A close-fought Bump Day is in prospect at Indianapolis after the three drivers yet to qualify for the 500 showed sufficient pace to make it into the field in the morning practice hour.
Milka Duno was fastest this morning for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing. Currently 32nd on the grid, had she managed to sustain today's 221.586mph lap over a qualifying run yesterday she would have qualified a very safe 24th. However her pace in practice suggests that she will be fast enough to respond if she is bumped out later on.
HVM duo EJ Viso and Nelson Philippe were second and third. While the latter is the most vulnerable of all, as he is only 33rd on the grid at present, Viso's 29th place ought to be secure.
But the most impressive performance of the morning came from Bruno Junqueira, who turned his first laps for Conquest Racing after signing to drive the team's second car yesterday. Within five laps he was producing speeds quick enough to comfortably qualify for the race, despite having not driven Conquest's Dallara-Honda before - and having not driven an IndyCar at all since the end of the 2008 season.
Buddy Lazier (Hemelgarn) and Stanton Barrett (3G) were fifth and sixth in practice, but both lapped fast enough to qualify, benefiting from today's improved weather conditions.
Each driver has three attempts to make it into the field today, while the drivers already securely in the field can use the periods when the track is empty between qualifying attempts to continue their pre-race testing.
Pos Driver Team Time Speed
1. Milka Duno Dreyer & Reinbold 40.6163s 221.586mph
2. EJ Viso HVM 40.7508s 220.855mph
3. Nelson Philippe HVM 40.7804s 220.694mph
4. Bruno Junqueira Conquest 40.8769s 220.173mph
5. Buddy Lazier Hemelgarn 40.9526s 219.766mph
6. Stanton Barrett 3G 40.9841s 219.597mph
7. Sarah Fisher Fisher 41.2069s 218.410mph
8. Dan Wheldon Panther 41.3790s 217.502mph