Another beautiful Central Indiana day saw 27 cars run almost 1500 laps at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway today. Many of the drivers are out practicing in traffic to prepare for race conditions. This resulted in one VERY close call when Robby Gordon took the high side around Adrian Fernandez in Turn One. Adrian didn't realize that Robby was making the move until the last second and the two cars almost touched. Had Fernandez not backed off, they might have. I have to think that Gordon would pass on that move if he had the chance to do it again in practice. Scary. .....Al Jr was following Dobson around getting a feel for the effect of "dirty" air on his machine....Emmo was busy again today. He seems to be going by everytime you look up. He was scrubbing in race tires. Paul Tracy said on Indy TV that he'll be doing the same Thursday and Friday. Emmo's should be well scrubbed, he ran 229.5 on one set!...Mark Smith ran 220.324 in the #9 car that was originally Gordon's primary. Gordon also had it on the track today turning a 224.9. Mark says that he is confident that he'll become the first Smith to make the race by qualifying this weekend....Robbie Buhl has left Dale Coyne Racing...Jeff Andretti, Roberto Moreno and Geoff Brabham all took to the track in their new rides. Moreno completed his refresher test. Jeff ran 20 laps topping out at 208+ and Brabham just did a couple of warmups....Pancho Carter gained some speed getting up to 216. He needs more...Scott Goodyear says that his team is "back to square one" with his car. He didn't like the direction that they were going with the setup and now they have pretty much lost what speed they had when they turned down the 222 last weekend. He ran a low 216 today. Ah, hindsight...In response to some info requests: Scott Sharp was busy today, getting up to 221.795, sixth quick time of the day. His team was so happy with his performance last weekend that they rewarded him with a 3 year contract. Adrian Fernandez looks very smooth working on his raceday setup. He ran only 216 today, but had plenty of excitement when Gordon blasted past him. Brian Herta was not on track today. AJ is saying all kinds of good things about him after his work in helping to set up John Andretti's car for qualifying last Saturday while John was away in NASCAR-land. Foyt says that Herta communicates changes in the car very well for a rookie...Today's Fast Five: 1-Emmo- 229.510, 2-Unser Jr-224.944, 3-Gordon-224.910, 4-Mario- 224.557, 5-Boesel-223.214.... Mansell returned to the track today after a rest at his Florida home....None of the unqualified drivers looked particularly impressive today, Smith's 220 taking the speed honors. Time's getting short, the nerves must be getting a bit frayed. To make matters worse for those on the outside looking in, the weatherman is calling for MUCH hotter temperatures for this weekend than what we've been having. The thermometer may push 90 by Sunday...Rahal and Groff continued to share the 52T car with the Ilmor/C+ engine while Rahal waits for the #50 car with the Ilmor/D engine to be prepared. The "D" should provide better performance than the C+....Gary B is evidently resting his car, confident that he can duplicate the 223 laps that he has turned previously...That's enough for now, I'm getting some sleep tonight!! Dave in Turn 4