The stars of the Indy Racing League took to the track for their final warm-up for tonight's Sun Trust Indy Challenge Presented by XM Satellite Radio. Minutes into the session, 2004 Indy 500 winner Buddy Rice spun his Rahal Letterman Racing machine into the turn 4 wall. This warm-up, which drivers use to test their racers with full fuel tanks, was supposed to take place last evening. It was postponed due to heavy rains that blanketed the Richmond area for much of the afternoon and evening. Those rains also force the cancellation of WRIC TV8 Pole qualifying for tonight's race. The starting grid for the race was set based on the practice speeds set during the day¿s two practice sessions.
2006 Indy 500 winner Sam Hornish, Jr., set the fastest speed of today¿s warm-up session, clocking in a 16.569 sec., 162.954 mph lap. Next up were Vitor Meira (161.346 mph), Tony Kanaan (160.700 mph) and Dario Franchitti (159.838 mph).
Dan Wheldon, 2005 Indy Racing League Champion and 2004 Richmond International Raceway Sun Trust Indy Challenge winner, got a late start in the practice session because his team changed the engine in his Target Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara Honda. Wheldon would finish the session 5th fastest.
Helio Castroneves and Scott Sharp will lead the field to the green flag at 8:00 pm tonight for 250 laps of Racing Perfection "Under the Lights."
USAC Silver Crown Series Action
USAC Silver Crown Series drivers made their final adjustments to their machines in preparation for this evening¿s Richmond Times-Dispatch 100. Pole position driver Josh Wise, in the A.J. Foyt Enterprises car, staked his claim as the favorite for tonight¿s race by posting the fastest speed. Thiago Medeiros, running for PDM Racing, was second fastest and hopes to make things interesting by improving on his 10th place starting position in the race. Bud Kaeding, Pete Shepherd III and Aaron Pierce rounded out the top 5. Brian Tyler, who won last night¿s USAC Midget Series race and will start tonight from the front row, had the 9th fastest speed.
The Richmond Times-Dispatch 100 begins at 5:45 pm.