Kanaan Claims Bragging Rights

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Tony Kanaan secured bragging rights at Daytona International Speedway Wednesday by running the fastest lap of the first day of IRL IndyCar Series testing at the historic venue, recording a lap of 135.549 mph only seconds before the end of the session.

Kanaan, driver of the No. 11 7-Eleven Dallara-Honda for Andretti Green Racing, was amongst the five fastest all day, but saved his best lap for his final tour of the day on the 2.73-mile circuit.

"It’s a good first day," Kanaan said. "We are really not too worried about where we are going to finish, but obviously, when you finish like that on a day like this it makes you feel good.

"It’s early, this means nothing, we don’t race here – we are just testing. What I am happy about today is not the position I finished but what I accomplished. But I still have to brag a little bit."

This morning’s fastest driver, Penske Racing’s Helio Castroneves, finished just behind his Brazilian countryman with a lap of 135.313 mph – which he also achieved on the last of his 39 laps in the afternoon.

Target Chip Ganassi’s Dan Wheldon (135.226 mph), Andretti Green’s Dario Franchitti (135.134 mph) and Penske’s Sam Hornish Jr. (135.056 mph) rounded out the top five fastest laps of the session, which saw a total of 17 drivers set times.

Vitor Meira completed the most laps in the session with 83 circuits total, running with Delphi sponsorship on his Panther Dallara for the first time.

In the morning, Castroneves set the pace by running a fast lap of 133.542 mph around the 10-turn course.

Kanaan (132.473 mph), Scott Dixon (132.417 mph), Hornish (132.387 mph) and Wheldon rounded out the top five in the session.

The newest member of the Andretti Green stable, Danica Patrick, had seating issues which forced her to run only one lap in the morning. However, the team corrected the issue in the afternoon and she was able to run a total of 55 laps, with a best of 131.439 mph (14th fastest).

Patrick was amongst six drivers who were competing with new teams starting today – Rahal Letterman Racing’s Scott Sharp (133.118 mph – eighth fastest), Super Aguri Panther Racing’s Kosuke Matsuura (133.006 mph – ninth fastest), A.J. Foyt Enterprises’ Darren Manning (131.854 mph – 12th fastest), Dreyer & Reinbold Racing’s Buddy Rice (131.314 mph – 15th fastest) and Vision Racing’s A.J. Foyt IV (127.984 mph – 17th fastest).

The day saw a total of 12 yellow flag periods. However, no driver suffered any heavy damage to their vehicles.

Scott Sharp, driver of the No. 8 Petron Dallara-Honda, was the first driver to start a full lap in today’s session at 10:04 a.m. (ET).

Teams and drivers return Thursday for the final day of testing at Daytona. The day’s session will start at 10 a.m. with a two hour session, followed by the final four hour session from 1 – 5 p.m. (ET).

Spectators can watch the IndyCar Series Open Test at Daytona International Speedway from the Nextel FanZone by purchasing a $10 Daytona USA track tour ticket. Along with watching the action on the track, fans can also try their hand at racing on the IndyCar Series simulators that will be in the Nextel FanZone both days.

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