IndyCar »

Indy 500: Helios sets 228.6mph Fast Friday

Helio Castroneves emerged top of the time sheets on the last day of practice for the centennial Indianapolis 500, with Alex Tagliani and Scott Dixon closest to matching him.
Helio Castroneves is going for a hat-trick on Pole Day, and he made his declaration of intent with an unbeatable lap of 228.611mph on the final full day of practice for the 2011 Indianapolis 500.

Castroneves has been on pole here in both 2009 and 2010 - and has been on pole for the race four times in his Indy career - and there were few who would bet against him pulling it off once more especially given his pace on Fast Friday. If he managed to clinch the hat-trick he would be the first person in Indy history to achieve it.

"It would be great," he said. "Records are made to be broke, so I'm not going to focus on that. I'm going to focus on what I need to make it work so we can put the Shell V-Power in the number one spot ... Just starting pole position would mean a lot."

Alex Tagliani continued to impress for Sam Schmidt Motorsports, coming in second on the time sheets at the end of Friday. "Our team continues to rise every weekend. When we are in the window when we roll off the truck, we have a great group of people who make it easy to fine-tune the car. Being a one-car team, when we are off the window, it's not easy, but this week, the car has been strong.

"I think we can go to bed tonight feeling we have a strong car, but the Ganassis and Penskes look tough. Hopefully when we pull everything out that we think we can, we'll be right there with them."

And sure enough, right behind Tagliani in the timing screens is Ganassi's Scott Dixon, followed by Penske's Ryan Briscoe - both lurking ominously to pounce and ruin Helio's and Alex's hopes for a big day on Saturday.

"I think we're looking good for tomorrow, and you should see the usual suspects coming to the top soon," said Dixon.

"Today was a good day," beamed Briscoe. "We completed a lot of laps [which is what] we needed after all the time we lost earlier in the week. We trimmed out the car at the end of the day and got good speed out of the car, but we haven't found the limit yet. ... We're excited about tomorrow. It should be a really good day on Saturday for Team Penske."

Bertrand Baguette was a surprise name rounding out the top five with a 228.028mph lap in the #30 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, and Ed Carpenter continued to impress for the Sarah Fisher Racing team in sixth place, the only other driver to break the 228mph barrier on Fast Friday.

"Overall, today was another productive day for us. We went in to Fast Friday with a game plan, and we stuck to it," said Carpenter. "We were able to do some mock qualifying runs early this afternoon and also worked on race setup a bit this evening. The car felt good out there; it's pretty consistent."




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Three of the Andretti Autosport drivers compare notes during Friday Practice at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 20. [Picture credit: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media]
Alex Tagliani watches the on-track action during Friday Practice at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 20. [Picture credit: Dana Garrett for IndyCar Media]
Ed Carpenter leaves the pit lane during Friday Practice at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 20. [Picture credit: Brett Kelley for IndyCar Media]
JR Hildebrand climbs into his car for another run during Friday Practice at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 20. [Picture credit: Dan Hedrigel for IndyCar Media]
Helio Castroneves faces the media after Friday Practice at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 20. [Picture credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media]
Conor Daly leads at the 2014 Dan Wheldon Memorial kart event   [pic credit: IndyCar Media/Chris Jones]
Sage Karam, driver of the #8 Comfort Revolution/Big Machine Records Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to a third-place finish Saturday, July 18, 2015, during the Verizon IndyCar Series Iowa Corn 300 at Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa. (Photo by Scott R. LePage/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Josef Newgarden, driver of the #67 Wichita State University CFH Racing Chevrolet V6 IndyCar, races to a second-place finish Saturday, July 18, 2015, during the Verizon IndyCar Series Iowa Corn 300 at Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa. (Photo by Scott R. LePage/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Helio Castroneves crosses the start/finish line during practice for the Iowa Corn 300 at Iowa Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Helio Castroneves affixes the Verizon P1 Award emblem as the pole winner for the Iowa Corn 300 at Iowa Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Helio Castroneves with the Verizon P1 Award trophy as the pole winner for the Iowa Corn 300 at Iowa Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Helio Castroneves celebrates with the Verizon P1 Award trophy as the pole winner for the Iowa Corn 300 at Iowa Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Tony Kanaan chats with teammate Scott Dixon during qualifications for the Iowa Corn Indy 300 at Iowa Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Helio Castroneves celebrates on pit lane following his pole-winning effort for the Iowa Corn 300 at Iowa Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Tony Kanaan and Helio Castroneves set up for Turn 1 during practice for the Iowa Corn 300 at Iowa Speedway (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Juan Pablo Montoya, Marco Andretti, and Graham Rahal barrel into Turn 1 during practice for the Iowa Corn 300 at Iowa Speedway. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon rolls down the frontstretch during practice for the Iowa Corn 300 at Iowa Speedway (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Sebastien Bourdais, driver of the #11 Hydroxycut - KVSH Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory with his son Alex and daughter Emma Sunday, July12, 2015 after winning the Verizon IndyCar Series race at The Milwaukee Mile in West Allis, Wisconsin. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2015 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.