Russian rookie clears 1st hurdle in Indy testing

(WISH Photo/Eric Halvorson, file)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Russian driver Mikhail Aleshin was the fastest of the five rookies on the track Monday at Indianapolis.

The Moscow native had a fast lap of 219.170 mph and was one of three rookies to complete the rookie orientation program. Jack Hawksworth and Carlos Huertas also passed. Jacques Villeneuve, the 1995 Indy winner, and former Cup champion Kurt Busch completed their rookie tests last week.

Sage Karam, the defending Indy Lights champ, passed two of the three rookie tests but problems with his car prevented him from finishing the third and final stage. He will have to do that when practice for the 500 opens Sunday. The race is scheduled for May 25.

Practice on the new road course opens Thursday. The inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis is set for Saturday. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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