Here are your practice times for fast Friday. Amazingly, the track stayed mostly dry today except for the occasional yellow for moisture in turn X. And while the track was green, a whole slew of faces made their way to the top of the timesheets for today. Helio, Tagliani and Power all put in 226+ times, while Townsend Bell and Graham Rahall mixed up the status quo by placing 10th and 11th respectively.
Dan Wheldon and Mike Conway chose to sit out today’s session though, most likely because today’s conditions are not at all indicative of what the track will be like tomorrow when everything matters.
The most common speculation is that everyone is running race setups during this compressed schedule, and that the traditional trimming out that normally happens on Fast Friday is being saved for tomorrow. Also being saved for tomorrow are 80F+ temperatures. So far this year, the days have been cool and overcast causing for faster lower track temps. The 226 and 227 range we have been seeing in practice could disappear tomorrow with higher track temps and no drafting as cars lay out the wing, trim out the cars and get ready for one heck of a ride.
That said, the coolest track temps of the day will be from 11am – 1pm, so pill draw will be key. Some of the times set in this part of the session will be indomitable come the 3pm hour when everybody starts gripping to make it in the top 24 or the top 9.