Former Winners Top Indy Practice

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The winners of the last three Indianapolis 500s topped the speed charts as preparations for the 2010 race continued May 16 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves, the 2009 winner, set the fastest lap of practice this month with a lap of 39.6395 seconds , 227.046 mph in his No. 3 Team Penske Dallara/Honda/Firestone.

"Today was a good day for Team Penske," Castroneves said. "Despite the weather, with it raining off and on, we were still able to work on some areas to make the car better for the race. It's always good to be out there learning something. On the fast lap, I just put myself in a good position to get a good draft, and we wound up with a faster lap than yesterday."

2008 winner Scott Dixon was second fastest at 39.7875, 226.202 with his Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammate and 2007 Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti third at 39.8152, 226.044.

The seven rookie drivers who hope to compete in the 2010 Indianapolis 500 - Bertrand Baguette, Ana Beatriz, Simona De Silvestro, Jay Howard, Mario Romancini, Sebastian Saavedra and Takuma Sato - completed the four phases of the Rookie Orientation Program,

"It was my second time out on an oval, and being here at Indy is something pretty special," De Silvestro said. "I went through ROP (Rookie Orientation Program), and it was pretty good. I'm sure tomorrow will be pretty different with all of the people around me, but I really enjoyed it."

The day also brought the first contact of the month of May when 2005 Indianapolis 500 Dan Wheldon hit the outside retaining wall at the exit of Turn 4. Wheldon sustained a bruised foot in the crash, but expected to be back in the car May 17.

"I'm not 100 percent sure what happened," Wheldon said. "We'll have to go back and look at the data. It's obviously not the way you want to start the second day at Indianapolis. I think the team are very well prepared for this month, and everyone could see the National Guard Panther Racing car's pretty quick."

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