The weather was sunny but windy at Homestead Miami Speedway Tuesday for the second day of Indy Racing League’s annual Spring Training. The Firestone Indy Lights cars were on track from 9 am to 3:45 PM. Panther Racing’s PIPPA MANN/No.16 was the fastest, overall and Rookie. There were 17 cars on track, ten of which were Rookies. Mann’s fastest time was 00.28.4776/187.726 mph. She ran 144 laps. The most laps were run by her Panther teammate,  Rookie MARTIN PLOWMAN/No.15, with 190 laps. Twenty Indy Lights drivers were on track over the two-day test.

While the junior IRL series was on track, the Indy Car drivers were having their official photos taken for a variety of assignments, and then rotated through the Interview Lounge to chat up the media.

The Indy Car drivers, 20 in all, were on track from 4 to 10 PM, in two sessions.  The order didn’t change much. SCOTT DIXON/No.9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing was the fastest in the first session at 25.2519/211.372 mph. Returning 2007 Indy Car Champion and Indianapolis 500 winner, DARIO FRANCHITTI/No.10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing proved the rust had fallen off over the year, as he was third behind Aussie, RYAN BRISCOE/No.6. Rookie ROBERT DOORNBOS/No.06 Newman Haas Lanigan Racing was fourth overall and top Rookie. Fifth overall was Briscoe again in the second Team Penske car, which was also tested by WILL POWER, who was fifteenth quickest in the car.

The top four drivers were from New Zealand, Australia, Scotland and Holland. The top Yankee driver was DANICA PATRICK/No.7 Andretti Green Racing in seventh place, and one of two female drivers. The other was MILKA DUNO of Venezuela, who was testing the NHLR No.23 all tricked out in CITGO and Arctic Ice livery. Duno was sixteenth fastest.

Duno said, after being posed the question several different ways, that she was running the full season, although the details weren’t finalized. She spoke verbosely, but didn’t answer who approached whom regarding the ride – the team, she or one/both of her sponsors. However, an official NHLR spokesperson said that Duno was only testing and nothing had been signed regarding a full-time ride. The emissary said that the team assumed that Duno would be remaining with Dreyer & Reinbold again this season and NHLR had not made the approach.

Two other drivers are so far just here for the test: JUSTIN WILSON/No.18 Dale Coyne Racing, and JAIME CAMARA/No.34 Conquest Racing. Both are in hopes of the test becoming a full ride. Once Conquest team owner, ERIC BACHELART, finalizes Driver number one, he can work on getting a second car on track, but not before.

On the outside looking in Tuesday were: RYAN HUNTER-REAY, hanging out with ORIOL SERVIA, who was sporting a devilish new goatee; and BRUNO JUNQUEIRA. All three had been talking with teams, but said they had nothing lined up so far.

DALE COYNE wasn’t to be found, but he still has one car which could take a driver. Four more drivers are scheduled for photo shoot/media interviews on Wednesday – DAN WHELDON/No.4 Panther Racing, SARAH FISHER in her own car; and two drivers for Dale Coyne Racing – Driver A and Driver B. Junqueira, who raced for Coyne the past two seasons, said he wouldn’t be in the Coyne car nor taking the photo shoot as a Coyne driver. Fisher was in the pits Tuesday, and said she’s only announced three races plus the Indianapolis 500 – Chicago, Kansas and Kentucky.

Wheldon wasn’t on track Tuesday, as he was off gallivanting in Washington DC with other celebrities for the fourth annual Challenge Champions Gala. Other drivers included DALE EARNHARDT Jr and JEFF GORDON.

The temperature was at a high of 69 degrees F at HMS, and the wind said to be 24 mph, but felt even stiffer. At least one Indy Car driver remarked that driving had to factor in the wind. One Firestone Indy Lights driver found out the hard way, literally and figuratively. DANIEL HARRINGTON/No.28 Bryan Herta Autosport got caught out by the wind and ran into the Turn Two SAFER barrier. He was unhurt, but the car ran no more Tuesday. Team owner, BRYAN HERTA, has something else to add to his plate as team owner and road racing consultant to Vision Racing – journalist. Herta is working for RACER magazine, and was at Auto Club Speedway last weekend for the NASCAR races, so he could interview The King – RICHARD PETTY, for a feature.


  1. SCOTT DIXON/No.9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing
  2. RYAN BRISCOE/No.6 Team Penske
  3. DARIO FRANCHITTI/No.10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing
  4. ROBERT DOORNBOS*/No.06 Newman Haas Lanigan Racing
  5. RYAN BRISCOE/No.3 Team Penske
  6. MARIO MORAES/No.5 KV Racing Technology
  7. DANICA PATRICK/No7 Andretti Green Racing
  8. TONY KANAAN/No.11 Andretti Green Racing
  9. RAFAEL MATOS*/No.12 Luczo Dragon Racing
  10. GRAHAM RAHAL/No.02 Newman Haas Lanigan Racing
  11. MARCO ANDRETTI/No.26 Andretti Green Racing
  12. HIDEKI MUTOH/No.27 Andretti Green Racing
  13. MIKE CONWAY*/Dreyer & Reinbold Racing
  14. ED CARPENTER/No.20 Vision Racing
  15. WILL POWER/No.3 Team Penske
  16. MILKA DUNO/Newman Haas Lanigan Racing
  17. VITOR MEIRA/No.14 A.J. Foyt Enterprises
  18. EJ VISO/No.13 HVM Racing
  19. JAIME CAMARA/No.34 Conquest Racing
  20. STANTON BARRETT*/No.98 Curb/Agajanian/Team 3G
  21. JUSTIN WILSON/No.18 Dale Coyne Racing