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Indy 500: Fast Friday boost tops 227.5mph

After having successfully completed their program of practice testing and developing early, Andretti Autosport's five-car squad has essentially sat out Thursday on the sidelines, but roared back into life with an impressive dominating performance on Fast Friday that saw them take four of the top ten spots.

As well as Andretti on the lead spot, Ryan Hunter-Reay was in third with a lap speed of 227.540mph (39.5535s), James Hinchcliffe was sixth place (225.974mph, 39.8276s) and Ana Beatriz an impressive seventh (225.653mph, 39.8842s).

"All of the credit for our speed goes to the entire Andretti Autosport team," said Hunter-Reay. "Everybody's been digging really deep to get everything out of the cars, and that says a lot about this team. We're all working together on and off the track, and that makes a huge difference."

"From where we're sitting, we're very happy," agreed Hinchcliffe. "We've made a couple of gains throughout the day, and we're just going to polish the GoDaddy car, put it away and really focus on tomorrow."

"I think the Andretti team did an awesome job and now the cars are pretty fast, so I am proud today," said Beatriz. "If we want to make sure we are in the top ten I think we still need to work a little bit, and hopefully tomorrow we'll get some more speed and get a little closer to our teammates."

Of the Andretti line-up, only Sebastian Saavedra missed out on the top ten finishing back in 19th position with a lap of 224.661mph (40.0604s), while the missing Penske man was championship leader Will Power who was just outside the top ten in 11th with a lap of 225.288mph (39.9488s).

"We accomplished a fair bit with our Verizon car today," said Power. "We would've liked to find just a touch more speed, although we always want that. Looking ahead to tomorrow: We're in good shape, really, and we will give it a go."

With Andretti and Penske proving so strong, the only Honda representation in the top ten was from the Ganassi duo of Scott Dixon in fifth (226.224mph, 39.7836s) and Dario Franchitti in ninth (225.370mph, 39.9344s).

"We're definitely not where we need to be," admitted Dixon. "I sort of got a big tow lap there at the end that sort of pulled us up the chart, but realistically I think we're around ninth. We're not where we want to be."

"Scott and I are the first two of the Honda-powered cars right now, and I think we have some work to do," agreed Franchitti. "That's it, really. It can't be roses every day, and you just need to keep pushing."

Related Pictures

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Helio Castroneves testing the new speedway specification aerokits at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in April. [Picture credit: Ryan Briscoe/Twitter]
Ryan Hunter-Reay #28 Team DHL Sun Drop Citrus Soda Andretti Autosport during practice for the 96th running of the Indianapolis 500. 12-27 May, 2012, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA. (c) 2012 Dan R. Boyd LAT Photo USA (Photo credit: INDYCAR/LAT USA)
Marco Andretti #26 Team RC Cola Andretti Autosport during practice for the 96th running of the Indianapolis 500. 12-27 May, 2012, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA. (c) 2012 Dan R. Boyd, LAT Photo USA (Photo credit: INDYCAR/LAT USA)
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May 19, 2012 10:29 AM

This is very cool and interesting, but I just can't wrap my head around a spec series for some reason. I understand the concept (human element triumphing over technical) but I wish I could love Indy as much as something like F1. Can someone explain it to me?

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