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Monday, September 27, 2010

IndyCar Teams Prepare For Homestead

No less than 11 IZOD IndyCar Series teams decided to utilize a Monday testing session at the Homestead-Miami Speedway in preparation for Saturday night's Cafes do Brazil Indy 300.

The top five drivers in IndyCar points - Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti of Chip Ganassi Racing, as well as Ryan Briscoe, Helio Castroneves, and series leader Will Power of Team Penske - all took advantage of the open test session. Ganassi will look to win its third consecutive championship as a team, while its drivers will look to continue a stranglehold on the championship that began with Franchitti's 2007 title as a member of Andretti Green Racing. Meanwhile, Power will look to deliver owner Roger Penske his first IndyCar title since Sam Hornish accomplished the feat in 2006.

IndyCar mainstays A.J. Foyt Enterprises and Dreyer & Reinbold Racing each brought their full-time programs to the track as well, with Vitor Meira and Justin Wilson lapping for the two teams, respectively. DRR also provided Ana Beatriz with a car for the test session, as she will replace the still-recovering Mike Conway in that team's second car for the finale.

Beatriz wasn't the only limited-program driver to take advantage of the session, however. Sarah Fisher took her team to the track, carrying a bright pink paint scheme on the No. 67 Dollar General Dallara-Honda in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Meanwhile, Ed Carpenter made laps on behalf of Vision Racing and their allies at Panther Racing. Finally, Sebastian Saavedra made his debut for Conquest Racing, driving a No. 36 Dallara-Honda sponsored by many of Saavedra's personal backers.

27 cars are on the entry list for Homestead, an exceptionally healthy number considering some of the smaller car counts of last season. Provided that everybody shows up, this year's season finale will feature four more cars than last year's event did, though rumors persist that the marginally funded HVM Racing have been locked out of their Indianapolis shop and may not make the event with driver Simona de Silvestro.

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