Wheldon Tops First Indy Practice

Dan Wheldon underlined his reputation as favourite for this month's Indianapolis 500 by posting the fastest time during the first day of official practice

Wheldon Tops First Indy Practice

The Andretti-Green Racing driver lapped the 2.5-mile superspeedway with an average of 226.808mph, beating Scott Sharp and twice Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves.

Wheldon, who also recorded the ninth fastest lap in his spare car, picked up $2,500 in prize money for securing the fastest lap.

"The biggest thing I notice is the competition level this year," Wheldon commented. "It seems very close, between not just the big teams but everyone. There are a lot of people that could be very, very competitive.

"With the testing restrictions that we have in the IRL, Indy enables people to spend a little more time to build up to speed and focus.

"To anyone that's not watched the Indianapolis 500 before - this will be a great year to start."

The track has been relaid since last year's race, which allowed 21 driver/car combinations to beat Buddy Rice's 2004 pole-winning speed of 222.024mph.

Pos Car Driver Make-Engine  Speed (mph) 1. 26 Dan Wheldon Dallara-Honda 226.808 2. 8 Scott Sharp Panoz-Honda 226.609 3. 3 Helio Castroneves Dallara-Toyota 226.062 4. 11 Tony Kanaan Dallara-Honda 225.629 5. 55 Kosuke Matsuura Panoz-Honda 225.620 6. 27 Dario Franchitti Dallara-Honda 225.296 7. 33T Ryan Briscoe Panoz-Toyota 225.266 8. 4 Tomas Scheckter Dallara-Chevrolet 225.189 9. 26T Dan Wheldon Dallara-Honda 224.998 10. 17 Vitor Meira Panoz-Honda 224.172 11. 70 Richie Hearn Panoz-Chevrolet 223.824 12. 16 Danica Patrick Panoz-Honda 223.694 13. 8T Scott Sharp Panoz-Honda 223.664 14. 95 Buddy Lazier Dallara-Chevrolet 223.443 15. 36 Bruno Junqueira Panoz-Honda 223.350 16. 55T Kosuke Matsuura Panoz-Honda 223.205 17. 10T Darren Manning Panoz-Toyota 223.110 18. 15 Buddy Rice Panoz-Honda 223.077 19. 7 Bryan Herta Dallara-Honda 223.022 20. 6 Sam Hornish Jr. Dallara-Toyota 222.896 21. 4T Tomas Scheckter Dallara-Chevrolet 222.485 22. 15T Buddy Rice Panoz-Honda 221.671 23. 17T Vitor Meira Panoz-Honda 221.484 24. 16T Danica Patrick Panoz-Honda 221.322 25. 11T Tony Kanaan Dallara-Honda 221.304 26. 2T Tomas Enge Dallara-Chevrolet 221.276 27. 6T Sam Hornish Jr. Dallara-Toyota 220.035 28. 51 Alex Barron Dallara-Toyota 220.016 29. 83 Patrick Carpentier Dallara-Toyota 219.693 30. 9 Scott Dixon Dallara-Toyota 219.601 31. 7T Bryan Herta Dallara-Honda 219.397 32. 14 A.J. Foyt IV Dallara-Toyota 218.964 33. 83T Patrick Carpentier Dallara-Toyota 218.435 34. 24 Roger Yasukawa Dallara-Honda 218.387 35. 51T Alex Barron Dallara-Toyota 217.604 36. 20 Ed Carpenter Dallara-Toyota 216.700 37. 5 Adrian Fernandez Panoz-Honda 184.140 38. 22 Jeff Ward Dallara-Toyota 96.467 T = Spare Car 
shares
comments
Bourdais Completes Rookie Test
Previous article

Bourdais Completes Rookie Test

Next article

Rice Crashes; Ruled Out of Pole

Rice Crashes; Ruled Out of Pole
Load comments
Ranking the top 10 IndyCar drivers of 2021 Plus

Ranking the top 10 IndyCar drivers of 2021

In an enthralling 2021 IndyCar campaign, the series bounced back from its COVID-19 truncated year prior and Alex Palou defeated both the established order and his fellow young guns to clinch a maiden title. It capped a remarkable season with plenty of standout performers

IndyCar
Nov 21, 2021
How F1's other IndyCar exile finally unlocked his potential Plus

How F1's other IndyCar exile finally unlocked his potential

Romain Grosjean's swashbuckling rookie year in IndyCar captured the imagination of many in 2021. But another ex-Formula 1 driver whose potential was masked by five years of toil in, at best, middling machinery also enjoyed a breakout year in 2021 - winning twice and finishing sixth in points. Here's how Marcus Ericsson finally delivered on his promise

IndyCar
Nov 16, 2021
How Ganassi's relentless new champion outfoxed IndyCar's best Plus

How Ganassi's relentless new champion outfoxed IndyCar's best

IndyCar sophomore Alex Palou stunned by overcoming team-mate Scott Dixon and the rest of a white-hot field in 2021. He was consistently fast and crucially showed a level head, rebounding well from setbacks to put himself in a near unassailable position entering the final round

IndyCar
Nov 4, 2021
Have Harvey and RLL formed IndyCar’s next winning match-up? Plus

Have Harvey and RLL formed IndyCar’s next winning match-up?

Despite appearing to have an IndyCar job for life with Meyer Shank Racing, Jack Harvey’s departure and move to Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing sparked plenty of debate. However, Harvey's and RLL's combined strengths could prove to be a winning combination - if they get the balance right

IndyCar
Oct 17, 2021
Remembering Dan Wheldon and his last and most amazing IndyCar win Plus

Remembering Dan Wheldon and his last and most amazing IndyCar win

Saturday 16 October marks the 10th anniversary of Dan Wheldon’s death. David Malsher-Lopez pays tribute, then asks Wheldon’s race engineer from 2011, Todd Malloy, to recall that magical second victory at the Indianapolis 500

IndyCar
Oct 16, 2021
Why Kyle Kirkwood is America's new IndyCar ace-in-waiting Plus

Why Kyle Kirkwood is America's new IndyCar ace-in-waiting

Kyle Kirkwood, the record-setting junior formula driver, sealed the Indy Lights championship last weekend. But despite an absurdly strong junior career and scholarship money, his next move is far from clear

IndyCar
Oct 6, 2021
Why IndyCar title glory is just the start for Ganassi's new star Plus

Why IndyCar title glory is just the start for Ganassi's new star

Newly-crowned IndyCar champion Alex Palou has been lauded as a complete driver and veteran-like in only his second season. The 24-year-old is still in the early days of his career, but the parallels are there for all to see with his six-time champion Chip Ganassi Racing team-mate who has been CGR's team leader since 2014

IndyCar
Sep 28, 2021
Why Grosjean's oval commitment shows he's serious about IndyCar Plus

Why Grosjean's oval commitment shows he's serious about IndyCar

One of motorsport’s worst-kept secrets is now out in the open, and Romain Grosjean has been confirmed as an Andretti Autosport IndyCar driver in 2022. It marks a remarkable turnaround after the abrupt end to his Formula 1 career, and is a firm indication of his commitment to challenge for the IndyCar Series title  

IndyCar
Sep 24, 2021