Tony Kanaan put Andretti Autosport at the top of the times in Thursday's practice session for the Indianapolis 500, which was cut short by rain.
Light showers forced several brief interruptions and, when the rain increased, the decision was made to halt practice two hours earlier than planned. Prior to the stoppage, Kanaan gave his team its first fastest time of the week with a lap of 39.6870sec and 226.775mph, putting him 0.0793sec ahead of second-fastest man Paul Tracy (KV).
Both men admitted that their best laps came while in the tow – with Tracy's slipstream coming from Kanaan – but the pacesetter was still confident that he is in good shape.
"The car felt good, and although it was in the draft, you have to have a good car to get those kinds of speeds," Kanaan said. "We worked on qualifying today along with a lot of people."
Hideki Mutoh took an impressive third for Newman/Haas, ahead of Kanaan's teammate Marco Andretti, Panther's Dan Wheldon in fifth and top Penske runner Helio Castroneves in sixth.
Fazzt's Alex Tagliani continued to show great form for his rookie team with eighth place, behind points leader Will Power (Penske) and just ahead of returnee squad Rahal Letterman's Graham Rahal.
Tagliani's intended Indy teammate Bruno Junqueira has yet to take to the track in FAZZT's second car, with the team admitting earlier this week that it is still waiting on sponsorship for that entry, though Junqueira's Dallara-Honda is at the track and prepared ready to run. In the interim, Junqueira took to the speedway today in Sebastian Saavedra's Bryan Herta Autosport car – team boss Herta having invited his former Champ Car rival to assist with getting the Indy Lights graduate squad up to speed.
The Ganassi team, which had set the pace earlier in the week, did not try qualifying runs before the rain stoppage today so was back in the midfield. Ryan Hunter-Reay did try qualifying trim in another Andretti entry, but was disappointed to struggle to 23rd while his teammate led the way. Fellow Andretti runner Danica Patrick was confident she would have vaulted forward from 28th had the session run its full duration.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap
1. Tony Kanaan Andretti 39.6870s
2. Paul Tracy KV 39.7663s + 0.0793s
3. Hideki Mutoh Newman/Haas 39.7826s + 0.0956s
4. Marco Andretti Andretti 39.8039s + 0.1169s
5. Dan Wheldon Panther 39.8043s + 0.1173s
6. Helio Castroneves Penske 39.8089s + 0.1219s
7. Will Power Penske 39.8520s + 0.1650s
8. Alex Tagliani FAZZT 39.8920s + 0.2050s
9. Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman 39.9009s + 0.2139s
10. Davey Hamilton de Ferran Dragon 39.9236s + 0.2366s
11. Ed Carpenter Panther/Vision 39.9497s + 0.2627s
12. Takuma Sato KV 39.9916s + 0.3046s
13. Scott Dixon Ganassi 39.9937s + 0.3067s
14. Mike Conway Dreyer & Reinbold 40.0225s + 0.3355s
15. Simona de Silvestro HVM 40.0288s + 0.3418s
16. Ryan Briscoe Penske 40.0336s + 0.3466s
17. Mario Moraes KV 40.1222s + 0.4352s
18. Raphael Matos de Ferran Dragon 40.1404s + 0.4534s
19. John Andretti Andretti 40.1459s + 0.4589s
20. Dario Franchitti Ganassi 40.1487s + 0.4617s
21. Jay Howard Sarah Fisher 40.1785s + 0.4915s
22. AJ Foyt IV Foyt 40.2064s + 0.5194s
23. Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti 40.2199s + 0.5329s
24. Vitor Meira Foyt 40.2411s + 0.5541s
25. Mario Romancini Conquest 40.2425s + 0.5555s
26. Ana Beatriz Dreyer & Reinbold 40.2646s + 0.5776s
27. Bertrand Baguette Conquest 40.2666s + 0.5796s
28. Danica Patrick Andretti 40.3340s + 0.6470s
29. Townsend Bell Ganassi/Schmidt 40.3799s + 0.6929s
30. Alex Lloyd Dale Coyne 40.4279s + 0.7409s
31. Justin Wilson Dreyer & Reinbold 40.4587s + 0.7717s
32. Bruno Junqueira Herta 40.4899s + 0.8029s
33. Sarah Fisher Sarah Fisher 40.4906s + 0.8036s
34. Tomas Scheckter Dreyer & Reinbold 40.5162s + 0.8292s
35. Sebastian Saavedra Herta 40.5681s + 0.8811s
36. EJ Viso KV 40.7947s + 1.1077s
37. Milka Duno Dale Coyne 41.1066s + 1.4196s