Dixon is still the target heading into qualifying. (LAT photo)
Scott Dixon remained the man to beat in final practice for the IndyCar Series title decider at Homestead. Ryan Briscoe was second again, ahead of the third championship contender Dario Franchitti.
The session was halted two minutes early after a big crash for Briscoe's Penske teammate Helio Castroneves. The left-rear suspension of the Brazilian's Dallara-Honda appeared to suffer a failure, pitching Castroneves into a violent spin. He was able to walk away unaided.
Franchitti had been quickest in the first half hour of the split session, with his Ganassi teammate Dixon beating Briscoe to the top spot in the second segment.
Newman/Haas/Lanigan and KV Racing continued to be the title combatants' closest challengers. Graham Rahal and Alex Lloyd were fourth and fifth overall – Lloyd having been an excellent second to Franchitti in the first part of the session – with Moraes sixth for KV.
Raphael Matos made further progress up the top 10 and ended up seventh for Luczo Dragon, while his rookie title rival Robert Doornbos (HVM) was slowest of all.
Danica Patrick (Andretti Green), Ed Carpenter (Vision) and Tomas Scheckter (Dreyer & Reinbold) completed the top ten. After her morning performance, Sarah Fisher was back in 21st having had to make an unscheduled engine change between sessions.
Qualifying is set for later this evening at 9 p.m. Eastern, airing live on Versus with the season finale set for Saturday night at 4 p.m., also live on Versus.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap 1. Scott Dixon Ganassi 25.1097s 2. Ryan Briscoe Penske 25.1433s + 0.0336s 3. Dario Franchitti Ganassi 25.2833s + 0.1736s 4. Graham Rahal Newman/Haas/Lanigan 25.3648s + 0.2551s 5. Alex Lloyd Newman/Haas/Lanigan 25.4022s + 0.2925s 6. Mario Moraes KV 25.4338s + 0.3241s 7. Raphael Matos Luczo Dragon 25.4449s + 0.3352s 8. Danica Patrick Andretti Green 25.4452s + 0.3355s 9. Ed Carpenter Vision 25.4457s + 0.3360s10. Tomas Scheckter Dreyer & Reinbold 25.4512s + 0.3415s11. Tony Kanaan Andretti Green 25.4609s + 0.3512s12. Hideki Mutoh Andretti Green 25.5089s + 0.3992s13. Helio Castroneves Penske 25.5443s + 0.4346s14. Milka Duno Dreyer & Reinbold 25.5813s + 0.4716s15. Marco Andretti Andretti Green 25.5855s + 0.4758s16. Ryan Hunter-Reay Foyt 25.6693s + 0.5596s17. EJ Viso HVM 25.7086s + 0.5989s18. Dan Wheldon Panther 25.7691s + 0.6594s19. Mike Conway Dreyer & Reinbold 25.8162s + 0.7065s20. Justin Wilson Coyne 25.8336s + 0.7239s21. Sarah Fisher Fisher 26.0460s + 0.9363s22. Jaques Lazier 3G 26.0576s + 0.9479s23. Robert Doornbos HVM 26.0613s + 0.9516s