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Ganassi tops Friday practice

Dario Franchitti and Scott Dixon topped the timesheets at Texas Motor Speedway on Friday afternoon in the sole practice session ahead of qualifying for Saturday's race.
Ganassi duo Dario Franchitti and Scott Dixon picked up where they left off in their last oval outing at Indianapolis with a 1-2 in the timings in practice at Texas Motor Speedway ahead of Saturday evening's Firestone 550k.

Franchitti's lap time of 24.3941s (214.724mph) was just five hundredths of a second faster than that of his team mate. The only other driver to go faster that 214mph during the session was fellow Honda-powered driver Josef Newgarden in the Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing car, although he then suffered an engine failure shortly afterwards.

Another of the Honda stable - Bryan Herta Autosport's Alex Tagliani - was also looking strong in fourth place still less than a tenth of a second of Franchitti's time. Tagliani won pole position at Texas in last year's qualifying, when the race was split into two halves. Tagliani's pole time in 2011 was year was 215.186mph, confirming that the new-specification car is already running close to its predecessor's performance despite running lower levels of downforce for safety reasons.

The session had been delayed because of 'weepers', or patches of water rising up through the track surface, following several days of heavy rainfall in the area. Once the weepers were taken care of, Katherine legge had a brief solo rookie practice before the full 75 minute session got underway.

There were no major incidents during the practice session, with just a couple of yellows for track inspection an clear-up, and a third for Mike Conway's #14 AJ Foyt Racing car needing to be towed back to pit lane.

Conway's car was also involved in a minor fire in the pit area, which was swiftly dealt with by a large amount of water being thrown on it. However, one Foyt crew member went to the infield care centre to have minor burns to one of his hands attended to.

Qualifying follows at 4pm local time (10pm BST). There is also a final practice session later at 6.45pm, closer to the cooler evening conditions that the race itself will be run in on Saturday, in order for teams to make appropriate set-up changes.

The circuit is also hosting this weekend's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on Friday evening. Qualifying for the event, due to be held on Thursday, had been rained off.

Full practice 1 times are available.



Related Pictures

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Indy 500 runner-up JR Hildebrand passes Paul Tracy during practice and qualifying for the Firestone Twin 275s at Texas Motor Speedway - June 2011. [Picture credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media]
Alex Tagliani celebrates his second consecutive pole position of the season for Sam Schmidt Motorsports, for the first race of the Firestone Twin 275s at Texas Motor Speedway - June 2011. [Picture credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media]
Dario Franchitti #50 Target Chip Ganassi Racing 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)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, celebrates his victory Sunday, May 24, 2015, winning the Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Montoya went from near-last to first, winning the Indy 500 for the second time in his career. Chevrolet powered the top four cars in the race. (Photo by Scott R. LePage/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Josef Newgarden in pit lane on Carb Day at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Friday May 22 2015. (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Justin Wilson resplendent in the Rolling Stones livery for the #25 Andretti Autosport Honda in pit lane on Carb Day at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Friday May 22 2015. (Photo by: Jim Haines for IndyCar Media)
Justin Wilson resplendent in the Rolling Stones livery for the #25 Andretti Autosport Honda on track on Carb Day at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Friday May 22 2015. (Photo by: Jim Haines for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Briscoe steps into the #5 Schmidt Peterson Motorsport Honda in place of the injured James Hinchcliffe. Indianapolis Motor Speedway, May 21 2015. (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Briscoe steps into the #5 Schmidt Peterson Motorsport Honda in place of the injured James Hinchcliffe. Indianapolis Motor Speedway, May 21 2015. (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Briscoe steps into the #5 Schmidt Peterson Motorsport Honda in place of the injured James Hinchcliffe. Indianapolis Motor Speedway, May 21 2015. (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Briscoe steps into the #5 Schmidt Peterson Motorsport Honda in place of the injured James Hinchcliffe. Indianapolis Motor Speedway, May 21 2015. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
James Hinchcliffe during practice prior to Qualifying for the 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race (Photo by: Leigh Spargur)
Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 Avaya Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, qualifies third fastest Sunday, May 17, 2015, and will start on the outside of the front row for the Verizon IndyCar Series Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Pagenaud will be joined in the front row by by polestar Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet and Will Power, driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet who qualified second fastest for the May 24 race. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, qualifies second-fastest Sunday, May 17, 2015, and will start in the middle of the front row for the Verizon IndyCar Series Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Power will be joined in the front row by pole sitter Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet and Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 Avaya Team Penske Chevrolet  who qualified third for the May 24 race. (Photo by Scott R. LePage/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates after qualifying fastest Sunday, May 17, 2015, winning the pole for the Verizon IndyCar Series Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Dixon will be joined in the front row by Will Power, driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet who qualified second fastest, and Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 Avaya Team Penske Chevrolet  who qualified third for the May 24 race. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, qualifies fastest Sunday, May 17, 2015, winning the pole for the Verizon IndyCar Series Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Dixon will be joined in the front row by Will Power, driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet who qualified second fastest, and Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 Avaya Team Penske Chevrolet  who qualified third for the May 24 race. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon after winning P1 at IMS for the 99th Running of the Indianapolis Mile Race on Sunday May 18 2015. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon after winning P1 at IMS for the 99th Running of the Indianapolis Mile Race on Sunday May 18 2015. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)

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