Wheldon Tops Veterans

Wheldon Tops Veterans

Wheldon Tops Veterans
RacingOne Report

Dan Wheldon was the man on top of the speed charts on Tuesday as the veteran brigade took to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for Indianapolis 500 practice.

Wheldon's best lap was at a blistering 225.074 mph.

"It was a good day to start the opening day of May," said Wheldon, who currently leads the series standings. "Obviously I get a little superstitious, and I've just signed a deal with Ritmo watches, and I was using that today, so I was a little nervous. It's definitely great being back at Indianapolis and to be going around this track. I'm just excited for the rest of the month."

Although today was the first full field practice at IMS, it is the third day of on-track activity following the Rookie Orientation Program and refresher course. That said, Wheldon's lap has reset the quickest lap time of the month.

However, he has stiff competition behind him as Helio Castroneves, Tomas Scheckter, Tony Kanaan and Scott Dixon rounded out the top five. From first to fifth, the difference in fast lap times is a mere 0.0908 seconds.

Michael Andretti, who was quickest in both days of the ROP program, was 12th fastest Tuesday with a best lap of 222.646 mph.

Jon Herb had the lone incident of the day, making hard contact with the SAFER Barrier in Turn 2. He was uninjured in the accident.

"I went off in the corner, and it turned good," said Herb about his accident. "It felt real good down at the bottom, and I guess that’s when I needed to pay attention because the next thing I know, I was sideways. It’s unfortunate, but luckily we have another car, so we’ll be all right. It caught us out there a little bit, and it wasn’t what we needed."

In all 27 cars took to the 2.5-mile speedway on Tuesday with another tune-up session set for Wednesday.

Qualifying for the 91st Indianapolis 500 begins this Saturday.

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Re: Wheldon Tops Veterans

Wheldon Leads Rain Shortened Practice
RacingOne Report

Dan Wheldon took all of seven laps to lay down the fastest lap of the month at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway – 226.391 mph (39.7543 seconds) – during a rain-abbreviated second day of practice for the 91st Indianapolis 500.

Helio Castroneves certainly wouldn’t allow that to go unchallenged, ripping off a 225.820 mph lap in the No. 3 Team Penske Dallara/Honda/Firestone, as Happy Hour wound down.

The procession of “top that speed” began in earnest as the May 12 run for the AAMCO Transmissions Pole Award and the first 11 spots draws neigh. Wheldon’s Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammate, Scott Dixon, was third (224.902 mph) in the No. 9 Honda-powered Dallara, while Marco Andretti jumped to fourth (224.745). Tony Kanaan (224.112) was fifth in the No. 11 Team 7-Eleven car, and defending champion Sam Hornish Jr. (224.054 was sixth).

Twenty-six driver/car combinations recorded 680 total laps during the two-hour window without incident. The No. 77 Chastain Motorsports Panoz/Honda/Firestone made a pit road appearance, but Stephan Gregoire didn’t get on the track.

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