Indy Fast Friday News Tidbits Alex Tagliani and Ed Carpenter on top of speed charts for most of the day, but a last-hour run by Helio Castroneves (228.611) took fast speed of the day. This marked one of the few bright spots of the season for Helio. However, Helio still said he saw Jesus during this scary fast lap (referring of course to last year, when he said he talked to Jesus on pole day). Helio admitted that he caught a tow on the lap, and not likely to repeat the performance tomorrow. Although, he added, he thought that everyone had a bit more in the tank for tomorrow. The "Tow report" -- which eliminates any car's time when it's less than 7 seconds behind another car -- reports that Scott Dixon was the fastest non-tow at 227.9, followed by Helio, Powers, Tagliani and Bertrand Baguette.
FYI, Bertrand is from Belgium. Not France. Don't make that mistake. Bertrand is fast, and don't make the mistake of ignoring the Rahal Letterman Lanigan team in your office pools either. Bertrand is 5th on the combined speed charts.
UNCONFIRMED but widely talked about -- Scott Speed is out at Dragon. Maybe. Perhaps, we dunno. Maybe he's back in. Scott is currently buried deep in the speed chart in 46th, and rumor has it that he hasn't been playing nice with this team.
Simona de Silvestro still remains one of the big stories. She was checked twice by Indy doctors, but has not yet been cleared to drive. Not that it mattered -- her team is still assembling a car around a 2003-vintage road racing car tub back in the garage, in a long-shot hope of qualifying for the race. To say that HVM racing is poorly funded is being charitable, so the chances of her renting a car to replace her current scrap pile is virtually zero.
Another big story of the day is that Andretti Autosport cars are lagging behind the field. So much so that it isn't out of the question that at least one won't make the 33-car field (41 cars, give or take Simona). Leading the Andretti pack is Marco, who is 15th on the combined speed charts (which includes "T" backup cars). Danica is 20th, Ryan Hunter-Reay 31st, John Andretti 33rd, and Mike Conway a stunning 42nd.
Lastly -- the local Hoosier press room weather pundits are claiming that rain will interrupt tomorrow's qualification attempts. No word from Indy officials as to the plans should rain interrupt. Tim Wohlford reporting from Indy
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