Focus back on racing as IndyCar opens season

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- Will Power and Dario Franchitti flirted back and forth Friday afternoon for top billing on the speed chart on the first day of the new IndyCar season.

The two drivers battled back-and-forth the past two seasons for the Izod IndyCar championship, with Franchitti taking the title both years.

The two resumed their usual positions up front in the second of Friday's two practice sessions.

For the first time in five months, the focus is back on racing.

IndyCar had a long and difficult offseason following the death of Dan Wheldon in the Oct. 16 season-ending race at Las Vegas. With no racing scheduled, the series had been unable to return to any form of normalcy, and many drivers yearned to get back on track to help the healing process.