IRL Spring Training Update from Day 2


2005 IndyCar Series champion Dan Wheldon paced the IndyCar Series Open Test on the oval at Homestead-Miami Speedway for the second consecutive day, but this time without incident.


      Wheldon, who was fastest during testing on Day 1 at the variably banked 1.5-mile oval, recorded a lap of 24.9405 seconds, 214.350 mph in the No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda-powered Dallara.


"It was a very good test in terms of outright speed, but I did destroy a car the first day," Wheldon said. "That was my first crash since 2003. I'm performing well, but there are still some improvements that we can make. I know (Tony) Kanaan is quicker than he's letting on, and Sam (Hornish Jr.) is always quick. Scott (Dixon) had a little bit of trouble with his car, but it will be fixed and he'll be up with us for the race.


"It was a productive two days other than the fact that I did $300,000 worth of damage. Chip (Ganassi) was nice about it. I have a good relationship with Chip.  I made a mistake yesterday. I was working in traffic, and I just lost too much of the car too soon. You're going to make mistakes. I never said that I was perfect. But when you race on ovals and you make a mistake, it can be expensive. Chip understands that, and I think he respects that fact that if I make a mistake I'll tell him.


Wheldon's lap was faster than 2006 IndyCar Series champion Sam Hornish Jr. in the No. 6 Team Penske Honda-powered Dallara, who recorded a best lap of 24.9606, 214.178 mph. Tony Kanaan (214.119 mph) Marco Andretti (213.944 mph) and Helio Castroneves (213.869 mph) rounded out the day's fast five.


"We're not exactly where we want to be yet, but we're in a lot better shape than where we were last night," Hornish said. "We're going to continue to analyze the data to see if we can continue to move forward. Hopefully, we'll have everything straightened out when we come back for the race."


Also on Feb. 22, Bobby Wilson led the oval-testing portion of the Indy Pro Series Open Test at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Wilson, driver of Brian Stewart Racing's No. 1 entry, recorded a lap of 28.7611, 185.876 mph. Sam Schmidt Motorsports driver Alex Lloyd was second-fastest at 28.7828, 185.736 mph.


There were 2,852 incident-free laps turned by IndyCar Series cars and 2,817 incident-free laps turned by Indy Pro Series cars.







      TONY KANAAN (No. 11 Team 7-Eleven Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "This was really a one-day test for Team 7-Eleven.  We had some issues yesterday and didn't get much time on the track.  We had the speed today for sure but I'm not happy with my race car.  It was productive because we learned what to do and what not to do but we don't have any test days left to get ready for the first race so we'll see what happens."




      MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 26 NYSE Group Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "I have to hand it to the NYSE team.  They did an awesome job getting the car ready and finding exactly what we need.  There's still work to do but now we're in it.  I didn't always look forward to coming to one-and-a-half mile ovals last year but if this test is any indication, I think we'll be in good shape this year."




      HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Team Penske Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "Things seem to be a little different for us this year with the changes in the rear wing and a new tire compound, so we've been searching for the right combination that will allow us to get to the top of the speed charts. I think that there are a lot of teams like us who aren't exactly where they want to be at this point. We've made progress, though, so we're optimistic that when the engineers get back to the race shop and have a chance to analyze the data we've collected that we'll be able to come back here in a couple of weeks and contend for the win."








LOGAN GOMEZ (No. 23 Sam Schmidt Motorsports, fourth-fastest): "The Sam Schmidt Motorsports team gave me a great car to learn on. There w:st="on">'s no better team I could've jumped on to. They couldn't have made it easier for me to learn how to drive on an oval, especially one like this. It takes a lot of confidence to go around here flat out, for me. It was a big step. The team really made it easy, comfortable car. From there, we focused on getting it fast. Having a great teammate like Alex (Lloyd) to go out there and go flat out in five laps really set the benchmark too. Hopefully, rookies like myself get to get the right habits going, learn how to drive in a pack, and hopefully we'll have some good, clean racing this year."




ALEX LLOYD (No. 7 Sam Schmidt Motorsports, second fastest): "We had a good day. We had a few troubles just before lunch and right after lunch, which cost us a couple of hours of running, so we didn't get to do any running in a pack at the end. We did a 28.8 on our own, not in qualifying spec really either, so we were very happy with our pace. I think were comfortably quickest out there on our own. Unfortunately, I thought on my last lap I was going to get a really good draft and try and come away with P1, but it didn't happen. The cars in front got a bit tangled up, and I had to back off a bit. But all in all we were really happy. It's amazing how good the car is. It's really a very well-balanced car. We're looking forward to the race."




BOBBY WILSON (No. 1 Brian Stewart Racing, fastest driver during test): "Hats off to the team today. They did a great job. The car was awesome. I'd like to thank my sponsor, Ocala Gran Prix, for allowing me this opportunity to run with Brian Stewart Racing this year. My outlook is very positive and optimistic. We showed some speed straight away in the session and then kept getting faster. All in all it's a good day. We were trying some different setups. It's pretty windy out there, and one end of the track handles a little different than the other. We were just kind of jacking around with various setups. We came

across a pretty good compromise, and that's how we got our time."


Courtesy of IRL





      The 2007 IndyCar Series season begins under the lights with the XM Satellite Radio Indy 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on March 24. The race will be telecast live by ESPN2 at 8 p.m. (ET) and broadcast by the IMS Radio Network. A Spanish-language telecast of the race will be carried by ESPN Deportes. The IMS Radio Network broadcast also is carried on XM Satellite Radio and The sixth season of Indy Pro Series competition begins with the Homestead-Miami 100 on March 24 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. It will be webcast live on and will be telecast on at 5 p.m. (ET) on March 28 by ESPN2.
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