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DATE News (chronologically)
05/09/08
irl
Dixon tops Indy speeds before rain hits  Scott Dixon, Marco Andretti and Tony Kanaan turned the fastest laps Friday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway before heavy rains cancelled practice yet again.  More later....

Friday Speeds

Pos

Driver Diff Gap Best Time Best Speed
1 Scott Dixon (9) ... ... 39.6531 226.968
2 Marco Andretti (26) 0.0452 0.0452 39.6983 226.710
3 Tony Kanaan (11) 0.0491 0.0039 39.7022 226.688
4 Ryan Briscoe (6) 0.1447 0.0956 39.7978 226.143
5 Hideki Mutoh (27) 0.1716 0.0269 39.8247 225.990
6 Dan Wheldon (10) 0.2275 0.0559 39.8806 225.674
7 Vitor Meira (4T) 0.3805 0.1530 40.0336 224.811
8 Danica Patrick (7) 0.3925 0.0120 40.0456 224.744
9 Tomas Scheckter (12) 0.3981 0.0056 40.0512 224.712
10 Ryan Hunter-Reay (17) 0.5030 0.1049 40.1561 224.125
11 Helio Castroneves (3) 0.5226 0.0196 40.1757 224.016
12 Buddy Rice (15) 0.5986 0.0760 40.2517 223.593
13 Alex Lloyd (16) 0.6065 0.0079 40.2596 223.549
14 Townsend Bell (99) 0.6122 0.0057 40.2653 223.518
15 Graham Rahal (06) 0.6530 0.0408 40.3061 223.291
16 Oriol Servia (5) 0.7014 0.0484 40.3545 223.023
17 A.J. Foyt IV (2) 0.7092 0.0078 40.3623 222.980
18 Darren Manning (14) 0.7509 0.0417 40.4040 222.750
19 Ed Carpenter (20) 0.7856 0.0347 40.4387 222.559
20 Justin Wilson (02) 0.8038 0.0182 40.4569 222.459
21 Will Power (8) 0.8308 0.0270 40.4839 222.311
22 EJ Viso (33) 0.8701 0.0393 40.5232 222.095
23 Sarah Fisher (67) 0.8915 0.0214 40.5446 221.978
24 Davey Hamilton (22) 1.0661 0.1746 40.7192 221.026
25 Bruno Junqueira (18) 1.0851 0.0190 40.7382 220.923
26 Max Papis (44) 1.1763 0.0912 40.8294 220.429
27 Marty Roth (25) 1.3925 0.2162 41.0456 219.268
28 Milka Duno (23) 1.4371 0.0446 41.0902 219.030
29 Jay Howard (24) 1.4482 0.0111 41.1013 218.971
30 Mario Moraes (19) 1.5759 0.1277 41.2290 218.293
31 Mario Dominguez (96) 1.6469 0.0710 41.300 217.918
32 Jaime Camara (36T) 1.9869 0.3400 41.6400 216.138
33 Enrique Bernoldi (36) 2.2448 0.2579 41.8979 214.808

INDYCAR SERIES END-OF-DAY QUOTES:
 
HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Team Penske): “I guess Mother Nature is just not cooperating with us this week. It's too bad we couldn't run more today. I would have liked to have done a few more things out there, but I still think we're in good shape for tomorrow. I'm not concerned with the other drivers' speeds today, because I think a lot of them were getting tows. It'll be interesting to see who has what during qualifying tomorrow. It is what it is, and it's the same for everyone. We'll use the short practice session in the morning to our advantage and see what we can do. It would be the best birthday present tomorrow if I could put the #3 Team Penske car on the front row.” (Castroneves turns 33 tomorrow)
 
RYAN BRISCOE (No. 6 Team Penske): “It was great to get back out on the track today after a couple of days off. We went out to continue working on our qualifying setup, and we were really happy with the balance and speed of the car. As a result, we didn't want to risk anything by running in traffic too much and called it a day after 24 laps. It will definitely be interesting to see how much everyone gambles tomorrow given the fact that the weather isn't looking so good for Sunday. Overall, we're cautiously optimistic about our chances.”
 
JAY HOWARD (No. 24 Roth Racing): “Well, more rain. We were sort of counting on the hours this afternoon. I think that's important for us, but I think we'll be fine.” (About driving in traffic): “It's always a little bit harder, especially when you come out on a new run and there's cars circulating. It does make it difficult to get in a groove without trying to screw anyone else up. Several times I went down to the apron, just to try to stay out of people's way. There's other drivers out there not doing the same for me, which isn't very nice, but whatever. That kind of makes it difficult trying to get up to speed, get the tires up to temperature and all that, but once you're going, it feels pretty good.” (About qualifying tomorrow): “To be honest, I don't know. I doubt we're going to run any qualifying attempts.”
 
MARIO DOMINGUEZ (No. 96 Visit Mexico City/Pacific Coast Motorsports): “I am really disappointed. I was returning to the track for our second full run, and I exited too fast coming out of the pits. I lost the rear of the car and crashed into the inside wall. I got a few laps at speed, and this is so unfortunate because we were on the way to making our car better. Everyone is telling me to keep my patience. We are already behind, and I guess I was trying to rush it back out there. We are working hard, and we have a lot of work to do.”
 
ORIOL SERVIA (No. 5 KV Racing Technology): “I am very happy with today’s practice, especially compared to the last time we were on track. KV Racing Technology made some changes that really improved the car. We didn’t get too many runs today, but the car felt really, really, really good. We still have a little bit more to trim, and then I think we are going to have decent speed. However, it is hard to tell because everyone gets towed, and we did too, but I am happy with how the KVRT car feels, and that is the most important thing. I think tomorrow the pole position will be mid-225 mph, and I think we may have a shot at being in the top 15, and if we do it right we could be in the top 11.”
 
WILL POWER (No. 8 Aussie Vineyard-Team Australia): “It was not a very productive day for the KV Racing Technology Aussie Vineyards-Team Australia guys. There were a lot of yellows this afternoon, and then the rain came, so we didn’t get the track time we needed. That put us back a bit. There were also a lot of cars running around in tows today, so it is really hard to get a feel for what speeds people are actually running. It is going to be very interesting tomorrow.”
 
VITOR MEIRA (No. 4 Delphi National Guard): “Man, our car is fast. The only issue we had is in Turn 1, where the car is pushing, but in the other three turns the car is great. On our fastest lap, I even lifted a little in 1, so I know we're going to be quick tomorrow. I don't know where we'll end up because there are a lot of quick cars out here, but we feel like we can get in the show tomorrow. It's always a fun day.”
 
RYAN HUNTER-REAY (No. 17 Rahal Letterman Racing Team Ethanol): “It was a step forward that we really needed today. We made some big strides and really helped our confidence heading into tomorrow. We went back to basics and used some of our data from Homestead, and it made a big difference. It was a pretty impressive time on our own, but we still have some work to do if we want to challenge for a front-row spot.”
 
BOBBY RAHAL (Co-owner, Rahal Letterman Racing): “I’m disappointed for Alex and his team and crew. He’d been doing such a good job and was going well, but we’ll fix the car and get ready for tomorrow. I thought Ryan had a particularly strong day today and there’s a lot of confidence growing there. We’ve been playing it fairly conservatively so far, but I think we’ll have a strong chance to be in the top 11 tomorrow.”
 
MARTY ROTH (No. 25 Roth Racing): “We had a lousy day. It's not what we expected, but it's Indy. We're just battling through it. We were really counting on today as far as peeling some downforce off, and we really haven't been able to do that. We went to the first stage, and we had about four more stages to go today and we just didn't get there. We'll take another shot at it tomorrow.” (About qualifying Saturday): “I hope we can go for it tomorrow. It depends on how far we get peeling the downforce off. We just have to get very aggressive. We're just going to have to make a call on it. See what's happening and go through the date. The problem is that after the first session today, we went out and we lost our data and we didn't really have much to go on. We came back and had to fix it and went back out, so that early morning session was a bit of a waste. We just had to take it from there. We're behind the eight ball. We're just going to have to suck it up, take a big jump and see where it lands us tomorrow. We've been qualifying real well. We did well at Kansas and we did well at Homestead, so we were looking forward to doing it again here and having the luxury of doing some full-tank testing and putting the car in traffic, rather than trying to qualify for the two weeks. We're still looking forward to next week of building a race car, not a qualifying car.”
 
MARIO MORAES (No. 19 The SONNY Car): “Yeah, it’s my first time here, so I am excited. It’s a different track from all the other tracks I have been on. It’s a superspeedway. I feel like we were developing the car, but the low points have obviously been losing the past two days. The good point is that we have been able to work on the car and get better. We were just starting to put the qualifying setup on the car when it started to rain.” (On practicing enough to be comfortable in the car): “I’ve been able to get in my zone out there, and we are really proud of what we are doing. We feel like we can qualify this weekend. Tomorrow? Maybe not, but definitely on Sunday.”
 
A.J. FOYT IV (No. 2 Vision Racing): “I'm glad we got at least a half of a day running in, and I think we definitely made some improvements to the car from our first day out. Now that we've got the car right, it's just a matter of finding more speed. I'm happy with how the day went and happy with the car. We've got a long way to go, but the Vision team is definitely on the right path.”
 
ED CARPENTER (No. 20 Menards/Vision Racing): “Opening Day was a bit of a tough day for us, so I've been dying to get back on track after two days of rain. We had a ton of things to try, and I'm much happier with our Menards Vision car, but I still feel like we have a lot left that we need to try. We'll take a leap of faith with some of the stuff tomorrow in practice and qualifying and see where we end up.”
 
DAVEY HAMILTON (No. 22 Hewlett-Packard/KR Vision Racing): “It's a bit of a disappointment because I expected to have more speed than we have had, but the good thing is I've been here a lot and I won't let it get me worried. This is Indy, and things change fast. What has me confident is the times I did in the car were done on my own without any tow. At this point Ed (Carpenter) and Anthony (Foyt) went a little faster by trimming out and doing qualifying sims while I worked on trying out more aerodynamic parts. We want to be in that top 11, and I still really think we can do it. It's going to take a lot of work, but I'm hoping things will go our way. It's probably just one small adjustment, but these Vision engineers are smart and they’re looking at everything, and I have faith they'll find it.”
 
MAX PAPIS (No. 44 Rubicon Race Team/Lifelock): “Today is only my second day with the car. The engineers and crew haven’t worked on this car all year long, so I think they have done an awesome job so far. Everyone would like to see faster numbers on the board, but to put it in the wall here it takes very little, so we need to find a compromise since we don’t have a backup car here. I think tomorrow’s pole speed is going to be very fast, especially if the track is fresh. We are definitely going to run tomorrow. We just need a few extra hours of dry practice. We are right on time with what we want to do. We have a great race car, but we just need a little more time to find a little more speed for qualifying, and we are approaching things very methodically.”
 
SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing): “It's been a great start for our team, in general. Two wins, and I think we could have a lot more throughout the season. To be fast on Fast Friday, I've been in that spot before, and it didn't work out well in the past. Hopefully, we don't carry that tradition on. Today, as these guys said earlier, was kind of a tow-fest. It was very hard to get clear laps. I maybe had a couple of clear laps the whole day today, and I think we could see everybody's speed fell off when they were by themselves. The team seems pretty focused. I think in the morning we need to decide if we have a legit shot at pole and whether we're going to go for it. I don't think we're going to waste tires and energy going for it if we don't think we have a clear shot at it. I think last year we worked on it in the morning session, and we struggled a little bit for qualifyin g because of the weather conditions. I think we sort of planned to be a little more safe so far, and that's going to help us tomorrow for the balance and things like that. We'll just have to see how it goes. Right now, we're happy being in the top three on both days. It's a shame we haven't had more clear weather so we don't have everyone running on the track." (About potential of re-qualifying): "Most people are going to throw one in the bag try to put up a good, solid effort. I know we did that last year. This year is going to be such a mess. The problem isn't going to be us running for the pole. The problem for our teams and people in our same situation are the 20 or 22 or more cars running for 11th spot. They're going to clog up the lines, so we're going for a safe one early on. Well, that's what I want to do. I'll have to check with the team on what we would like to do, and then we'll come back and gamble later. But that's if we're happy with the first attemp t and then feel like we can come back later. The weather goi! ng to be cooler, and the track condition will be nice, so you may see some big time numbers later.”
 
DAN WHELDON (No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing): “There’s not been much track time, so it has been unfortunate for the fans and certainly people who want to be on track, which I’m one of. This is obviously a great place to drive around. We’re just working toward qualifying, and I don’t think the tires are such an issue now with all the rain. We’ve definitely got plenty of tires to throw at it tomorrow, and that’s what we’ll do. Everybody at Target Chip Ganassi Racing has worked very hard to get good race cars and fast race cars so we can qualify up front. I think we’d be letting those guys down if we didn’t really go for it. We definitely feel that we have a car capable of the pole. We just have to see how everything plays out tomorrow.” (With the rain again today, do you approach tomorrow morning differently with a completely c lean track?): “Nah, it’s just the same for everybody. It doesn’t matter how green the track is. If your car has a good balance, you’ll be quick anyway.”
 
TOWNSEND BELL (No. 99 Dreyer & Reinbold William Rast Racing): “I very pleased with our car. I only got in two runs today before the rain hit. Buddy (Rice) and I are on the same page with the setup, and we like our cars. It is great working with Buddy. His feedback is so good, and we have been able to exchange information freely. Out of the box today, I ran a 223.5 on older tires. We put on new Firestones, and I was on a hot lap. But Ryan Hunter-Reay had a problem and slowed right in front of me. So I didn’t get the flying lap I wanted. I felt like I was at least in the 224-plus range. I think Buddy and I are looking for a top-11 qualifying spot. It would be great to get in the field on the first day of qualifying.”
 
BUDDY RICE (No. 15 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing): “We were able to get some clean laps late in our runs. With all of the drafts out there, it’s hard to tell who is fast by themselves. There are some very stout cars out there. But we were able to run pretty close to them. The Ganassi cars are really strong. They should be the favorites for the pole. I thought it would take a 225-plus to win the pole. But now I think it will be a 224.5 to win it. The conditions were good today. So you saw some good speeds. By yourself and running four laps, I think you’ll see the number drop. Both Townsend (Bell) and I have been working well together, and we ran speeds very close today. I think we both have a good shot as first-day qualifiers. That is our goal.”
 
MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 26 Team Indiana Jones presented by Blockbuster): “The Indiana Jones/Blockbuster car has definitely shown signs of consistency right from the start, which is definitely a positive. No big changes, just kind of tinkering away at it. We’re really just working on what I’m sure the majority of the field is working on right now – just taking off downforce and trying to keep the balance to remain good. And so far so good. Hopefully tomorrow we’ll roll off the same. I think we’re ready to go, which is definitely good. So bring on tomorrow. The good thing is we’ve remained consistent. We haven’t changed much since we ran Tuesday. I was a little bit concerned, because we know how Indy can be rolling off with the same exact car even an hour later can be a pretty big change. But it remained a good balance.” (About Pole Day strategy) : “I’m sure like everybody else, my first attempt I’m going to go for it, but expecting to have to go again. I just want to get it in on the first day, but obviously the pole would be huge. I’m not sure if I get bumped to second that I would line up again. But having said that, I’m not sure that we’ll be exactly safe three-quarters through the day even if we’re fifth. So I’ll definitely be prepared to go again.” (Toughest competitor for pole): “That’s the beauty of IndyCar racing – you don’t know. It could be one of 22 guys or girls. It’s going to be really tough. All I can do is maximize myself in the car, same as everybody else. It’s going to be what it’s going to be. We’re going to be going for it. If my first run is not good enough, be looking for me again.” (Will you be the next big story of the series?): “I don’t really always look for the media side of things; I want to win races. And where I happen to be is ! a place that I live my whole life around. I don’t want to win for the media; I want to win this for myself. Same with every race. That’s how I go in to every race. That’s how we look at it. This race to me means more than words can speak. My family has been trying to win this longer than I’ve been around. This place means a lot to our family.”
 
MILKA DUNO (No. 23 CITGO/Dreyer & Reinbold Racing): “We have a better car than Tuesday. We've made great improvements for today's practice, and my team is working very hard to increase the car's speed and performance. I think we’ll continue to improve during the weekend.”
 
JUSTIN WILSON (No. 02 McDonald’s Racing Team): “Today was OK. The weather conditions were very different from when we ran earlier in the week so the McDonald’s car was feeling very different. We slowly worked through it, and I thought we were reasonable at the end. I was happy with the balance at the end, and the speed was getting better. It just takes time to adapt to these different conditions. We don’t have the experience to call upon to make the big jump. We’ve got to take one small step after another. I think the pole will be right at 225 mph, maybe 224.5.”
 
GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 06 Hole in the Wall Camps): “I think that overall it was a pretty good day. We got a lot of time on track despite the rain. We’re still trying to find speed, unfortunately. I don’t know when it’s going to come but I hope we find it. I think the pole speed will be 225-something (mph). I could be wrong, but I think the people doing 226s (mph) are getting a tow to do that. I would guess it will be a high 225 like last year.”
 
E.J. VISO (No. 33 PDVSA HVM Racing): “Well, we were really unlucky. We just went out there a couple of laps. We came to the garage to do a couple of trimmings just to go out and look for a reasonable time, and then the water came down.” (Regarding the plan for tomorrow morning): “Trim the car down, yeah, as much as possible and let’s see what the numbers say. Maybe we qualify tomorrow; maybe not.”
 
TONY KANAAN (No. 11 Team 7-Eleven): “I’m very happy with the Team 7-Eleven car. We would like to have gotten more time on the track, but you never know what kind of weather you are going to get in Indianapolis. We’ve had two very productive days this week, and we feel good with the car we have.”
 
TOMAS SCHECKTER (No. 12 Symantec Luczo Dragon Racing): “I am really happy with today. We ran into some issues this morning, but everyone worked very well together and got us back on the track. We’re a little bit off of where we want to be for qualifying, but we’re getting close. We pushed it a little bit today, and we’ll do a little bit more tomorrow. We just met for 45 minutes, and I am extremely confident we’ll find some things that will make us even quicker.” (About being called a dark horse): “I led this race for 80 laps my first year and I led it again for 70 laps, so I have been a dark horse a few times. What it means is that we have a good team. I am proud of the Symantec crew. They are a great sponsor. We put this great group together in a short period of time, and we have a very competitive car. Hopefully that will all add up to a dark horse c elebrating in Victory Lane on May 25.”

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