Behind the Barriers: Qualifying day three

As part of the partnership between the IndyCar Series, Indiana Corn and Ethanol, the Crystal Flash station at 545 S. Rangeline Rd in Carmel will offer a special promotion from 4-5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 20. E10 (a blend of 10-percent ethanol and...

As part of the partnership between the IndyCar Series, Indiana Corn and Ethanol, the Crystal Flash station at 545 S. Rangeline Rd in Carmel will offer a special promotion from 4-5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 20. E10 (a blend of 10-percent ethanol and 90 percent gasoline) will be available for $2.97 a gallon and E85 (a blend of 15-percent ethanol and 85 percent gasoline) will be available for $1.85 a gallon. Ryan Hunter Reay, Graham Rahal and Justin Wilson will be available to sign autographs and answer questions about ethanol. The first 50 cars will receive an ethanol fan pack. A similar promotion last year tied up traffic with cars lined up long before the offer began. Cars may not line up prior to 3:30 p.m. this year.

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After two passes through technical inspection, IndyCar Series officials still had issues with Phil Giebler's American Dream Panoz. American Dream has entered the only Panoz chassis at the event. After addressing the list of issues, team engineer Mark Weida said they'll present the car at technical inspection a third time. After the second inspection, Weida said, "the list is shorter."

The car made its first appearance on pit lane shortly after 2:00 p.m. By 4:00 p.m. Giebler had recorded 34 laps, attaining a speed of 215.923 mph. At 4:20 p.m. Giebler, who had reached speeds in excess of 218 mph, went below the while line in Turn 2 and spun before making heavy contact with the SAFER Barrier. He was extricated from the car by safety officials and transported to Methodist Hospital. According to IndyCar Series Senior Medical Director Dr. Michael Olinger, Giebler has been admitted to the hospital with pulmonary contusions (bruised lungs).

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Team Penske drivers Helio Castroneves and Ryan Briscoe made an early morning appearance at a Jim Beam press conference where seventh generation Beam family member Fred Noe presented Operation Homefront with a $175,000 check. Operation Homefront is an organization dedicated to providing emergency assistance to U.S. troops, the families they leave behind and to returning wounded warriors. Jim Beam will offer an "Operation Homefront" commemorative bottle that will be in stores next weekend. Raising a glass of Jim Beam in the air, Noe proposed a toast in honor of the charitable organization. Briscoe and Castroneves participated with each raising a slice of cold toast. Noe was quick to chuckle, adding, "This wasn't my idea."

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Dale Coyne Racing crewman Chuck Buckman returned home after spending five nights at Methodist Hospital after being hit by Danica Patrick's car on pit lane last Friday. "The only problem I am having right now is a case of vertigo when I sit or stand up," said Buckman in a team press release. "Besides that my right arm is bruised all over, I have a fracture in my skull, my face is scraped and I have to wear a neck brace for a month, other than that I feel fine and want to get back to work."

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Never one to miss a good marketing opportunity, Texas Motor Speedway president Eddie Gossage has a billboard located at the intersection of Crawfordsville Road and I-465 in Speedway, IN touting the Bombardier Learjet 550 on June 7. Gossage recently announced that Kaptain Robbie Knievel will jump a motorcycle over a long line of Hummers as part of the IndyCar pre-race activities.

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Vitor Meira is on the front and SSG Patrick K. Shannon is on the back. As part of their association with the National Guard, Panther Racing is producing a unique autograph card for each event featuring a local member of National Guard. The always pleasant Meira was quick to point out, "This is the front of the card. The side with me on it -- that's the back."

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Garage space is at a premium at the Speedway. American Dream Racing is garaged in one of the East Accessory Rooms located adjacent to the fuel pumps. That space, normally reserved for vendors, has also been used by timing and scoring officials.

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Sidepod updates: Lilly on A.J. Foyt's Vision Racing No.2, Gardner Trucking on Phil Giebler's American Dream Racing No. 88 and 1-800 Las Vegas.com on John Andretti's Roth Racing No. 24

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Local tracks go into high gear during the week leading up to the 500. The USAC National Sprint Car Series competes on the asphalt of Anderson (IN) Speedway on Wednesday night and on the dirt the following night at Terre Haute for the 38th annual Tony Hulman Classic. On Friday night the USAC Silver Crown cars compete in the 56th Hoosier Hundred on the dirt mile at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. On Saturday night the USAC National Midgets compete in the 63rd Night Before the 500 event at O'Reilly Raceway Park in Clermont while local and national sprint car stars will compete in the Little 500 at Anderson (IN) Speedway.

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Money Mailer, an associate sponsor of Rubicon Race Team and driver Max Papis, has distributed their latest batch of coupons in the Speedway's media center. The envelope, which features Max Papis on the back, contains racing themed advertisements from Hendricks Regional Healthcare, Lifelock and Comcast.

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Driver appearances:

Who: Andrew Prendeville
When: Tuesday, May 20, 4-6:00 p.m.
Where: Indianapolis Animal Care and Control, 2600 S. Harding St., Indianapolis

Who: Marco Andretti
When: Wednesday, May 21, 6-7:00 p.m.
Where: Meijer, 5349 Pike Plaza Rd. Indianapolis

Who: Marco Andretti
When: Wednesday, May 22, 6-7:00 p.m.
Where: Meijer, 10841 Rockville Rd., Avon, IN

Who: Scott Dixon and Dan Wheldon
When: Thursday, May 22, 6:30-7:30 p.m.
Where: Southport SuperTarget, 4850 E. Southport Rd, Indianapolis

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers John Andretti , Justin Wilson , Helio Castroneves , Max Papis , Scott Dixon , Dan Wheldon , Ryan Briscoe , Marco Andretti , Andrew Prendeville , Phil Giebler , Dale Coyne , A.J. Foyt , Jim Beam , Ryan Hunt , Danica Patrick , Vitor Meira
Teams Panther Racing , Team Penske , Dale Coyne Racing