Helio Castroneves led a Penske top-three sweep in the second IndyCar Series practice session at the Edmonton airport circuit.
The Brazilian had been second to his teammate Ryan Briscoe going into the final moments of the hour, but threw in a 1m01.5467s time with his last lap of the day, giving him the top spot by a comfortable 0.4353 second. Will Power, who had been quickest in the morning, also made a late improvement to move up to third and complete an all-Penske top three.
"It's good for the entire crew," said Castroneves. "The one-two-three for Penske shows that when you work together it pays off."
Early pacesetter Scott Dixon was pushed back to 12th as others improved, before surging back to fourth for Ganassi later on. Luczo Dragon's Raphael Matos was the best rookie in fifth, but his fellow newcomer Mike Conway (Dreyer & Reinbold) was actually fastest of all for 10 minutes towards the end of the session before being shuffled back to sixth.
Another man to lose ground near the end was Paul Tracy, who had fought for the top spot in the first half of the session before ending up 10th.
The session had to be halted almost immediately when Dan Wheldon crashed his Panther Dallara-Honda heavily on the exit of Turn 3 on his first lap and collected Andretti Green's Danica Patrick as he rebounded off the inside wall.
"It was almost like he sped up towards me, so I turned right to miss him and went to the grass, and he came straight ino the side of him," said Patrick. "You always wonder what you could have done, but I'm not really sure I could have done anything."
Wheldon accepted full responsibility for the incident, which ruled both drivers out of the rest of the day.
"I hit a curb and it sent me over to the other side of the track, the wheels went onto the grass and I ended up spearing into the wall," he said. "We thought we'd made some headway after the first session and we were confident of that, but it's one of those things that happens. It's unfortunate for Danica that I took her with me."
Further stoppages followed when Tomas Scheckter dislodged his Dreyer & Reinbold's car rear wing with a spin into the Turn 7 tires and Foyt's Ryan Hunter-Reay spun and stalled at Turn 4, while Power and Dario Franchitti (who finished the session only 13th) were among the other drivers to have grassy excursions or rotations.TIMES:
Pos Driver Team Time Gap
1. Helio Castroneves Penske 1m01.5467s
2. Ryan Briscoe Penske 1m01.9820s + 0.4353s
3. Will Power Penske 1m02.0853s + 0.5386s
4. Scott Dixon Ganassi 1m02.3164s + 0.7697s
5. Raphael Matos Luczo Dragon 1m02.3383s + 0.7916s
6. Mike Conway Dreyer & Reinbold 1m02.4343s + 0.8876s
7. Graham Rahal Newman/Haas/Lanigan 1m02.4916s + 0.9449s
8. Mario Moraes KV 1m02.7299s + 1.1832s
9. Justin Wilson Coyne 1m02.8213s + 1.2746s
10. Paul Tracy KV 1m02.8293s + 1.2826s
11. Tony Kanaan Andretti Green 1m03.0904s + 1.5437s
12. Robert Doornbos Newman/Haas/Lanigan 1m03.0946s + 1.5479s
13. Dario Franchitti Ganassi 1m03.0996s + 1.5529s
14. Hideki Mutoh Andretti Green 1m03.1516s + 1.6049s
15. Tomas Scheckter Dreyer & Reinbold 1m03.4343s + 1.8876s
16. Marco Andretti Andretti Green 1m04.0932s + 2.5465s
17. Alex Tagliani Conquest 1m04.1249s + 2.5782s
18. Ryan Hunter-Reay Foyt 1m04.1291s + 2.5824s
19. Richard Antinucci 3G 1m04.1953s + 2.6486s
20. EJ Viso HVM 1m04.2617s + 2.7150s
21. Ed Carpenter Vision 1m04.3493s + 2.8026s
22. Dan Wheldon Panther
23. Danica Patrick Andretti Green