Pagenaud posts fastest Indy practice lap

By By The Sports Xchange
Published On: May 14 2014 04:19:18 PM HST
Updated On: May 15 2014 05:12:24 AM HST
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Caren Firouz/Reuters

Simon Pagenaud is riding a hot streak at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The Frenchman followed his victory in the first road race at the track on Saturday with the fastest lap in practice for the Indianapolis 500 on Wednesday at 226.122 mph.

Pagenaud was the first driver this week to top 226 mph on the 2 1/2-mile oval. His run came after track officials extended the session when rain wiped out the first five hours of the scheduled six-hour practice.

It was the first time in memory that the Speedway allowed practice to continue for all drivers past the scheduled

"It's always enjoyable to get close to 230. Hopefully, we can break that in qualifying," Pagenaud said.

American J.R. Hildebrand had the second-fastest run at at 225.854 mph. Scott Dixon, the 2008 Indianapolis 500 winner, was third at 225.494 mph.

There were 29 cars on the track for practice, but Kurt Busch, who is attempting a IndyCar-Sprint Cup double on May 25, was absent. Busch returned to Charlotte, N.C., to his NASCAR team headquarters because of the rain, but he is expected back at Indy for practice on Thursday and Friday.

English rookie Jack Hawksworth was the first driver to crash in practice, spinning on the third turn and slamming into the wall. He was not injured.

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