Indy 500: Davey Hamilton Opening Day report

VETERAN DAVEY HAMILTON PLEASED WITH FIRST PRACTICE RUNS THURSDAY INDIANAPOLIS (May 7, 2009) -- Davey Hamilton, one of the most experienced racers at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, returned to his favorite track Thursday when ...

VETERAN DAVEY HAMILTON PLEASED WITH FIRST PRACTICE RUNS THURSDAY

INDIANAPOLIS (May 7, 2009) -- Davey Hamilton, one of the most experienced racers at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, returned to his favorite track Thursday when practice finally got underway for the 2009 Indianapolis 500 Mile Race.

Hamilton, who suffered severe foot injuries in 2001 at Texas, was pleased with his first day of practice in the pretty No. 44 HP Kingdom Racing Honda Dallara after sitting out Wednesday's planned practice runs due to rain showers on the racing surface.

Hamilton, looking to qualifying for ninth Indy 500 this weekend, was able to complete 37 laps Thursday with a best speed of 221.624 miles per hour, 19th fastest of the day among 32 drivers.

Hamilton is one of four Dreyer & Reinbold Racing entries this year at Indy, as the Eagle, Idaho, veteran joins John Andretti, Mike Conway and Milka Duno in the DRR lineup. Dreyer & Reinbold Racing joins Andretti Green Racing as the only teams with four drivers entered in the 2009 Indy 500.

Hamilton, whose best Indy 500 finish is fifth in 1998, is logged more laps around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway than any driver after his longtime job of driving the Indy Experience two-seater for sponsors and fans for the last seven years.

Hamilton returned to the Indy 500 in 2007 after sitting out the Brickyard six years due to his injuries in 2001. Hamilton, 46, continues to compete in sprint car and midget races throughout the country on a regular basis.

In addition, Hamilton served as the racing analyst for the IndyCar Series radio network to play-by-play host Mike King. Hamilton is also a race promoter at the Terre Haute Action Track dirt half-mile oval.

DAVEY HAMILTON, No. 44 HP Kingdom Racing Honda Dallara: "I'm really happy. We ran a decent speed in the end. At first I was a little disappointed in the speed and the setup that we had earlier in the day, so we came back and made some changes and now I'm really happy with where we are. We didn't want to make too many changes and risk it, so we are taking it step by step and I'm really happy with where we ended for today. Tomorrow we need to start trimming the car out for qualifying. I know it's going to be hard, but I think we have a shot at the top eleven."

-credit: drr

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Milka Duno , John Andretti , Davey Hamilton
Teams Dreyer & Reinbold Racing