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Franchitti, Dixon lead the way in final Indy 500 practice

Indianapolis, IN (Sports Network) - Dario Franchitti and Scott Dixon drove their Honda-powered Target Chip Ganassi Racing cars to the top of the speed charts in Friday's final practice session for the Indianapolis 500.

With air temperatures reaching the mid-80s and track temperatures climbing to 120 degrees during the one-hour practice session, Franchitti posted a lap at 222.360 mph. The three-time defending IZOD IndyCar Series champion and two- time Indy 500 winner drove a total of 42 laps around the famed 1.5-mile oval.

"It was slippery out there today, more so than all month," Franchitti said.

The weather forecast for Sunday's 500-mile race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway is calling for temperatures to soar into the mid-90s. The track temperature is likely to reach 140 degrees.

Dixon was clocked at 222.274 mph on lap 26 of his 51 laps. Both drivers will start the Indy 500 in the middle of the 33-car field, with Dixon rolling off from the outside of row five and Franchitti staring from the inside of row six.

"I think we concentrated a lot as a team on downforce and where we need to be," Dixon said. "We didn't make a whole lot of changes, and the car felt pretty strong."

Chevrolet secured nine of the top-10 starting positions for the Indy 500. Ryan Briscoe from Team Penske won the pole position last Saturday. Briscoe was fifth quickest in Friday's practice (221.025 mph).

"We actually had to adjust the car a lot during that session," he said. "We needed the full hour of running, and we made a lot of changes."

Marco Andretti from Andretti Autosport recorded the third fastest lap, followed by Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing's Takuma Sato.

Will Power, the current points leader, turned in the seventh quickest lap, while his Penske teammate, Helio Castroneves, a three-time Indy 500 winner, was 11th.

"I felt very consistent, and we had no issues at all with the car," said Castroneves, who will attempt to tie A.J. Foyt, Rick Mears and Al Unser for most wins in this prestigious race. "I might not be the fastest guy, but we were very consistent. For 3 1/2 hours of racing, you need to know the tools that you can use in the car so that you are able to attack."

Power and Castroneves will share row two with Marco Andretti.

There were no the incidents during the session; however, Ana Beatriz from Andretti did not make any laps due to a mechanical issue with her car.

05/25 13:22:37 ET


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