Thursday, May 17, 2012

Scott Dixon fastest Thursday at Indianapolis as teams prepare for "Fast Friday"

Scott Dixon put Ganassi Racing at the top of the speed charts as the IZOD Series gets ready for "Fast Friday". INDYCAR, the sanctioning body of the IZOD IndyCar Series, approved an increase in the turbocharger boost level for "Fast Friday" on May 18 and the May 19-20 time trials for the Indianapolis 500 from 130 kPa (kilopascals) to 140 kPa. The increase will add 40-50 horsepower to the 2.2-lter, turbocharged V-6 engines supplied by Chevrolet, Honda and Lotus, resulting in an increase of 4-5 mph per lap. The boost level will be returned to 130 kPa for the 200-lap race May 27. As a result, many teams spent the majority of the week working on race set ups.

"It's nice, I think we've taken this week a little slower." Dixon said today. "We didn't have the speed; these speeds are all big tows, so it doesn't really matter much. For us, we're just working on the race car, and I think we've made big improvements on how it feels. For me, I feel happy because we made the car feel a lot nicer to drive, and especially in traffic it pulls up better, I think. Tomorrow and Saturday are going to be totally different stories to see who's got what out there by themselves, so that will be interesting. But all in all, I think Honda and Team Target are doing pretty well."

Josef Newgarden, was second on the speed chart (222.709 mph) in the No. 67 Sarah Fisher Hartman/Dollar General car. Graham Rahal was third late (222.080 mph), and IZOD IndyCar Series championship points leader Will Power (221.932) was fourth. Justin Wilson finished fifth at 221.715 mph.

"It's been more of a challenge to understand the setups." FVP favorite, Will Power, The Man With The Best Name In Auto Racing, said today. "As far as driving, it's been a bit easier. It's more grip and less power, so it's stuck more to the road. You have less chance of making a mistake. Josef Newgarden yesterday made a mistake, and that's the first I've seen. The car is pretty forgiving. It's stuck. You get a big draft and lose some grip. I think it will be a good race, and once it's said and done, it will be like last year."

Teams practice tomorrow from noon until 6pm, and then draw for qualifying order at 6:15pm.

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