1. SAM HORNISH
Though he's never finished better than 14th in six starts in the 500, the
Ohio-born Hornish (above), who drives for the powerful Penske team, has
dominated practice this year with laps that have consistently been among the
At week's end Wheldon, the defending Indy 500 and IRL series champion, had the
fastest practice lap, 228.663 mph.
A two-time Indy winner, Hornish's teammate is the IRL's hottest driver; he has
two victories in 2006.
The 2004 IRL champ has battled an ill-handling car in practice, but he'll be a
factor in the race; in his last three Indy 500s the Brazilian star has twice
finished in the top three.
The Rahal-Letterman Hondas are struggling through the corners, but the team
knows how to win at Indy; with a mistake-free drive, Patrick can again be a
> More Indy
500 coverage and analysis at SI.com/racing.