Castroneves Fastest In Opening Day Of Indycar Practice At Infineon Raceway

Sonoma, CA ? Helio Castroneves topped the speed charts at Infineon Raceway as the IndyCar Series rolled into the picturesque 2.26-mile road course in the heart of California?s wine country.

The flying Brazilian topped the 18-car field with a speed of 108.193 miles per hour, the only driver to exceed the 108 mark. ?I was driving my butt off and it is good to be back,? Castroneves said, referencing his recent mediocre performance. ?This course is not easy and you feel like you are on a roller coater. It is cool to be fast, and our car has been good so far.?

Asked to comment on not being a championship contender, Castoneves stated, ?I am not looking back, and I think I have a great opportunity in the upcoming races, as I have nothing to lose. I am going for wins and I will do anything I can to make it happen. And I am going to do whatever I can do to spoil the fun of the championship contenders.?

Point leader Dario Franchitti was second fastest at 107.971 mph followed by two of his teammates, Tony Kanaan and Marco Andretti, at 107.764 and 107.737 mph, respectively.

Scott Dixon practiced fifth fastest with Sam Hornish Jr., Dan Wheldon, Danica Patrick, Buddy Rice and Ryan Hunter-Ready completing the top 10 fastest driver contingent.

The Indy Car Series had two practice sessions on Friday and one more session precedes Saturday?s qualifications.

The Motorola Indy 300 presented by Jackson Rancheria Casino & Hotel takes place at 12:30 p.m. Pacific Coast time Sunday.

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