Wheldon on top of Thursday night
5 June 2009 – Dan Wheldon has finished fastest in Thursday's first practice session in Texas. The Englishman's Panther Racing car led the way in the session under lights from Danica Patrick's Andretti Green car with Ryan Briscoe third for Penske. Dario Franchitti was the second British driver in the top five, which was rounded out by reigning Champion and current leader Scott Dixon.
In a session featuring no stoppages of any sort, Wheldon topped the Thursday evening timesheets with a best effort of 24.274 seconds, fractionally over a tenth quicker than Patrick. "Certainly with the times changing, it gets harder and harder to win races, but we rolled off the truck very fast," said fastest man Wheldon.
Outside of the top five positions was Helio Castroneves with Rahal, Kanaan, Milka Duno and Marco Andretti rounding out the ten; the Dreyer and Reinbold car of Venezuelan Duno was back on track for the first time since the Indy 500, as were Alex Tagliani's Conquest and independent Sarah Fisher, who finished 16th and 17th respectively.