Power tops final practice at St Pete

Will Power made a fine start to his first weekend as a Penske driver by topping the final practice session ahead of qualifying at IndyCar's St Petersburg opener today

Power tops final practice at St Pete

The Australian has been drafted in to the team while Helio Castroneves's court case is resolved and showed the first signs of being able to challenge Penske's rival Chip Ganassi drivers for victory when he pipped Dario Franchitti to the top of the timesheet today.

Franchitti continued his strong form on his series return after setting the pace in first practice yesterday, posting the second fastest time of the day ahead of team-mate and reigning champion Scott Dixon.

Marco Andretti was fourth quickest for Andretti-Green and Robert Doornbos made it four different teams in the top five for Newman/Haas/Lanigan. The Dutchman had been lying third until the final minute of the session when Dixon and Andretti improved their times to push him down to fifth.

Tony Kanaan and Graham Rahal were sixth and seventh quickest in the second AGR and Newman/Haas cars, ahead of Dan Wheldon's Panther Racing entry in eighth.

Justin Wilson and Vitor Meira completed the top 10 for Dale Coyne and AJ Foyt's respective teams.

Penske's other driver, Ryan Briscoe, was only 12th fastest in the session, sandwiched between series debutants Mike Conway and Raphael Matos.

The field was tightly packed around the Florida street circuit, with the first 17 cars covered by just one second ahead of this afternoon's qualifying session.

Pos Driver Team Time Gap 1. Will Power Penske 1:02.838 2. Dario Franchitti Ganassi 1:02.957 +0.119 3. Scott Dixon Ganassi 1:03.014 +0.177 4. Marco Andretti Andretti-Green 1:03.234 +0.396 5. Robert Doornbos Newman/Haas 1:03.251 +0.414 6. Tony Kanaan Andretti-Green 1:03.281 +0.442 7. Graham Rahal Newman/Haas 1:03.289 +0.452 8. Dan Wheldon Panther 1:03.331 +0.493 9. Justin Wilson Dale Coyne 1:03.368 +0.530 10. Vitor Meira AJ Foyt 1:03.394 +0.556 11. Mike Conway D&R 1:03.403 +0.565 12. Ryan Briscoe Penske 1:03.485 +0.647 13. Raphael Matos Luczo Dragon 1:03.653 +0.815 14. Hideki Mutoh Andretti-Green 1:03.740 +0.902 15. Ernesto Viso HVM 1:03.830 +0.992 16. Ryan Hunter-Reay Vision 1:03.841 +1.003 17. Darren Manning D&R 1:03.865 +1.027 18. Danica Patrick Andretti-Green 1:04.138 +1.300 19. Mario Moraes KV 1:04.530 +1.693 20. Alex Tagliani Conquest 1:04.556 +1.718 21. Ed Carpenter Vision 1:04.911 +2.074 22. Stanton Barrett 3G 1:07.353 +4.518 
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Wilson says St Pete pole is possible
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