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After Barber
Rank Driver Points

1 Josef Newgarden 158
2 Alexander Rossi 145
3 Sebastien Bourdais 119
4 Graham Rahal 119
5 James Hinchcliffe 118
6 Ryan Hunter-Reay 113
7 Scott Dixon 107
8 Robert Wickens 97
9 Marco Andretti 88
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22 Zachary De Melo 31
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25 Kyle Kaiser 23
26 Rene Binder 22
27 Pietro Fittipaldi 7

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1. Robert Wickens 97
2. Zach Veach 77
3. Matheus Leist 51
4. Jordan King 38
5. Zachary De Melo 31
6. Jack Harvey 25
7. Kyle Kaiser 23
8. Rene Binder 22
9. Pietro Fittipaldi 7

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1. Honda 338
2. Chevy 271

Carpenter tops opening practice at Indy

Saturday, May 14, 2011


Ed Carpenter
In a session cut short by showers, Ed Carpenter was quickest of the 32 entrants to get on the 2.5-mile oval with a lap of 224.786 mph (40.0380 seconds) as practice opened for the 2011 Indy 500.  2008 race winner and IZOD IndyCar Series champion, Scott Dixon, was second in the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing car -- turning only four laps. JR Hildebrand, who was quickest in breezing through the Rookie Orientation Program on May 12, was third (224.433 mph).

There were 669 laps recorded without incident. Second day track activity, with a more favorable weather forecast, commences at noon May 15.

Reigning Indy 500 champion Dario Franchitti (224.107) was fourth in the No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing car, and 2006 race runner-up Marco Andretti (223.927) was fifth in the No. 26 Team Venom car for Andretti Autosport.

Whether shaking down their primary or backup cars, working on running in traffic or seeing how quick they were off the truck, drivers enjoyed the work on the oval. For full-time competitors, their previous track time has been on four road and street courses.

Carpenter, competing in his first IZOD IndyCar Series event of the season – and first for Sarah Fisher Racing in the No. 67 Dollar General car – has a best start of eighth (2010) and finish of eighth (2009) in seven starts. Of course, Carpenter, stepson of Indy Racing League founder Tony George, covets a victory in the ‘500’ more than any other.

“It's only day one, but it's really exciting to see hard work pay off and see progress,” he said. “We're going to have to keep up the effort because it's a long week heading into qualifying, but I definitely like the start that we're off to.”

Added Fisher, a nine-time Indy 500 starter who announced her retirement from the race car in November: "I was really proud of the boys for starting the month off with little to no error. It was a bonus for Ed to top the charts, but we know we still have a lot more work to accomplish. For this being our first race of the season, we know we have to hit the ground running, and to see the team gelling already is a great testament to our people."

Over at Panther Racing, which has been the Indy 500 runner-up the past two years with drivers Dan Wheldon and Vitor Meira, Hildebrand got the opportunity in his No. 4 National Guard Panther Racing backup car to run in traffic for the first time on an oval. His best lap in the six-hour ROP session (221.533 mph; No. 59 of his 68) came without other cars on the track.

“That’s kind of the priority for me on a personal level, to get out there and figure out what the car is going to be like in traffic,” said Hildebrand, the ’09 Firestone Indy Lights champion, “and I was able to do that a little today. There really wasn’t anything unexpected from my side; it will be different when there will be 10 cars running out there. For a few laps running behind another guy I felt pretty comfortable and the car’s hooked up. For the first day running with a group it was good.”

Other notable Opening Day speeds were posted by 2009 race runner-up Vitor Meira (seventh at 223.192); Paul Tracy (11th at 222.295), who didn’t qualify for the 2010 race; Danica Patrick (12th at 222.232) and 2004 race winner Buddy Rice (14th at 221.461), who’s returned to the track for the first time since 2008.



Driver Team Chassis Best Lap Speed
1. Ed Carpenter Sarah Fisher Racing Honda Dallara 224.786 mph
2. Scott Dixon Target Chip Ganassi Honda Dallara 224.491
3. JR Hildebrand-R Panther Racing Honda Dallara 224.433
4. Dario Franchitti Target Chip Ganassi Honda Dallara 224.107
5. Marco Andretti Andretti Autosport Honda Dallara 223.927
6. Ryan Briscoe Team Penske Honda Dallara 223.611
7. Vitor Meira A.J. Foyt Racing Honda Dallara 223.192
8. Graham Rahal Chip Ganassi Racing Honda Dallara 222.764
9. Helio Castroneves Team Penske Honda Dallara 222.755
10. Justin Wilson Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Honda Dallara 222.360
11. Paul Tracy Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Honda Dallara 222.295
12. Danica Patrick Andretti Autosport Honda Dallara 222.232
13. John Andretti Andretti Autosport Honda Dallara 222.037
14. Oriol Servia Newman Haas Racing Honda Dallara 221.954
15. Will Power Team Penske Honda Dallara 221.837
16. Buddy Rice Panther Racing Honda Dallara 221.461
17. James Hinchcliffe-R Newman Haas Racing Honda Dallara 221.454
18. Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport Honda Dallara 221.296
19. Alex Lloyd Dale Coyne Racing Honda Dallara 221.176
20. Takuma Sato KV Racing Technology Honda Dallara 220.883
21. Pippa Mann-R Conquest Racing Honda Dallara 220.741
22. Ana Beatriz-R Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Honda Dallara 220.537
23. E.J. Viso KV Racing Technology Honda Dallara 220.529
24. Tony Kanaan KV Racing Technology Honda Dallara 220.387
25. Bruno Junqueira A.J. Foyt Racing Honda Dallara 220.221
26. Tomas Scheckter KV Racing Technology Honda Dallara 220.175
27. Mike Conway Andretti Autosport Honda Dallara 220.160
28. Bertrand Baguette Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda Dallara 220.159
29. Jay Howard-R Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda Dallara 219.898
30. Simona de Silvestro HVM Racing Honda Dallara 219.522
31. Sebastian Saavedra-R onquest Racing Honda Dallara 217.141
32. James Jakes-R Dale Coyne Racing Honda Dallara 217.093

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