Castroneves Franchitti Lead Detroit Practice

Dario Franchitti, looking to rebound from Sunday’s disappointing loss at Infineon Raceway, posted the fastest time in opening practice at the Raceway at Belle Isle Circuit in preparation for Sunday’s Detroit Indy Grand Prix.

Helio Castroneves went slightly faster in the second and final session of the day, running 1:13.4702, 101. 646 mph, in the No. 3 Team Penske Honda Dallara. That compares to Franchitti's morning lap of 1:13.3447, 101.602 mph, on the 2.906-mile temporary circuit in the No. 27 Canadian Club Honda fielded by Andretti Green Racing.

Scott Dixon, who enters the event with a four-point lead in the battle for the IndyCar Series championship, slid into the tires on his opening lap. His No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda was not damaged, and he continued to post the fourth-quickest time, 100.515 mph, and bettered that with an afternoon lap of 1:13.7286, 101.073, to run third fastest for the day.

After back-to-back flips at Michigan and Kentucky, Franchitti seemed headed to victory at Infineon Raceway when he tangled with teammate Marco Andretti after the final round of pits stops. He held on to finish third, but lost the point lead he had held for much of the season.

Andretti Green had the next two fastest laps of the day, with Tony Kanaan running 101.053 mph and Andretti 99.998 mph, followed by Team Penske's Sam Hornish Jr., 99.996 mph.

Saturday’s schedule begins with a one-hour final practice at 8:45, with single-car and Firestone Fast Six qualifying beginning at 11:45 p.m. The race takes the green flag Sunday at 3:30 p.m., and will be shown live on ABC.

Following the event, only the September 9 finale at Chicagoland Speedway remains on the 2007 IndyCar Series schedule.

Race Center

Auto Club 500

@ Auto Club Speedway
Saturday, October 19, 2013
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