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Barrichello makes first laps on an oval at Texas

Fort Worth, TX (Sports Network) - Former Formula One driver Rubens Barrichello got his first taste of what it's like to drive on an oval racetrack during Monday's IZOD IndyCar Series test session at Texas Motor Speedway.

Barrichello was one of 11 drivers who participated in the one-day session at Texas. Team Penske teammates Will Power, the current points leader, Helio Castroneves and Ryan Briscoe, as well as Chip Ganassi Racing drivers Dario Franchitti, Scott Dixon, Graham Rahal and Charlie Kimball were also turning laps around the fast 1.5-mile track.

IndyCar conducted the test to confirm the aerodynamic baseline for the new 2012 Dallara car that will run in the June 9 race at Texas. Drivers are also preparing for the May 27 Indianapolis 500, which will be the first oval event this season.

Barrichello, who spent the last 19 years competing in F1, posted speeds more than 200 mph at Texas. The 39-year-old Brazilian has competed in the first four IndyCar races held on road/street courses this season, with his best finish of eighth coming at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, AL. He joined KV Racing Technology prior to the March 25 season-opener in St. Petersburg, FL.

"It's different from anything I've tried," Barrichello said of his laps at Texas. "On my second run, after I broke the 200s, I was very rude on the radio, because I was so excited. I said it was truly awesome, but not in a good manner."

His teammate, Tony Kanaan, shook down the No. 8 KVRT car before Barrichello climbed into the seat.

"I am comfortable running, but I just need another 5,000 days to get it to the level of Tony," Barrichello said. "I've been to places in Formula One that you have to have the courage to take it flat to gain a hundredth [of a second].

"Here, it wasn't the case of getting flat, because it's not that difficult, but it's keeping the line and the vision on it. I'm truly excited, but my mind is still processing everything from the time on the track. I think as a rookie I did OK."

Barrichello will participate in the Indy 500 rookie orientation program on Thursday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

05/07 17:29:30 ET


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