping back to ninth.

Newman/Haas got both cars in the top 10 - Graham Rahal taking seventh ahead of Penske's Ryan Briscoe, and Hideki Mutoh ending up 10th.

Andretti's Tony Kanaan had led the way initially, before his car ground to a halt in the pit entry after just three laps, ending his session and causing the first yellow. The only other stoppage occurred when Dale Coyne Racing's Alex Lloyd spun and stalled late on.

Pos  Driver               Team               Time        Gap
 1.  Dario Franchitti     Ganassi            1m18.2969s
 2.  Will Power           Penske             1m18.3011s  + 0.0041s
 3.  Alex Tagliani        FAZZT              1m18.5661s  + 0.2691s
 4.  Scott Dixon          Ganassi            1m18.6070s  + 0.3100s
 5.  Justin Wilson        Dreyer & Reinbold  1m18.6161s  + 0.3191s
 6.  Marco Andretti       Andretti           1m18.6269s  + 0.3300s
 7.  Graham Rahal         Newman/Haas        1m18.6513s  + 0.3543s
 8.  Ryan Briscoe         Penske             1m18.9154s  + 0.6185s
 9.  Dan Wheldon          Panther            1m18.9209s  + 0.6239s
10.  Hideki Mutoh         Newman/Haas        1m18.9551s  + 0.6581s
11.  Helio Castroneves    Penske             1m18.9727s  + 0.6757s
12.  Raphael Matos        De Ferran Dragon   1m19.0259s  + 0.7290s
13.  JR Hildebrand        Dreyer & Reinbold  1m19.0385s  + 0.7415s
14.  Mario Moraes         KV                 1m19.0875s  + 0.7906s
15.  Tony Kanaan          Andretti           1m19.0976s  + 0.8006s
16.  Ryan Hunter-Reay     Andretti           1m19.3044s  + 1.0074s
17.  EJ Viso              KV                 1m19.4274s  + 1.1305s
18.  Bertrand Baguette    Conquest           1m19.5047s  + 1.2077s
19.  Vitor Meira          Foyt               1m19.6060s  + 1.3091s
20.  Takuma Sato          KV                 1m19.6500s  + 1.3530s
21.  Alex Lloyd           Dale Coyne         1m19.8831s  + 1.5861s
22.  Simona de Silvestro  HVM                1m19.9797s  + 1.6828s
23.  Danica Patrick       Andretti           1m19.9946s  + 1.6976s
24.  Francesco Dracone    Conquest           1m22.5665s  + 4.2695s
25.  Milka Duno           Dale Coyne         1m23.9308s  + 5.6339s
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