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Power tops opening Motegi practice, Sato crashes again
Takuma 'Crash' Sato on his way out of the pits to wad up yet another Dallara Honda
Ron McQueeney/IRL
There was a collective gasp from the large crowd at Twin Ring Motegi assembling for practice-qualifying day as the No. 5 Lotus car for KV Racing Technology spun and backed into the SAFER Barrier between Turns 1 and 2 early in the morning session.

Takuma Sato was checked at the infield care center and cleared to drive. An oil line failure spewed oil onto the rear tire, causing the car to spin. The Holmatro Safety Team laid a chemical substance to soak up oil from the start/finish line all the way to the point of impact.

“The good news is the primary car looks good and the crew are going to repair it," said Sato, who was on his sixth lap during the first practice session for the Indy Japan 300 on the 1.5-mile track. "It’s disappointing but at least I’m fine."

He is expected to join the field midway through the 60-minute session (11:30 p.m. ET live on indycar.com) that precedes qualifications (2:30 a.m. ET). He drew the 18th spot for two-lap qualifying. Sato, who competed on the road course at Twin Ring Motegi in Formula One as recently as 2007, is making his debut on the oval.

Will Power
Ron McQueeney/IRL
IZOD IndyCar Series championship points leader Will Power, also making his debut on the track, turned the most laps (53) of the 25 drivers and topped the speed chart for the practice with a lap of 201.245 mph (27.1908 seconds).

Team Penske teammate Helio Castroneves, a three-time pole sitter and 2006 winner here, was second (200.010 mph; 27.3587 seconds) and Panther Racing's Dan Wheldon (199.866) was third. He won in 2004 and '05.

Target Chip Ganassi Racing's Dario Franchitti, 17 points behind Power entering the 200-lap race, was sixth (198.229).



Driver Team Time Behind
1. Will Power Penske Racing 27.1908s +0.0000s
2. Helio Castroneves Penske Racing 27.3587s +0.1679s
3. Dan Wheldon Panther Racing 27.3784s +0.1876s
4. Tony Kanaan Andretti Autosport 27.5047s +0.1263s
5. Scott Dixon Ganassi Racing 27.5568s +0.3660s
6. Dario Franchitti Ganassi Racing 27.6045s +0.4137s
7. Alex Tagliani FAZZT 27.6285s +0.4377s
8. Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport 27.6338s +0.4430s
9. Ryan Briscoe Penske Racing 27.6410s +0.4502s
10. Danica Patrick Andretti Autosport 27.6420s +0.4512s
11. Marco Andretti Andretti Autosport 27.6445s +0.4537s
12. Graham Rahal Newman/Haas 27.7152s +0.5244s
13. EJ Viso KV Racing 27.7261s +0.5353s
14. Hideki Mutoh Newman/Haas 27.7763s +0.5875s
15. Roger Yasukawa Conquest 27.8131s +0.6223s
16. Mario Moraes KV Racing 27.8306s +0.6398s
17. Paul Tracy Dreyer & Reinbold 27.8641s +0.6733s
18. Bertrand Baguette Conquest Racing 27.8754s +0.6846s
19. Alex Lloyd Dale Coyne Racing 27.9637s +0.7729s
20. Simona de Silvestro HVM Racing 28.0488s +0.8580s
21. Vitor Meira Foyt 28.0505s +0.8597s
22. Justin Wilson Dreyer & Reinbold 28.1216s +0.9308s
23. Raphael Matos De Ferran Dragon 28.2101s +1.0193s
24. Milka Duno Dale Coyne Racing 28.7343s +1.5435s
25. Takuma Sato KV Racing 28.7702s +1.5794s

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