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Rain Shortens Opening Day of Practice for The Indy 500

May 14, 2011

Photo courtesy of IMS Photo



SPEEDWAY, Ind. (May 14, 2011) – Team Penske accomplished much of what it planned during a rain-shortened opening day of practice for the 100th anniversary Indianapolis 500.
 
All three of the team's drivers completed checklists in their backup cars before rain delayed action at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) about three hours into Saturday's session. Cars returned to the track late in the afternoon, before the rain resumed and brought an early end to practice. Even though speed wasn't the objective, the Team Penske trio all recorded laps within the top 15 of the 32 entrants that posted lap times.
              
Ryan Briscoe led the way with a lap of 223.811 mph in the No. 6T IZOD Team Penske Dallara/Honda, which placed him sixth in practice times.
              
"It was a great first day in the No. 6T IZOD Team Penske car at the Speedway today," said Briscoe, who finished on the podium in the last two 2011 IZOD IndyCar Series races. "It's definitely fun to be running at more than 220 mph – it's been a long time since we've felt that exhilaration. It feels really comfortable being back at Indy, and I'm excited to get more laps in this week."
 
Three-time Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves had the ninth-fastest lap – 222.755 mph – in the No. 3T Shell V-Power Pennzoil Ultra Team Penske machine.
              
"The plan today for the Shell V-Power Pennzoil Ultra car was to just stay consistent and run through our list of equipment on the T car," said Castroneves, who earned his fourth career Indy 500 pole in 2010. "We were able to do that today, so we stuck to the plan. Hopefully tomorrow, we'll get a chance to run in the primary car and continue working our game plan."
 
Power wound up 15th on Saturday's timing chart with a top lap of 221.837 in the No. 12T Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Honda, noting that the first few laps were just about getting comfortable in the car.
              
"The No. 12T Verizon Team Penske car was good today," said Power, the current series leader and winner of two of the first four races in 2011. "We really didn't run too much by design. Today was more of a shakedown for us, just easing our way into our time here at the Brickyard. It did feel good to get back on track at the Speedway; it's such an awesome place. Hopefully we will have the chance to get on track tomorrow and continue working."
              
Action will resume Sunday at IMS with another six-hour practice session beginning at 12 p.m. ET. Pole qualifying is scheduled for Saturday, May 21 with the Indianapolis 500 set for Sunday, May 29.
oting that the first few laps were just about getting comfortable in the car.
              
"The No. 12T Verizon Team Penske car was good today," said Power, the current series leader and winner of two of the first four races in 2011. "We really didn't run too much by design. Today was more of a shakedown for us, just easing our way into our time here at the Brickyard. It did feel good to get back on track at the Speedway; it's such an awesome place. Hopefully we will have the chance to get on track tomorrow and continue working."
              
Action will resume Sunday at IMS with another six-hour practice session beginning at 12 p.m. ET. Pole qualifying is scheduled for Saturday, May 21 with the Indianapolis 500 set for Sunday, May 29.