School is Out at the Brickyard Indianapolis, Indiana (May 5, 2008) - Eight rookies have won the Indianapolis 500 - and that includes Ray Harroun, who won the inaugural race back in 1911. This year, 13 rookies, the most since 1997, will attempt...
School is Out at the Brickyard
Indianapolis, Indiana (May 5, 2008) - Eight rookies have won the Indianapolis 500 - and that includes Ray Harroun, who won the inaugural race back in 1911. This year, 13 rookies, the most since 1997, will attempt to become number nine.
Dale Coyne Racing 19-year old rookie driver Mario Moraes (#19 The Sonny's Car) was ready to hit the track as soon as he drove through the infield tunnel.
Moraes completed all phases of his rookie test Monday afternoon and posted at 215.616 mph lap, which was his fastest speed of the day.
"I was very excited when I arrived at the track for the first time," said Mario Moraes. "I didn't realize how big everything was until I got there. Going down the frontstaight away for the first time was incredible. All I could see was grandstands on either side of me and then at the last minute you are turning into Turn 1 flat out. For my first time out here I thought I did a pretty good job."
Even though he is not a rookie to the Indy 500, Bruno Junqueira (#18 Z-Line Designs) participated in the rookie orientation in order to give him a refresher course of the track. It only took him 26 laps to refresh himself and break the 220 mph barrier. On his last lap of the day, Junqueira ran a 40.855-second lap (220.289 mph), which was ninth quickest of the 16 cars on the track Monday.
The Brazilian has had great success in his four previous starts at the famed brickyard. He has finished fifth twice (2001 & 2004) and won the pole in 2002. In the 2005 race on lap 76, Junqueira's car crashed into the wall so hard that he broke his back, which nearly ended his racing career.
"It's great to be back at Indy," said Bruno Junqueira. "If we would have gone out yesterday we would have been P1 with our time today, so I am very happy with the car's performance on its first time out. I have had some great results here at Indy and would like nothing more than to give Dale Coyne Racing and Z-Line Designs a podium finish."