CHAMPCAR/CART: Indy 500 practise as seen from Turn 4 (94-05-10)

I know I've said it before, but today was one of those GREAT days at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. This day was so good that it even had two happy hours. The first one came around noon during the solar eclipse that was visible in the Indy...

I know I've said it before, but today was one of those GREAT days at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. This day was so good that it even had two happy hours. The first one came around noon during the solar eclipse that was visible in the Indy area and the second was during the traditional 5-6 time slot. The eclipse was very weird. I was taking pictures whenI realized that I had lost my light and there wasn't a cloud in the sky. It was then that I remembered the eclipse. The temperaure dropped 5-10 degrees and the speeds jumped 3-4 MPH. The two laps that stood out were a 228 by Michael and a 229 by Tracy. That set the stage for the final hour of practice when Raul Boesel became the first driver since 1992 to exceed the 230 MPH barrier in official practice....The other big story to us in the 4th turn was the way that fins were sprouting on cars. As we told you yesterday, Michael's backup had one. Today the primary grew one. Then, Rahal used a rather ungainly looking tall, short fin. Then they were joined by Mansell and Robby Gordon. We were a bit surprised that N/H elected to try the fin on Nigel's car instead of Mario's considering Mario's experience level at Indy. Nigel finished the day without the fin, so he may not have liked it...Though we hadn't been overly impressed by Jaques Villenueve's lines up until this afternoon, he really put it together late in practice and ran a smooth looking 226.637....Robby Gordon looks much like he did last year in AJ's car, CLOSE to the wall. On two occasions he got so close to the exit of 4 that he had to back clear out of the throttle. The second time was really close. I still don't know how he got through the turn. He got our attention on two other occasions coming through at full speed in the grey stuff. The cameras were up every time he ran. The only other drivers that were really flirting with the fence regularly were Rahal and Mansell but Robby was the scary one....Groff lost another Honda bringing out a LONG yellow to soak up the oil he put down. Rahal got his up over 220, but that's now 10 MPH off the fast lap. Trouble in paradise again...Today's Top 5: 1-Raul Boesel-230.403, 2-Paul Tracy- 229.961, 3-Emmo-229.264, 4-Eddie Cheever-228.676, 5-Mario Andretti-228.351...Al Jr just missed the Top 10 with a 226.085 and Lyn St. James broke in to the 220 bracket for the first time...Had qualifying been today, the 33rd fastest car would have gone 217 MPH...In all, 43 cars were out turning a total of 2,006 laps....There are 67 cars at the Speedway of which 63 have passed tech and 4 are in the process. 49 drivers have passed their physicals, 38 of them driving today. It looks like there will be some serious bumping this year....For some reason, the crowd was down yesterday, but the head count looked to be back up today. There looked to be lots of partying in the North End today...At first we thought the Noon time jump in speeds established Tracy as the favorite for the pole and then we remembered that there was no eclipse scheduled for Saturday!...It looks like I won't be making the trip to the track tomorrow, but I'll get what news I can from the TV and radio and pass it along. I'll be back trackside Thursday-Friday & Saturday...Crowd favorites Gary Bettenhausen and Pancho Carter made their first appearances today running what looked to be shakedown laps...The track record may be in jeopardy. After his fast lap Boesel said that his 230 tour wasn't a clear lap, "I didn't think it was that good." Well, it wasn't bad!

Dave in Turn 4

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Robby Gordon , Eddie Cheever , Raul Boesel , Paul Tracy , Lyn St. James , Pancho Carter