Castroneves Fastest On Friday
May 21, 2010 | 7:18 P.M. EST
Three-time Indianapolis 500 winner and three-time Indy 500 pole sitter Castroneves recorded a lap of 39.7250 seconds (226.558 mph) in the No. 3 Team Penske car. Thirty cars were within a half-second of Castroneves, with 10 different teams represented in the top 15.
"Certainly with the conditions we had today, we put all of our focus on qualifying," Castroneves said. "You want to make sure you get a clean run in and try to simulate a qualifying run as closely as possible. We're fast and we're pushing to the limit and trying to make sure that we're comfortable for tomorrow. Tomorrow will be a little different than past years because we may not have had as much practice time, but we're happy and we're right there."
Castroneves' teammate Will Power was second at 226.429, with FAZZT Race Team's Alex Tagliani third at 226.153. 2008 winner Scott Dixon was fourth at 225.828 in a Target Chip Ganassi Racing car, with KV Racing Technology's Mario Moraes rounding out the top five at 225.806.
The top 24 spots in the 33-car starting field will be filled through traditional four-lap attempts. The times of the top nine cars based on time from Segment 1 will advance to Segment 2 for a 90-minute shootout for the PEAK Performance Pole Award presented by AutoZone and bonus points that could impact the season-long driver championship race.
Enticements include a $175,000 payout to the pole winner along with significant paydays for the other front-row starters, championship bonus points and, of course, the No. 1 position for "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing" on May 30.