Helio Castroneves Tops the Timesheets at Indy
Danica Patrick, who will race twice at Homestead-Miami Speedway this fall, posted her fastest speed of the month Sunday with a lap of 223.382 mph(photo courtesy: Ron Hoskins, Getty Images Sport)
Scott Dixon was second fastest at 226.202 with his Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammate and reigning IndyCar Champion – crowned at Homestead-Miami Speedway last fall – Dario Franchitti posting the third quickest speed of 226.044.
Said Castroneves: "Today was a good day for Team Penske. Despite the weather, with it raining off and on, we were still able to work on some areas to make the car better for the race. It's always good to be out there learning something. On the fast lap, I just put myself in a good position to get a good draft, and we wound up with a faster lap than yesterday."
The day also brought the first contact of the month of May when three-time Homestead-Miami winner, 2005 Indianapolis 500 and St. Petersburg resident Dan Wheldon hit the outside retaining wall at the exit of Turn 4. Wheldon sustained a bruised foot in the crash, but expected to be back in the car May 17.
"I'm not 100 percent sure what happened,” said Wheldon. “We'll have to go back and look at the data. It's obviously not the way you want to start the second day at Indianapolis."
Danica Patrick—who will race at Homestead-Miami Speedway during both IndyCar Championship Weekend (Oct. 2) and NASCAR’s Ford Championship Weekend (Nov. 20)—posted her fastest speed of the month Sunday with a lap of 223.382 mph.
"Surprisingly, we had a good practice session even though we were not very high on the charts,” said Patrick. “We tried a few different race setups, and a few worked and a few didn't. And sometimes it is just as important to eliminate an idea as it is to agree with it. But the GoDaddy car is definitely headed in the right direction."
Wheldon, Patrick, Castroneves, Dixon, Franchitti and the rest of the IndyCar field will resume the pursuit for fall glory in Miami on Sunday, May 30, in Race 6 at Indianapolis (12 p.m. EST on ABC, IMS Radio Network, XM Ch. 145 and Sirius Ch. 211). Both the IZOD IndyCar and Firestone Indy Lights Series Championships will culminate at Homestead-Miami Speedway during the NextEra Energy IndyCar Championships (Oct. 1-2). For ticket information, stay tuned to THEChampionshipTrack.com or call toll free (866) 409-RACE.