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DATE News (chronologically)
02/29/08
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Wheldon tops Day 2 test at Homestead UPDATE Former Indianapolis 500 and IndyCar Series champion Dan Wheldon led the field over two nights of IndyCar Series pre-season testing at Homestead-Miami Speedway, the first of four pre-season tests in the newly unified American open-wheel racing league.

Last Friday, leaders of the IndyCar Series and Champ Car World Series announced that the two organizations were merging, effective immediately.  The announcement came too late for Champ Car teams to participate in this week's test at the 1.5-mile south Florida oval, and they will have their own two-day test here prior to the season-opening race Saturday night, March 29.

Meanwhile, Wheldon continued to demonstrate his mastery of the Homestead oval.  The Target Chip Ganassi Racing driver has won the last three IndyCar season-openers at Homestead, and also headed pre-season testing here in 2007.  His best-lap average of 213.312 mph was set on Wednesday's opening night of the test.

Wheldon was followed by teammate Scott Dixon at 213.277 mph, who also set his fastest lap on Wednesday.  Andretti Green Racing's Danica Patrick sat out the first night of the test due to a severe case of the 'flu, but rebounded to lead the field today - and take the third fastest speed overall - at 213.162 mph.

Testing continues for IndyCar teams next week at the Sebring International Raceway road course in central Florida.  Champ Car teams taking part in the merged series will test at Sebring on March 19-20, and here at Homestead on March 24-25.

Combined Full Field Rundown:

Ps. Driver Team Chassis Best Time Average Speed
1. Dan Wheldon Target Chip Ganassi Honda Dallara 25.0619 213.312 mph
2. Scott Dixon Target Chip Ganassi Honda Dallara 25.0660 213.277
3. Danica Patrick Andretti Green Racing Honda Dallara 25.0772 213.162
4. Ryan Briscoe Team Penske Honda Dallara 25.0920 213.056
5. A.J. Foyt IV Vision Racing Honda Dallara 25.1059 212.938
6. Helio Castroneves Team Penske Honda Dallara 25.1211 212.809
7. Tony Kanaan Andretti Green Racing Honda Dallara 25.1227 212.796
8. Hideki Mutoh-R Andretti Green Racing Honda Dallara 25.1463 212.596
9. Marco Andretti Andretti Green Racing Honda Dallara 25.2465 211.752
10. Ed Carpenter Vision Racing Honda Dallara 25.2691 211.563
11. Vitor Meira Delphi Panther Racing Honda Dallara 25.3520 210.871
12. Buddy Rice Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Honda Dallara 25.3716 210.708
13. Ryan Hunter-Reay Rahal Letterman Racing Honda Dallara 25.3934 210.527
14. Milka Duno Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Honda Dallara 25.5604 209.152
15. Darren Manning A.J. Foyt Racing Honda Dallara 25.5932 208.884
16. Marty Roth Roth Racing Honda Dallara 26.0641 205.110



02/29/08 Danica Patrick made an abbreviated appearance on media day at Homestead-Miami Speedway Feb. 26, didn't turn a lap on the first day of an IndyCar Series Open Test Feb. 27, then came out feeling less than 100 percent on Feb. 28 but still set the pace on the final day of testing.

Despite feeling ill, Patrick was the quickest of 16 drivers on the 1.5-mile, high-banked oval, recording a best lap of 25.0772 seconds, 213.182 mph.

"I was sicker than I've ever been before on a day when I had to do something," said Patrick. "I was dizzy and my head was full of pressure. I didn't feel balanced - on top of other things. For me, it would have been silly to try and push it and go out there and try and feel the edge at a place like Homestead where the grip and the intensity level is pretty high compared to the rest of the mile-and-a-halfs.

"Today was a good day. It's kind of nice to go out there, skip a day, go out and be quickest. We were definitely struggling with the race car. Until the very end of the day we were really pushing to figure it out. We definitely didn't have it down. At the end of the day, we're all walking away pretty happy. The team did a good job of working in the offseason."

Team Penske newcomer Ryan Briscoe was second-fastest with a best lap of 213.056 mph, while Target Chip Ganassi Racing's Dan Wheldon, who has won the past three 300-mile races at the track, was third-fastest with a lap of 212.980 mph.

Wheldon, who led the first night of testing with a lap at 213.312 mph, will look for his fourth consecutive victory at Homestead-Miami Speedway when the IndyCar Series opens the 2008 season on March 29.

Overall, drivers completed 3,463 laps through the course of two evenings under the lights.

Also on Feb. 28, AFS Racing/Andretti Green Racing's Raphael Matos was the quickest driver in Indy Pro Series testing. Twenty drivers completed 2,576 laps in six hours of on-track activity. Matos paced the field with a quick lap of 28.5528 seconds, 187.232 mph. The test was the only pre-season Open Test for the Indy Pro Series, which will open the season March 29 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

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