Andretti Leads Day One Of Indy 500 Practice
May 6, 2008 | 11:37 A.M. EST
Andretti, who finished second in the race as a rookie in 2006, lapped the historic 2.5-mile oval in 39.7177 seconds, 226.599 mph in the No. 26 Team Indiana Jones presented by Blockbuster car.
Tony Kanaan, Andretti's Andretti Green Racing teammate, was second fastest with a lap of 225.269 mph. Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammates Scott Dixon and 2005 winner Dan Wheldon were third and fifth, respectively, while Team Penske teammates Ryan Briscoe and two-time Indy winner Helio Castroneves were fourth and sixth, respectively.
The veterans were on track for the first time in May, following two days of Rookie Orientation. Twenty veterans and 11 rookies combined for the most drivers to practice on the first day since 1999, when 33 drivers completed laps.
All drivers have three more days of practice before PEAK Motor Oil Pole Qualifying on Saturday.
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, who is campaigning to be the Democratic nominee for President of the United States, visited the Indianapolis Motor Speedway today as Indiana voters headed to the polls for primary elections.
Clinton visited the garage of Sarah Fisher Racing. Fisher returns to the Indianapolis 500 this season as an owner-driver for the first time in her career.
Clinton spent approximately 30 minutes in the team's garage, getting an IndyCar Series tutorial from Fisher. The senator fiddled with Fisher's steering wheel, learning about the paddle shift system, and asked Fisher about the car's aerodynamics. Fisher presented Sen. Clinton with an autographed helmet.
Clinton also greeted Mari Hulman George, the chairman of the board of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, as well as Brian Barnhart, president of competition and operations for the Indy Racing League.
SENATOR HILLARY CLINTON: "It's really exciting. This is the Month of May; it's when everything starts to happen. I was thrilled to have a chance to meet Sarah and her team. She's a trailblazer, and I hope to be a trailblazer myself. I'm excited about this incredible event, the largest single sporting event in the world. It's wonderful to see people working hard, preparing, doing what you've got to do to compete and win.
"I've been a watcher (of IndyCar Series racing), but I don't know enough about it. I'm thrilled to be here today. I've never been to the Speedway before, and to be a part of this historic event even in a minor way like today is a thrill for me. I admire people who set goals and do their best to achieve them. I admire people who come together to try and really set their sights high and create the conditions for something like this great race. There's a reason it's the largest single-day sporting event in the world. People who really value the hard work that goes into putting this together and admire the grit and mental toughness it takes to do this, we're fans, too."
SARAH FISHER (No. 67 Team ResQ/Gravity Entertainment): "It's certainly an honor and very much a privilege to have Senator Clinton here endorsing our race team and what we're doing, and we certainly endorse her and her campaign for president. She's seen the Indianapolis 500 before, and she's a supporter. She really supports initiatives for someone like myself going forward breaking ground and breaking glass ceilings. It was amazing. Just to talk to her and hear some of the advice she gave me about being true to myself and believing in who I am and what I do and making sure that's right at the end of the day and that being the most important. She's just a really impressive person."