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Drivers get speeds above 220 mph in practice for Indianapolis 500

May 16, 2013|By Jim Peltz
  • J.R. Hildebrand pulls into pit row during practice this week at Indianapolis.
J.R. Hildebrand pulls into pit row during practice this week at Indianapolis. (Michael Hickey / Getty Images )

Now in their sixth day of practice, drivers preparing for the Indianapolis 500 are turning laps in excess of 220 mph at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The Memorial Day weekend classic is May 26, and qualifying to set the 33-car field is this weekend.

J.R. Hildebrand of Sausalito topped the speed charts early in Thursday's practice with a lap of 224.075 mph around the 2.5-mile speedway. Hildebrand nearly won the Indy 500 in 2011 but crashed on the final lap.

He was followed Thursday by reigning Izod IndyCar Series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay at 223.899 mph and A.J. Allmendinger at 223.378 mph.

Conor Daly, a 21-year-old rookie driving for A.J. Foyt's team, crashed during the session but was unhurt.

After Daly lost control in Turn 1, the car slammed into the outside wall and nearly flipped upside down before coming to a stop. The car was heavily damaged.

Defending race winner Dario Franchitti, who has won the legendary race three times overall, led Wednesday's practice with a lap of 224.235 mph.

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