Dixon fastest, Duno crashes
Scott Dixon, driving the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone, topped the overall speed chart (214.164 mph; 24.4579 seconds) in the two practice sessions (one each during the late afternoon and early evening) in preparation for the Bombardier Learjet 550k at Texas Motor Speedway.
IndyCar Series points leader Dario Franchitti was second (214.138; 24.4609 in the first session) and Andretti Green Racing teammate Tony Kanaan (214.072) was third. There's a lone practice session June 8 preceding AAMCO Transmissions pole qualifying at 7 p.m. (ET).
"We had a chance to work on a few things today and the Team 7-Eleven car responded very well to the changes we made," said Kanaan, the winner June 3 at The Milwaukee Mile. "The evening session was helpful because it was similar to how we expect the conditions to be on race day."
Twenty drivers totaled 1,498 laps with one incident. Milka Duno, driving the No. 23 CITGO car for SAMAX Motorsport, made contact with the inside retaining wall exiting Turn 2. Duno was checked and cleared to drive, and she participated in the evening session.
Crew for #23 Duno reports telemetry data indicates a sudden decrease in rear downforce as car entered the back straightaway. The car was rebuilt after Indianapolis and has numerous new parts. The team has begun the failure analysis process. However, SAMAX Motorsport has determined that the data and location of the incident clearly rules out any driver issue......well when she gets the car sideways indeed it does experience a sudden decrease in downforce.
Pos Driver Diff Best Time Best Speed Laps
1 Scott Dixon (9) ... 24.4579 214.164 52
2 Scott Sharp (8) 0.1147 24.5726 213.164 62
3 Dan Wheldon (10) 0.1693 24.6272 212.692 64
4 Marco Andretti (26) 0.1706 24.6285 212.680 65
5 Tony Kanaan (11) 0.1719 24.6298 212.669 66
6 Helio Castroneves (3) 0.2037 24.6616 212.395 39
7 Danica Patrick (7) 0.2122 24.6701 212.322 56
8 Dario Franchitti (27) 0.2307 24.6886 212.163 42
9 Sam Hornish Jr (6) 0.2417 24.6996 212.068 57
10 Jeff Simmons (17) 0.3043 24.7622 211.532 66
11 Vitor Meira (4) 0.3487 24.8066 211.153 42
12 Buddy Rice (15) 0.3607 24.8186 211.051 59
13 AJ Foyt IV (22) 0.3747 24.8326 210.932 41
14 Sarah Fisher (5) 0.3929 24.8508 210.778 28
15 Darren Manning (14) 0.3986 24.8565 210.730 43
16 Ed Carpenter (20) 0.4258 24.8837 210.499 62
17 Tomas Scheckter (2) 0.4540 24.9119 210.261 62
18 Jon Herb (19) 0.4632 24.9211 210.183 51
19 Kosuke Matsuura (55) 0.4896 24.9475 209.961 35
20 Milka Duno (23) 1.0322 25.4901 205.492 35
BOMBARDIER LEARJET 550 POST-PRACTICE QUOTES:
SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone, fastest of the day): "Our car was good today. We worked on race setup most of the day. It's kind of hard with these sessions with time. You don't really have enough tires to be out there all the time, and they seem to lengthen them as well. That was a bit frustrating but generally a good day. We stayed in traffic most of the night. Obviously the fast speed is from a big tow. (About performance on 1.5-mile tracks): "Our team has been quick at most places, especially the mile and halfs. Dan (Wheldon) was superfast here last year, and we've come quite aggressive, I think, for this weekend. That should definitely transfer into great speed and that's what it has done so far. We have had a few issues with this racecar with the rear end but it seemed to roll of the trailer pretty nice and it's got good speed. We're pretty happy." (About his season): " I'm sort of stuck in these second places and fourth places, which is a bit frustrating, looking at the last nine races including last year. We definitely want to get a race win. The team is very capable of it. Obviously the No. 10 car has had two wins already, which is not so good for us. We need to step it up and Texas would be a great place to do it. We've had a good couple of second place finishes here but we definitely need to turn these into some wins real quick."
TONY KANAAN (No. 11 Team 7-Eleven Dallara/Honda/Firestone, third-fastest): "We had a chance to work on a few things today and the Team 7-Eleven car responded very well to the changes we made. The evening session was helpful because it was similar to how we expect the conditions to be on race day. Overall, it was a good day for us."
SAM HORNISH JR. (No. 6 Team Penske Dallara/Honda/Firestone, fifth-fastest): "We worked on the race setup of the Team Penske car today. We were able run in traffic, and the car seems to be handling well. Overall, I think we had a fairly successful day, and we'll continue to fine tune the car to see if we can get a little more speed out of it tomorrow."
HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Team Penske Dallara/Honda/Firestone, seventh-fastest of the day): "Today we worked primarily on race setup with the Team Penske car. We managed to make progress all day, which is always a good thing. We also got a chance to run under the lights, which gave us a chance to simulate race conditions. Overall, we're satisfied with the progress we made today, but we'll keep working on the car tomorrow in hopes of making it two in a row at Texas.''
MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 26 NYSE Group Dallara/Honda/Firestone, eighth-fastest of the day): "The NYSE car was pretty quick today. We still have some work to do to make the car better under race conditions but I'm confident we'll get there. We've still got another session tomorrow to get ready for qualifying but it's more important to have a comfortable race car here."
DARIO FRANCHITTI (No. 27 Canadian Club Dallara/Honda/Firestone, second-fastest of the day): "All in all it wasn't a bad day for the Canadian Club car. We worked under various conditions. It was really nice to get a run in something close to race conditions. We are reasonably happy with it. We still have work to do, but we are going into the race with a positive frame of mind."
VITOR MEIRA (No. 4 Delphi Panther Dallara/Honda/Firestone, 10th-fastest of the day): "The car is good. We had a little bit of a push early in the first session but we had that sorted by the evening practice. It's great to know that the Delphi car is going to be racy and Saturday night should be a lot of fun. We'll see how we end up tomorrow in qualifications but I don't think it will be a huge deal. At Texas, it's all about your race setup and who is prepared for over 200 laps. I know Panther will be."
DANICA PATRICK (No. 7 Motorola Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "Tonight's session was very valuable since it was the only time we'll run at the actual time of day that the race is held. We just worked in traffic and tried to see how the Motorola car would be in a pack and how it would be in different situations. We're not quite where we need to be yet, but we learned quite a bit and can keep working on it from there."
FRIDAY'S SCHEDULE: (all times local):
11 a.m. IndyCar Series garage open
2:30 - 4:30 p.m. IndyCar Series practice (two groups)
6 p.m. AAMCO Transmissions Pole Qualifying
NOTE: Schedule subject to change due to weather.