Motor racing-Kanaan fastest as Ganassi continues Indy domination


May 27, 2022; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; IndyCar Series driver Tony Kanaan during Carb Day practice at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

INDIANAPOLIS (Reuters) - Brazil's Tony Kanaan posted the top speed in final practice on Friday for the Indianapolis 500 as Chip Ganassi Racing continued to dominate the build-up to the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing" while Colton Herta destroyed his car in a nasty crash late in the session.

Kanaan, winner of a maiden Indy 500 in 2013, flashed the type of speed that could take him to Victory Lane a second time - recording a maximum 227.114 mph around the sprawling 2.5-mile oval in the final tune-up for Sunday’s race.

Ganassi cars, which will occupy four of the top six spots on starting grid, topped the final timing table on what is known as Carb Day with Sweden's Marcus Ericsson clocking the second fastest time and polesitter Scott Dixon the fourth.

Only twice Indy 500 winner Takuma Sato prevented a Ganassi sweep of the top three spots, the Japanese veteran squeezing his Dale Coyne Racing Honda between Ericsson and Dixon with the third best effort on an overcast afternoon at the Brickyard.

The two other drivers in Ganassi Racing's five-car juggernaut were seven-time NASCAR Cup winner Jimmie Johnson, who was seventh, and Spaniard Alex Palou, who will start second alongside Dixon, the 14th fastest.

"Uneventful," said Kanaan, summing up the Ganassi team's outing. "There wasn't much to do. We were happy with the car all week, that's no secret. The cars are good.

"We did a few pit stops, ran a couple of things, but honestly we didn't change anything."

That will not be the case in the Andretti Autosport garage where the team will be busy preparing Herta's back-up car after he lost control into Turn One and slammed hard against the wall before going airborne and skidding along the track upside down.

"A little sad for that race car," said Herta, after being checked out and cleared by doctors at the infield medical centre. "That was a big hit from the side. The safety crews were there very fast."

(Reporting by Steve Keating; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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