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Speeds near 230 mph on eve of Indianapolis 500 qualifying

May 17, 2013|By Jim Peltz
  • E.J. Viso drives through the first turn during practice for the Indianapolis 500 race.
E.J. Viso drives through the first turn during practice for the Indianapolis… (AJ Mast / Associated Press )

Several drivers neared the 230-mph mark Friday on the eve of qualifying for the Indianapolis 500.

E.J. Viso, a Venezuelan driving for the Andretti Autosport team, ran the fastest lap of 229.537 mph at the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway before afternoon rain shortened the practice session.

Next fastest were his teammates Marco Andretti at 228.754 mph and rookie Carlos Munoz at 228.520 mph.

Australian Will Power, Californian J.R. Hildebrand and five other drivers each topped 227 mph.

Qualifying to determine the pole-sitter for the May 26 race, along with the next 23 spots in the 33-car field, is scheduled Saturday. The rest of the starting grid will be set during qualifying Sunday.

Friday's speeds were the fastest practice laps at Indy in a decade, the speedway said, but they're still well below the qualifying record set 17 years ago.

Arie Luyendyk set the four-lap qualifying record of 236.986 mph in 1996. Luyendyk also won the Indy 500 in 1990 and 1997.

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