tampabay.com

Starting grid

By JIM TOMLIN
Published April 2, 2006


27 DARIO FRANCHITTI

TEAM: Andretti Green Racing

CHASSIS: Dallara

TIME/SPEED: 1:02.2753/104.054 mph

COMMENT: The Scotsman, who topped nearly every practice, set an IndyCar track record in the 10-minute final session.

9 SCOTT DIXON

TEAM: Chip Ganassi Racing

CHASSIS: Panoz

TIME/SPEED: 1:02.5951/103.522

COMMENT: The leader in Friday's first practice has his first front-row start since qualifying second at California in 2004.

11 TONY KANAAN

TEAM: Andretti Green Racing

CHASSIS: Dallara

TIME/SPEED: 1:02.6127/103.493

COMMENT: Last year's race runnerup ran the most laps in the final session but was unable to crack the front row.

6 SAM HORNISH

TEAM: Penske Racing

CHASSIS: Dallara

TIME/SPEED: 1:02.6758/103.389

COMMENT: Mostly grew up driving ovals but is proving to be a contender on road courses against veterans.

3 HELIO CASTRONEVES

TEAM: Penske Racing

CHASSIS: Dallara

TIME/SPEED: 1:02.7482/103.270

COMMENT: In the front row for all three IndyCar road course races last year, but not quite as quick yet this weekend.

7 BRYAN HERTA

TEAM: Andretti Green Racing

CHASSIS: Dallara

TIME/SPEED: 1:02.8774/103.058

COMMENT: Last year's pole-sitter got faster with each practice this weekend as AGR keeps showing its depth.

15 BUDDY RICE

TEAM: Rahal Letterman

CHASSIS: Panoz

TIME/SPEED: 1:03.5648/101.943

COMMENT: Missed the six-car European-style final qualifying by one spot after being in the top six all day Friday.

2 TOMAS SCHECKTER

TEAM: Vision Racing

CHASSIS: Dallara

TIME/SPEED: 1:03.7143/101.704

COMMENT: Came back from a spin in morning practice, where he made contact with a barrier in Turn 12.

55 KOSUKE MATSUURA

TEAM: Super Aguri Fernandez

CHASSIS: Dallara

TIME/SPEED: 1:03.8033/101.562

COMMENT: Qualified seventh last year and was sixth fastest in Friday practice; continues to run well here.

26 MARCO ANDRETTI

TEAM: Andretti Green Racing

CHASSIS: Dallara

TIME/SPEED: 1:03.8853/101.432

COMMENT: Rookie came back from an incident with Eddie Cheever in Friday practice to put in a strong lap.

20 ROBERTO MORENO

TEAM: Vision Racing

CHASSIS: Dallara

TIME/SPEED: 1:03.9455/101.336

COMMENT: The veteran, replacing the injured Ed Carpenter this weekend, topped Carpenter's best start from all of 2005.

4 VITOR MEIRA

TEAM: Panther Racing

CHASSIS: Dallara

TIME/SPEED: 1:04.0206/101.217

COMMENT: Finished fifth here last year but hasn't found consistent speed for his new team.

10 DAN WHELDON

TEAM: Chip Ganassi Racing

CHASSIS: Panoz

TIME/SPEED: 1:04.0267/101.208

COMMENT: The defending race champion hasn't started this far back since Indianapolis in 2005 - of course, he won there too.

16 DANICA PATRICK

TEAM: Rahal Letterman

CHASSIS: Panoz

TIME/SPEED: 1:04.4436/100.553

COMMENT: Hasn't been happy with her form here, but the second-year driver found a bit more speed with each practice.

8 SCOTT SHARP

TEAM: Fernandez Racing

CHASSIS: Panoz

TIME/SPEED: 1:04.8588/99.909

COMMENT: Barely cracked 100 mph in the final two practice sessions, but not in qualifying.

14 FELIPE GIAFFONE

TEAM: A.J. Foyt Racing

CHASSIS: Dallara

TIME/SPEED: 1:05.3845/99.106

COMMENT: It has been a while since the Brazilian started up front - his last front-row spot was at Phoenix in 2003.

51 EDDIE CHEEVER

TEAM: Cheever Racing

CHASSIS: Dallara

TIME/SPEED: 1:05.5475/98.860

COMMENT: Continues his return after a three-year retirement but hasn't found much speed all weekend.

5 BUDDY LAZIER

TEAM: Dreyer & Reinbold Racing

CHASSIS: Dallara

TIME/SPEED: 1:06.2425/97.822

COMMENT: Qualifying spot was no surprise - the 1996 Indianapolis 500 winner he was second to last in every practice.

91 P.J. CHESSON

TEAM: Carmelo Hemelgarn

CHASSIS: Dallara

TIME/SPEED: 1:08.8266/94.150

COMMENT: Continues to struggle in his first IndyCar road race; he hit the Turn 6 barrier and damaged his car's nose in morning practice.