CHAMPCAR/CART: Indy 500 practise as seen from Turn 4 (5/13)

It's put up or shut up time at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Those that have predicted that it will be an all Penske front row will be sad to hear that it probably won't happen. Unless first day qualifying is rained out, Paul Tracy...

It's put up or shut up time at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Those that have predicted that it will be an all Penske front row will be sad to hear that it probably won't happen. Unless first day qualifying is rained out, Paul Tracy won't get his chance to run for the Pole Position. Paul suffered a concussion when he lost control of his car in the 3rd turn, and hit the 4th turn wall headon. Indy TV is reporting tonight that he will not be cleared to drive until Sunday Morning at the earliest. It must be a real disappointment to the Penske Team to have the wheels fall off of their 3 car juggernaut. In the only other incident of the day, Mark Smith came high out of the groove in the north chute and white-walled his right side tires. Mark drove the car back in to the pits, lucky to have kept control...Other than the earlier mentioned incidents, Friday was a safe and exciting day at the track. There were 46 cars on the track turning 2,372 laps....One of the happiest drivers at the Speedway must be Lyn St James. She worked her car up to an impressive 225.745 MPH lap. Lyn has been making progress on her own, without Boesel getting in her car as he did last year....The problems of the Rahal team didn't seem to get any better. At this point in time, enough cars have gone faster than Rahal and Groff to keep them from making the field. Of course, a number of those cars are backups, but it can't be a comfortable feeling. Realistically, if they do make the race they won't be competitive....There were still several cars trying the fins. Michael Andretti was using one again, and the Simon cars were swapping one back and forth....Today's Fast Five: 1-Emmo-230.138, 2-Paul Tracy- 228.693, 3-Mario Andretti-227.618, 4-Michael Andretti- 227.589, 5-Al Unser Jr-227.359....While speeds are definitely up from last year, they aren't as far up as many of the experts have predicted. For the most part, conditions have been very good every day except Wed so it looks like the rulesmakers did a little better job of slowing them down with last years changes than they might have thought. I think that not being able to go below the white line has really had a lot to do with the speed drop. It is tough to go into the turns with full confidence when you don't have the option of going low. A few drivers occasionally venture on to the rumble strips, Fernandez, Villeneuve and Gordon being the most frequent visitors, but most that try it don't seem to like it. I heard one driver commenting that he was lifting "even when I didn't want to." I think that's a result of the track configuration having some of the guys worried....I had a visit from one of the Internet readers and his son today. This young guy (I'd guess 12 or so) was quite knowledgeable about racing. If anyone is worried about whether our sport will prosper in the future, they should have talked to this youngster. Nice meeting you Kevin. (and all the other readers who visited Turn 4 this week) It's folks like you that make this so much fun....Saturday's forecast is for a 40-50% chance of rain by mid afternoon. The temp should be near 80, but it should be cloudy. Until the rain falls, conditions should be nearly ideal....Jeff Andretti is evidently out of his ride because of a $$$ shortage...Davey Jones is said to have a ride lined up and Tero Palmroth has been assigned a car by Dick Simon...Stan Fox finally got his Reynard on the track doing over 220....My pole speed prediction? 231.334. Always wrong, Dave in Turn 4

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Michael Andretti , Paul Tracy , Mario Andretti , Jeff Andretti , Dick Simon , Al Unser