Kanaan, Mutoh Top Charts in Afternoon Practice Sessions
Andretti Green Racing driver Dario Franchitti placed second in the second IndyCar Series practice session of the day and Indy Pro Series driver Hideki Mutoh topped his series' practice chart for a second straight session this afternoon at Kentucky Speedway.
Franchitti improved his quick lap from 217.839-mph (24.4584 seconds) to 218.195 mph (24.4185 seconds) in the afternoon session, but it wasn't enough to beat out teammate Tony Kanaan, who sat atop the speed chart with a 218.348-mph (24.4014 seconds) circuit, the fastest overall series lap of the day.
Despite placing second to his teammate, the series leader was pleased with his car's performance in practice, but cautious about his chances to take his second straight pole award.
"We're doing mostly race stuff to get a car that's fast and comfortable in race trim and trying to sneak a little qualifying simulation in there, too. Working on trying to get that balance of speed and feel in feel on my own and in traffic. That's where it comes in handy sometimes that I'm on a four-car team.
"The track will produce good racing and you can win from the back. If the car's fast enough, you can win from the back. I think we proved that last week. It'd be nice to start up front. We'll see. Tony looks very strong. We can never count our competition out and there will be changing conditions tonight, so it'll be interesting.
He added his team was honing in on its optimal race set-up for the No. 27 Canadian Club car. "We're tweaking on it. I think there will be a couple of changes before qualifying and a couple before the race. We're getting close."
The Indy Pro Series also took the track first for an afternoon session and the speed chart results mirrored that of the morning practice with Hideki Mutoh, Wade Cunningham and series championship leader Alex Lloyd occupying the top three positions.
Speeds slowed slightly for each driver, but all bettered the 190-mph mark. Mutoh posted a 191.486-mph (27.8245 seconds) lap, Cunningham knocked out a 191.438-mph lap (27.8314 seconds) lap and Lloyd delivered a 190.954-mph (27.9020 seconds) effort.
Based on his practice results, Mutoh said he was confident about his chances for capturing his second pole award of the season this afternoon 5:00 p.m.
"The car was so good, so comfortable," said Mutoh, who found speed in the both the low and high grooves during the today's practice. "I was able to draft with the No. 12 car and my car was just so fast that I'm very confident going into qualifying. Last week I had a test in an IndyCar Series car and that helped me quite a lot."
Logan Gomez, who enters the weekend ninth in the Indy Pro Series standings and was sixth in the opening practice session, was fourth in the second practice session in his No. 23 Isilon Systems/Flacondos.net / SSM car and Ryan Justice maintained his fifth spot on the practice chart with a 189.168-mph (28.1654 seconds) circuit.
The first "Radio Disney Fanfest" gets underway at 7:30 p.m., tonight. Family activities will include games, crafts and more for children along with live music by Louisville, Ky., favorites The Summers. A garage-area autograph session featuring the starts of the IndyCar and Indy Pro Series also is included.
Tickets are available at the speedway main entrance.