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Dario Franchitti fastest in final Indy 500 practice

May 28, 2010 | 10:26 am
Dario Franchitti turned the fastest lap in the final practice Friday for the Indianapolis 500 while Danica Patrick continued to struggle to find sufficient speed.

Dario Franchitti, who won the race in 2007 when it was shortened by rain, posted a lap of 225.574 mph on the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway on so-called "Carb Day," a throwback term to the days when teams would make final tweaks to the cars' engine carburetors before the race.

Scott Dixon, the 2008 Indy 500 winner and Franchitti's teammate at Target Chip Ganassi Racing, ran the second-fastest lap at 225.159 mph, and both drivers were the only ones to top 225 mph in the one-hour practice on a clear day with temperatures in the mid-80s.

Pole-sitter Helio Castroneves, who is trying to become only the fourth driver to win the Indy 500 four times, was fifth-fastest in practice.

But Patrick languished in 21st in her Andretti Autosport car with a lap of 222.306 mph, more than 3 mph slower than Franchitti. Patrick, the most popular driver in the Izod IndyCar Series, qualified 23rd for Sunday's race.

-- Jim Peltz in Indianapolis

Photo: Driver Dario Franchitti before leading the final practice Friday for the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Credit: AJ Mast / Associated Press