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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)
Tony Kanaan, driver of the #10 Target Chip Ganassi Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to victory Saturday, August 30, 2014 during the last Verizon IndyCar Series race of the season at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. This is the third consecutive win for Chevrolet at Auto Club Speedway. Chevrolet wins the Manufacturer`s Championship for the third straight season. (Photo by Gregg Ellman/LAT for Chevy Racing)
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Tony Kanaan, driver of the #10 Target Chip Ganassi Chevrolet IndyCar V6, takes the chequered flag while racing to victory Saturday, August 30, 2014 during the last Verizon IndyCar Series race of the season at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. This is the third consecutive win for Chevrolet at Auto Club Speedway. Chevrolet wins the Manufacturer`s Championship for the third straight season. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Tony Kanaan, driver of the #10 Target Chip Ganassi Chevrolet IndyCar V6, makes a quick pit stop while racing to victory Saturday, August 30, 2014 during the last Verizon IndyCar Series race of the season at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. This is the third consecutive win for Chevrolet at Auto Club Speedway. Chevrolet wins the Manufacturer`s Championship for the third straight season. (Photo by Brian Cleary/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Confetti falls on the podium trio Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan and Ed Carpenter celebrate after the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan and Ed Carpenter celebrate after the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Tony Kanaan celebrates with Chip Ganassi after winning the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Tony Kanaan takes a selfie with his Target Chip Ganassi Racing crew in Victory Lane following the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Chip Ganassi congratulates Tony Kanaan on winning the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California on Saturday August 30 2014 (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon spins during practice (Photo by: Richard Dowdy for IndyCar Media)
Mikhail Aleshin sits in his machine prior to practice for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Richard Dowdy for IndyCar Media)
Mikhail Aleshin on course during practice for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Mikhail Aleshin crosses the start/finish line during practice for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Richard Dowdy for IndyCar Media)
Helio Castroneves in his pit stand following practice for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Will Power in action during practice for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)

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