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
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