Franchitti goes fastest then crashes

Dario Franchitti topped the final practice session for the IndyCar Series' Long Beach race - despite finishing his morning with a crash

Franchitti goes fastest then crashes

The Ganassi driver, who was also fastest in Friday's opening session, beat HVM's impressive EJ Viso to first by just 0.0369 seconds, but then understeered into the tyres at Turn 6. Damage to Franchitti's Dallara-Honda appeared to be minimal.

Will Power quickly acclimatised to Penske's new #12 car, which is being run by Penske's Grand Am personnel, and set the third-fastest time. Although allocated to run in group two of the split session, he was allowed to shake the car down with two laps at the start of group one's half-hour, and then lapped within 0.0878s of Franchitti's benchmark time later on.

Franchitti's team-mate Scott Dixon was fastest in group one and fourth overall, ahead of Justin Wilson, who escaped a couple of trips down escape roads in Dale Coyne's car.

Helio Castroneves showed no rustiness on his return to the track after nearly six months focusing on his tax evasion trial. The Penske driver was allowed to run in both sessions, and was second for most of the group one segment. He eventually ended up seventh, behind Graham Rahal (Newman/Haas/Lanigan).

Mike Conway was the best of the rookies in eighth for Dreyer & Reinbold, ahead of Andretti Green's Tony Kanaan and Danica Patrick - the latter showing her best form of 2009 so far.

Their team-mate Hideki Mutoh faces a race against time to get ready for qualifying after spinning into the inside wall on the exit of Turn 9 and doing substantial damage to both ends of his car.

Pos Driver Team Time Gap 1. Dario Franchitti Ganassi 1m10.2789s 2. EJ Viso HVM 1m10.3158s + 0.0369s 3. Will Power Penske 1m10.3667s + 0.0878s 4. Scott Dixon Ganassi 1m10.5889s + 0.3100s 5. Justin Wilson Dale Coyne 1m10.5897s + 0.3108s 6. Graham Rahal Newman/Haas/Lanigan 1m10.6381s + 0.3592s 7. Helio Castroneves Penske 1m10.6763s + 0.3974s 8. Mike Conway Dreyer & Reinbold 1m10.9066s + 0.6277s 9. Tony Kanaan Andretti Green 1m10.9846s + 0.7057s 10. Danica Patrick Andretti Green 1m11.0542s + 0.7753s 11. Dan Wheldon Panther 1m11.1232s + 0.8443s 12. Raphael Matos Luczo Dragon 1m11.1797s + 0.9008s 13. Hideki Mutoh Andretti Green 1m11.2015s + 0.9226s 14. Darren Manning Dreyer & Reinbold 1m11.3388s + 1.0599s 15. Robert Doornbos Newman/Haas/Lanigan 1m11.3767s + 1.0978s 16. Ryan Briscoe Penske 1m11.4604s + 1.1815s 17. Ryan Hunter-Reay Vision 1m11.5848s + 1.3059s 18. Mario Moraes KV 1m11.6394s + 1.3605s 19. Vitor Meira Foyt 1m11.6590s + 1.3801s 20. Marco Andretti Andretti Green 1m11.7303s + 1.4514s 21. Alex Tagliani Conquest 1m11.8993s + 1.6204s 22. Ed Carpenter Vision 1m12.1573s + 1.8784s 23. Stanton Barrett 3G 1m14.4918s + 4.2129s 
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