Friday practice: Giaffone and Takagi top

Felipe Giaffone and Tora Takagi had the fastest laps during practice Friday for the IRL IndyCars Bombardier 500. Giaffone's Mo Nunn Racing Panoz G-Force/Toyota hit 220.574 mph during the early evening session, marking the first time in two days that anyone topped 220 mph around 1.5-mile Texas Motor Speedway.

Friday practice: Giaffone and Takagi top

Ex-Formula 1 man Takagi was clocked at 219.655 mph in the Mo Nunn Racing G-Force/Toyota, fastest during the afternoon.

"I had a huge draft," Giaffone said of his lap. "We were just doing what everybody else was, practicing for race conditions." Other drivers who showed speed in both practice sessions included pole winner Tomas Scheckter, Kenny Brack, Al Unser Jr., Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan.

Texas has produced some of the best side-by-side racing in the IRL's eight-year history. Drivers said they expect more of the same Saturday night.

"I think there are a lot of people who will be really fast," Giaffone said. "It will be a typical Texas race out there tomorrow, very close."

G-Force has been the dominant combination so far at Texas. Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammates Tomas Scheckter and Scott Dixon will start from the front row in G-Force/Toyotas.

Bryan Herta will compete in an IRL race for the first time in his career tonight, replacing the injured Dario Franchitti, when he starts ninth in the Andretti Green Racing No.27 Honda/Dallara. "We've had to adjust a little bit, but we're pretty happy so far," he said. A two-time Champ Car winner, Herta is in for the next two races.

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