Alright, let’s all pick our jaws up off the floor and understand this is just practice. Some drivers are running flat out, some are testing different setups, and some just trying to recover from let lag. Don’t jump to irrational conclusions, just observe until qualification times come through.
Now that the disclaimer has been aired...Danica! sits atop the Timing and Scoring in Motegi! And Sukiyaki is right behind her!
Yes friends, she's made a few less public appearances and she just got a new house (that one commenter astutely compared to a prison), so a refreshed Mrs. Hospenthal is looking like she might threaten to win a race in Japan this weekend. This should come as no surprise because as we have all been told she just wants to win.
Meanwhile, Matsuura (who may or may not also want to win) seems charged up to be back in his homeland. His early performance indicates how much he's trying to help the league, since yesterday he declared to USAToday "All the Japanese fans will be going home early if I don't finish all 200 laps". Ahem.
Here are the best lap times (seconds) and corresponding speeds (mph) for each driver so far.
1 Danica Patrick 26.9585 / 202.979
2 Kosuke Matsuura 27.0260 / 202.472
3 Helio Castroneves 27.0496 / 202.295
4 Tony Kanaan 27.0928 / 201.972
5 Dan Wheldon 27.1639 / 201.444
6 Marco Andretti 27.1833 / 201.300
7 Sam Hornish Jr 27.2385 / 200.892
8 Dario Franchitti 27.2443 / 200.849
9 Buddy Rice 27.3435 / 200.121
10 Scott Sharp 27.3777 / 199.871
11 Scott Dixon 27.3883 / 199.793
12 Tomas Scheckter 27.4127 / 199.616
13 Ed Carpenter 27.4633 / 199.248
14 AJ Foyt IV 27.4667 / 199.223
15 Sarah Fisher 27.5707 / 198.472
16 Vitor Meira 27.6304 / 198.043
17 Darren Manning 27.8206 / 196.689
18 Jeff Simmons 27.8236 / 196.668
It should be noted that Vitor Meira is in a backup car after suffering a crash in an earlier practice session. It should also be noted this increases the likelihood of his his winless streak ticking up to 62.
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