23 May 2015

Power 1st, Dixon 2nd at Indy practice

5:39 pm on 23 May 2015

The Australian Will Power clocked the fastest time as the final practice for the 99th Indy 500 unfolded without any of the crashes that marred earlier sessions.

Power, who will start Monday's 500 from the middle of Row One, blasted around the sprawling 2.5 mile oval at 229.020 miles per hour while pole sitter Scott Dixon of New Zealand was second fastest.

The New Zealand motor racing driver Scott Dixon.

The New Zealand motor racing driver Scott Dixon. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Dixon's Ganassi team mate Brazilian Tony Kanaan clocked the third best effort, followed by Frenchman Simon Pagenaud and Japan's Takuma Sato.

"It means nothing really. It's just a big draft," said Power, not wanting to put too much importance on the session."

"It's more about how you can get through traffic than anything. We'll see on Sunday.

"The further back you get in a train, the harder it is. But there's quite a few good cars out there that are going to make their way to the front.

"I think our plan is just to try to stay up there all day."

Following a string of spectacular high-speed crashes during earlier practice sessions, apprehension hung over what is known as 'Carb Day' as team's struggled on Friday to come to grips with new aero-kits and the unusally cool temperatures.

As soon as the one-hour practice opened most of the 33-car field were out quickly onto the sun-kissed track determined to get in as many laps as possible.

This May the speedway has lived up to its treacherous reputation with some of the IndyCar series' most experienced drivers finishing practice in an ambulance.

Three-time 500 winner Helio Castroneves, two-time pole winner Ed Carpenter and Josef Newgarden and James Hinchcliffe, both IndyCar series race winners this season, were all involved in frightening crashes when their cars became airborne and slammed into the wall.

Castroneves, Carpenter and Newgarden all walked away unscathed and will be on the grid Sunday but Hinchcliffe will watch the race from the hospital after suffering a serious leg injury.

"This month we've generally been pretty fast," said Dixon. "The car's had a lot of speed in it. You haven't had to wait for the perfect tow.

"It doesn't mean a whole lot just because of the style of racing now unfortunately with the draft being so big. It's not like you're going to pull away or anything like that."