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DATE News (chronologically)
05/20/11
irl
Castroneves tops Friday speeds at Indy
An exciting "Fast Friday" at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway set the stage for Saturday's Pole Day qualifying, with Team Penske's Helio Castroneves setting the pace with a lap of 228.611 mph, the fastest run in four days of practice this week.

Other potential pole contenders include both Alex Tagliani with Sam Schmidt Motorsports and Sarah Fisher Racing's Ed Carpenter, who have been at or near the top of the speed charts all week; Castroneves' teammates, Ryan Briscoe and Will Power; and the Target Chip Ganassi Racing duo of Scott Dixon and defending race winner Dario Franchitti.

All but one of the 40 drivers in the field practiced today.  Simona de Silvestro is not yet cleared to drive after suffering burns in a spectacular crash during practice on Thursday.  A rear suspension failure sent de Silvestro's HVM Racing Honda Dallara hard into the Turn 3 wall.  The car then became airborne and rolled before coming to rest, on fire, in Turn 4.

The 2010 Indy 500 Rookie of the Year was able to get out of her overturned car unassisted, but sustained second-degree burns on her right hand and additional, less serious burns on her left hand.  She hopes to return to action in her backup car for qualifying this weekend.

Action at the speedway continues tomorrow with a morning practice session, followed by Pole Day
qualifying to set the first 24 starting positions for the 100th anniversary Indianapolis 500.  Qualifying coverage will be provided by Versus, beginning at 11 a.m. EDT.

Helio Castroneves (#3 Team Penske Honda) fastest in practice Friday and for the week, will attempt a record-setting third consecutive Indianapolis 500 pole: "There is something more in the car, but I think a lot of others have something more as well.  Today was 'Fast Friday' and a lot of people were laying down the [rear] wings and simulating qualifying.  We also made several runs in race trim earlier in the day.  It is very hard to get a clean lap when there are 40 cars out there, but even by ourselves we were in good shape.  We feel very confident and for sure, we're going to go for [the pole]."

Friday Speeds

Rank

Car Driver Diff. BLS Gap
1 3 Helio Castroneves --.---- 228.611 --.----
2 77 Alex Tagliani 0.0490 228.327 0.0490
3 9 Scott Dixon 0.0742 228.181 0.0252
4 6 Ryan Briscoe 0.1004 228.029 0.0262
5 30 Bertrand Baguette 0.1006 228.028 0.0002
6 67 Ed Carpenter 0.1025 228.017 0.0019
7 12 Will Power 0.1128 227.958 0.0103
8 99 Townsend Bell 0.1182 227.927 0.0054
9 2 Oriol Servia 0.1783 227.580 0.0601
10 98 Dan Wheldon 0.1987 227.463 0.0204
11 10 Dario Franchitti 0.2040 227.432 0.0053
12 5 Takuma Sato 0.2700 227.054 0.0660
13 14 Vitor Meira 0.2805 226.994 0.0105
14 4 JR Hildebrand 0.2900 226.939 0.0095
15 26 Marco Andretti 0.3055 226.851 0.0155
16 06 James Hinchcliffe 0.3061 226.847 0.0006
17 38 Graham Rahal 0.3160 226.791 0.0099
18 83 Charlie Kimball 0.3692 226.487 0.0532
19 44 Buddy Rice 0.3813 226.418 0.0121
20 22 Justin Wilson 0.4328 226.125 0.0515
21 19 Alex Lloyd 0.4342 226.117 0.0014
22 7 Danica Patrick 0.4530 226.010 0.0188
23 23 Paul Tracy 0.4556 225.996 0.0026
24 11 Davey Hamilton 0.5025 225.730 0.0469
25 82 Tony Kanaan 0.5065 225.707 0.0040
26 8 Ho-Pin Tung 0.5424 225.504 0.0359
27 36 Pippa Mann 0.5552 225.432 0.0128
28 59 EJ Viso 0.5598 225.406 0.0046
29 41 Bruno Junqueira 0.5616 225.396 0.0018
30 88 Jay Howard 0.5679 225.360 0.0063
31 28 Ryan Hunter-Reay 0.5955 225.204 0.0276
32 07 Tomas Scheckter 0.6067 225.141 0.0112
33 43 John Andretti 0.6477 224.911 0.0410
34 24 Ana Beatriz 0.6577 224.854 0.0100
35 17 Raphael Matos 0.7424 224.380 0.0847
36 27 Mike Conway 0.8895 223.560 0.1471
37 18 James Jakes 0.9189 223.397 0.0294
38 34 Sebastian Saavedra 1.0039 222.926 0.0850
39 20 Scott Speed 1.0729 222.546 0.0690

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