Scott Dixon led the way for Ganassi in the final Carb Day practice ahead of Sunday's Indianapolis 500. The 2008 race winner set a best speed of 225.474mph in the traditional one-hour morning session at the speedway.
Target Chip Ganassi Racing held a 1-2 for a long while, with Dario Franchitti second behind his teammate. But in the closing stages polesitter Alex Tagliani (Sam Schmidt Motorsports) steadily moved forward until he ended up splitting the Ganassi duo.
A.J. Foyt Racing had a very strong session, with Vitor Meira fourth and his one-off teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay – who took over Bruno Junqueira's car after failing to qualify his Andretti Autosport entry – taking seventh on his return to the squad. They were split by Bryan Herta Autosport's Dan Wheldon and Panther Racing's Buddy Rice.
Tony Kanaan (KV), Helio Castroneves (Penske) and John Andretti (Andretti) completed the top 10. Paul Tracy, meanwhile, was less than happy about being back in the pack.
"Today's practice was mediocre, we have a little work to do," said the Canadian. On the speed chart it was OK; we were like 17th quick. We were a little bit unbalanced today, but the weather will be completely different on race day than what we have now. How much that plays into it is the key. We really need to focus on how we achieve balance for the 85 degrees and windy, because today was calm and 55 degrees. We will evaluate all of the data and make our best choice for race day."
SImona de Silvestro, on the other hand, seemed in a relaxed frame of mind despite being down in 22nd, saying she felt "comfortable" with her setup, and indicating no issues with her burned hands from last week's crash.
"I'm pretty happy about our Carb Day run. The car feels good in traffic, and I think part of it was about me getting used to it and feeling comfortable," sais the HVM driver. "We had a couple of passes today and overall, I think it's going to be really fun to race the No. 78 Nuclear Clean Air Energy car. The whole team worked really hard and I'm thankful that they've given me a good car for the race."
Pos Driver Team Time Gap
1. Scott Dixon Ganassi 39.9159s
2. Alex Tagliani Sam Schmidt 40.0464s + 0.1305s
3. Dario Franchitti Ganassi 40.0609s + 0.1450s
4. Vitor Meira Foyt 40.0927s + 0.1768s
5. Dan Wheldon Herta 40.0999s + 0.1840s
6. Buddy Rice Panther 40.1054s + 0.1895s
7. Ryan Hunter-Reay Foyt 40.1912s + 0.2753s
8. Tony Kanaan KV 40.2022s + 0.2863s
9. Helio Castroneves Penske 40.2035s + 0.2876s
10. John Andretti Petty/Andretti 40.2051s + 0.2892s
11. JR Hildebrand Panther 40.2091s + 0.2932s
12. Townsend Bell Sam Schmidt 40.2130s + 0.2971s
13. Will Power Penske 40.2180s + 0.3021s
14. Graham Rahal Ganassi 40.2825s + 0.3666s
15. Ryan Briscoe Penske 40.2914s + 0.3755s
16. Ed Carpenter Sarah Fisher 40.3188s + 0.4029s
17. Paul Tracy Dreyer & Reinbold 40.3206s + 0.4047s
18. Justin Wilson Dreyer & Reinbold 40.3299s + 0.4140s
19. Jay Howard Rahal/Schmidt 40.3514s + 0.4355s
20. Danica Patrick Andretti 40.3897s + 0.4738s
21. Alex Lloyd Dale Coyne 40.3992s + 0.4833s
22. Simona de Silvestro HVM 40.4067s + 0.4908s
23. Bertrand Baguette Rahal Letterman Lanigan 40.4171s + 0.5012s
24. Ana Beatriz Dreyer & Reinbold 40.4312s + 0.5153s
25. James Hinchcliffe Newman/Haas 40.4615s + 0.5456s
26. Charlie Kimball Ganassi 40.4944s + 0.5785s
27. Davey Hamilton Dreyer & Reinbold 40.5099s + 0.5940s
28. Oriol Servia Newman/Haas 40.5104s + 0.5945s
29. Marco Andretti Andretti 40.5724s + 0.6565s
30. Pippa Mann Conquest 40.7441s + 0.8282s
31. Tomas Scheckter KV/SH 40.8201s + 0.9042s
32. EJ Viso KV 40.9436s + 1.0277s
33. Takuma Sato KV 43.4321s + 3.5162s