It was deja vu for Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing (SFHR) on opening day of practice for the 2012 Indianapolis 500 when rookie driver Josef Newgarden topped the speed charts with a lap of 220.250 mph.
Last year the team was also quickest on opening day of IZOD IndyCar practice at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway with driver Ed Carpenter.
Newgarden’s teammate Bryan Clauson made a splash in his first official day of IZOD IndyCar series practice in the No. 39 SFHR/RW Dallara/Honda/Firestone car with the third quickest lap of the day at 219.632 mph.
There are six full days of practice between opening day and Pole Day for the Indianapolis 500, but SFHR has shown that they can back up their early speed on road/street circuits in the 2012 IZOD IndyCar season with solid Honda-powered speed on ovals.
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“JOSEF NEWGARDEN (Driver- Nashville, Tenn.)
How does it feel to see your name on top of the speed charts on the first day at Indy?
“The team has done it all year. People have seen before that they can produce a good road/street car and there’s no issues oval wise. They’ve built really good, reliable, comfortable race cars for me and they’re doing the same for Bryan now. That’s all it is really. They make our job really easy and I think that’s what you guys are seeing. It bodes well, if anything, it’s not really a big deal to be quick on this day, but it speaks well for the team. I think the team deserves that credit. I’m really happy for them that they get the credit because they do deserve it, they do a good job and I’m proud to be with them.”
“BRYAN CLAUSON (Driver- Noblesville, Ind.)
Bryan on his first official day of practice at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway:
“I don’t know that it could have gone much better. Those SFHR boys prepared a fast Honda race car for us for this month. We were really quick out of the gate. The fastest laps can be misleading because of the tow you catch, but even by ourselves, Josef and I were very quick all day. It will be interesting to see as the month goes on where guys end up. It’s hard to tell who’s flat-out at this point and who is not. But, I felt really good about our car and the program we have in place for the rest of the month.”
“SARAH FISHER (Team Owner)
Sarah Fisher on her first team’s strong performance on opening day:
“Today is very encouraging, but it’s still a very long month and we still have a lot of room to grow and room to learn. Having two rookies and it being their first experience, we need to make sure we have an even month so that when we arrive on both Pole Day and Race Day we’re as prepared as today.”