Exciting And Dramatic Day Of Qualifying For Dreyer & Reinbold Racing For The 100TH Anniversary Of The Indianapolis 500
Indianapolis, IN - It was another day that was full of drama and excitement for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing as they qualified for a second day for the 100th Anniversary of the Indianapolis 500. Like yesterday, weather conditions had a huge part to play in the team's qualifying effort today. Two of the cars, Davey Hamilton (No. 11 HP) and Justin Wilson (No. 22 Z-Line Designs) were locked in the top-24 yesterday and will start 15th and 20th respectively for next weekend's race. As for Paul Tracy (No. 23 WIX Filters) and Ana Beatriz (No. 24 Ipiranga), they unfortunately were bumped out right before the weather rolled in yesterday and today was another nail biter day.
Similar to yesterday, the weather forecast predicted rain all day. In the beginning there wasn't a cloud in the sky as the quartet practiced this morning. When qualifying finally rolled around the wind started to pick up and the weather conditions began to change, which as a result, impacted the qualifying attempts.
Ana Beatriz, pilot of the No. 24 Ipiranga machine, was the first to make her qualifying effort for today. The Brazilian was quick as she earned a four-lap average speed of 223.879 mph and claimed the 33rd spot. Luckily, she only had to make one attempt, but it was an extremely stressful day. Bia was the first in line and was able to get her laps up on the board before the rain began to fall. From that point on it was a matter of waiting, but luckily her speed was fast enough to keep her in the field. She will be making her 2nd start for this year's historic event.
Luck wasn't on Paul Tracy's side yesterday, but it was today. The Canadian was bumped out of the top-24 just as it began to rain and was unable to get back out. He attempted again today, but this time he beat the rain. Right as he was completing his third lap the rain started to fall, and although it started to get slippery out on the track, Tracy was able to finish all four laps with an average four-lap speed of 224.939 mph, securing the 25th spot on the starting grid for the 100th Anniversary of the Indianapolis 500. He was the quickest qualifier today as well.
Dreyer & Reinbold Racing will be back out on track on Friday for the final practice for the 100th Anniversary of the Indianapolis 500.
What they have to say about the 100th Anniversary of the Indianapolis 500...
I'm really tired and stressed out because it's just crazy this bump day.
Paul Tracy, No. 23 WIX Filters: "It was an exciting run, but not what I wanted with the rain. The first two laps were fantastic and the car was balanced and I thought that I could keep it right there at five's and then I started to see some water gathering on my visor. At that point I was like 'oh no' and it started to get heavier on the back straightaway and then the car started to slip and slide a little. It's amazing what this race can do to you. My car was great and overall the car just stayed there with me until the rain started to fall. I'm just really happy for the team. Everybody is upbeat and smiling now. It was all kind of stiff lipped and we were all stressing there for a little while. From that standpoint we got WIX Filters in the race for the first time and I'm really excited for them."
Ana Beatriz, No. 24 Ipiranga: "I'm really tired and stressed out because it's just crazy this bump day. Actually, I don't think that we deserved to be put in that position because we were quick enough to qualify yesterday and that made today even tougher for us. Fortunately, the team played the game well and we could qualify and that's the most important thing. For me, it doesn't really matter if we were 26th or 33rd we had to be in the race and it's a long race. We just need to finish and work well and have a good race car."