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Fontana: Practice 2 times

Ed Carpenter topped the timesheets in the second and final Friday practice session in Fontana, ahead of Saturday night's season finale which will decide the 2012 championship.
Ed Carpenter hit a lap speed of 215.768mph (33.3691s) on the two-mile Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California during early evening practice on Friday, putting him a tenth clear of Helio Castroneves who the next fastest man on track.

The 45-minute session was held two hours after the end of qualifying, and was the drivers' only chance to get some evening running in the same sort of conditions that they should expect to see for the start of the race on Saturday, and to make their crucial set-up choices for the race.

"I think the fans will be happy with the racing for the 500," said Carpenter, who hadn't found the searing heat of the daytime to his liking but found the cooler conditions as night to be a big improvement. "For the race, the track will cool down and produce a lot of grip for the cars.

"This will be my first 500-mile race other than Indy," he added. "I was thinking about going and talking to some of the guys who raced 500 miles here before. It's different than Indy. Indy is intense, but you have a 5/8-mile straight to take a breath. You don't get that luxury here - it will be a long night!"

The top 20 drivers of the 26-car field finished within a second of the pole position time. Everyone was able to take part in the session, including Justin Wilson and Simona de Silvestro who had missed the afternoon qualifying session because their teams were still working to fix their cars from earlier accident damage and engine failure respectively

With the exception of an early yellow for track inspection, the only stoppage during the session was for Wade Cunningham hitting the SAFER barrier in turn 2 five minutes before the end: "I was exploring different lines on the track and I hadn't been that aggressive changing lanes," he explained. "Just judged it on the seams of the track and got caught out."

Cunningham - a late substitute in the #14 AJ Foyt Racing car in place of Mike Conway - said that no other car had been involved in the mishap: "There was someone leaving pit lane, and I thought for a while I was going to get them, but luckily they got on the gas and got out of my way."

There are no further on-track practice sessions scheduled before the start of the MAVTV 500 IndyCar World Championship season finale at 5.45pm PST on Saturday evening (1.45am BST Sunday morning) with the races expected to last for nearly three hours.

Practice 2 times

1. #20 Ed Carpenter 215.768mph 33.3691s after 37 laps
2. #3 Helio Castroneves 215.108mph 33.4715s + 0.1024s after 49 laps
3. #9 Scott Dixon 215.053mph 33.4801s + 0.1110s after 47 laps
4. #11 Tony Kanaan 214.064mph 33.6348s + 0.2657s after 38 laps
5. #67 Josef Newgarden 213.826mph 33.6723s + 0.3032s after 40 laps
6. #2 Ryan Briscoe 213.476mph 33.7275s + 0.3584s after 41 laps
7. #4 JR Hildebrand 213.332mph 33.7502s + 0.3811s after 47 laps
8. #18 Justin Wilson 213.097mph 33.7875s + 0.4184s after 30 laps
9. #38 Graham Rahal 212.152mph 33.9379s + 0.5688s after 44 laps
10. #22 Oriol Servia 211.989mph 33.9641s + 0.5950s after 35 laps
11. #10 Dario Franchitti 211.825mph 33.9904s + 0.6213s after 52 laps
12. #8 Rubens Barrichello 211.139mph 34.1008s + 0.7317s after 35 laps
13. #26 Marco Andretti 211.003mph 34.1227s + 0.7536s after 29 laps
14. #15 Takuma Sato 210.940mph 34.1330s + 0.7639s after 40 laps
15. #19 James Jakes 210.826mph 34.1514s + 0.7823s after 42 laps
16. #6 Katherine Legge 210.772mph 34.1601s + 0.7910s after 36 laps
17. #27 James Hinchcliffe 210.526mph 34.2000s + 0.8309s after 46 laps
18. #77 Simon Pagenaud 209.966mph 34.2912s + 0.9221s after 41 laps
19. #98 Alex Tagliani 209.883mph 34.3049s + 0.9358s after 37 laps
20. #83 Charlie Kimball 209.626mph 34.3469s + 0.9778s after 47 laps
21. #28 Ryan Hunter-Reay 209.360mph 34.3905s + 1.0214s after 32 laps
22. #17 Sebastian Saavedra 209.360mph 34.3905s + 1.0214s after 28 laps
23. #12 Will Power 208.243mph 34.5750s + 1.2059s after 48 laps
24. #5 EJ Viso 207.852mph 34.6401s + 1.2710s after 8 laps
25. #14 Wade Cunningham 205.616mph 35.0168s + 1.6477s after 32 laps
26. #78 Simona de Silvestro 194.293mph 37.0575s + 3.6884s after 30 laps

Total Laps: 991

Friday Practice - combined times

1. #2 Ryan Briscoe (C) 217.517mph 33.1008s Practice 1 (52 laps)
2. #20 Ed Carpenter (C) 216.971mph 33.1842s Practice 1 (58 laps)
3. #10 Dario Franchitti (H) 216.545mph 33.2495s Practice 1 (61 laps)
4. #12 Will Power (C) 216.443mph 33.2651s Practice 1 (59 laps)
5. #3 Helio Castroneves (C) 216.355mph 33.2787s Practice 1 (62 laps)
6. #9 Scott Dixon (H) 216.211mph 33.3008s Practice 1 (56 laps)
7. #11 Tony Kanaan (C) 215.902mph 33.3484s Practice 1 (75 laps)
8. #26 Marco Andretti (C) 215.166mph 33.4625s Practice 1 (62 laps)
9. #4 JR Hildebrand (C) 214.739mph 33.5291s Practice 1 (70 laps)
10. #67 Josef Newgarden (H) 213.826mph 33.6723s Practice 2 (43 laps)
11. #18 Justin Wilson (H) 213.097mph 33.7875s Practice 2 (42 laps)
12. #38 Graham Rahal (H) 212.625mph 33.8624s Practice 1 (60 laps)
13. #6 Katherine Legge (C) 212.433mph 33.8930s Practice 1 (72 laps)
14. #27 James Hinchcliffe (C) 212.248mph 33.9226s Practice 1 (74 laps)
15. #22 Oriol Servia (C) 211.989mph 33.9641s Practice 2 (62 laps)
16. #8 Rubens Barrichello (C) 211.796mph 33.9949s Practice 1 (62 laps)
17. #83 Charlie Kimball (H) 211.362mph 34.0648s Practice 1 (67 laps)
18. #28 Ryan Hunter-Reay (C) 211.274mph 34.0790s Practice 1 (51 laps)
19. #15 Takuma Sato (H) 210.940mph 34.1330s Practice 2 (59 laps)
20. #19 James Jakes (H) 210.826mph 34.1514s Practice 2 (68 laps)
21. #77 Simon Pagenaud (H) 210.182mph 34.2560s Practice 1 (71 laps)
22. #5 EJ Viso (C) 210.017mph 34.2830s Practice 1 (22 laps)
23. #98 Alex Tagliani (H) 209.883mph 34.3049s Practice 2 (52 laps)
24. #17 Sebastian Saavedra (C) 209.559mph 34.3579s Practice 1 (48 laps)
25. #14 Wade Cunningham (H) 208.188mph 34.5841s Practice 1 (60 laps)
26. #78 Simona de Silvestro (L) 195.804mph 36.7714s Practice 1 (39 laps)

Total Laps for Combined Sessions: 1507

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Ed Carpenter driving the #20 Fuzzy`s Vodka Ed Carpenter Racing car. (c) 2012 Dan R. Boyd (Photo Credit: INDYCAR/LAT USA)
Ed Carpenter driving the #20 Fuzzy`s Vodka Ed Carpenter Racing car. (c) 2012 Dan R. Boyd (Photo Credit: INDYCAR/LAT USA)
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