Indy 500: Series race day notes

Bobby East led all 50 laps to win the 63rd Toyota Challenge "Night Before the 500" presented by Fatheadz on Saturday night at O'Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis. Chase Scott finished second and Tracy Hines third in the Mopar USAC National ...

Bobby East led all 50 laps to win the 63rd Toyota Challenge "Night Before the 500" presented by Fatheadz on Saturday night at O'Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis.

Chase Scott finished second and Tracy Hines third in the Mopar USAC National Midget Car Series event.

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Shane Cottle won the 60th Pay Less "Little 500" USAC Sprint Car special event Saturday night at Anderson Speedway. Cottle led the last 123 laps of the 500-lap feature for the victory.

Tony Elliott finished second, with Johnny Rodriguez third.

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The 93rd Indianapolis 500-Mile Race is scheduled for Sunday, May 24, 2009. Ticket information can be found in a foldout page between pages 32-33 of the 2008 Indianapolis 500 Official Program. Ticket information also can be obtained by calling the Speedway's ticket office, (317) 492-6700 or (800) 822-INDY, or by logging on to www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com.

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Brian Barnhart, an Indianapolis native, is the president of the competition and operation division of the Indy Racing League, sanctioning body for the IndyCar Series. He is the chief official of the 92nd Indianapolis 500-Mile Race.

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Two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Emerson Fittipaldi will drive the Chevrolet Corvette Convertible Official Pace Car leading the field to the start of the 92nd Indianapolis 500-Mile Race. During caution periods in the race, three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Johnny Rutherford, from Fort Worth, Texas, will be the driver. Jim Haynes, from Phoenix, will serve as observer from the Pace Car. Under the caution, cars will close up behind the Pace Car.

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The 33-car field, aligned in the traditional 11 rows of three, will get the green flag on the third time past the flag stand. The starters for the Indy Racing League are Bryan Howard of Lomita, Calif., and Paul Blevin, of Riverside, Calif. Both are in their 12th year.

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In the 12 Indianapolis 500-Mile Races since the inception of the IndyCar Series, only two drivers who led at Lap 100 have won the race (16.7 percent), and only five drivers who led at Lap 190 in the races that have gone the distance have won the race (50 percent). In the last four seasons, when the same basic car and formula have been used, there has been at least one lead change in the final 10 laps three times.

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Julianne Hough, a professional ballroom dancer who teamed with two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves to win ABC's "Dancing with the Stars" and a singer who recently released her first album, will perform the national anthem.

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Of the 33 cars starting this year's Indianapolis 500, 10 will have car numbers that have never won the race. Car numbers 10, 11, 18, 19, 22, 33, 41, 67 and 02 have never been on a winning car in the Indianapolis 500. This is the first year that car number 06 has been used on a car in the race. Car numbers 10, 11, 18, 19, 22 and 33 have been on cars that have finished second. Car number 3 leads with the most wins at 10.

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Leading the field to the green flag today as Pace Car driver is two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Emerson Fittipaldi. This is the 26th time that a former winner has driven the Pace Car. Fittipaldi is the 13th former winner to have sat behind the wheel of the Pace Car. The last former winner to drive the Pace Car was 1963 winner Parnelli Jones for the 1998 Indianapolis 500.

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Medical update from Dr. Mike Olinger, senior medical director for the Indy Racing League: #06 Graham Rahal was checked and released at the Clarian Emergency Medical Center. He is cleared to drive.

GRAHAM RAHAL: "(Alex Lloyd) was really slow, and I was trying to be patient there because (Mario) Moraes kept coming down on me. So finally I got the opportunity to get by those few guys, and I thought our car was pretty good. Lloyd, for some reason, wouldn't stay right on the bottom and when he came up just a couple of feet, I reacted slightly and just got in the marbles."

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Medical update from Dr. Mike Olinger, senior medical director for the Indy Racing League: #25 Marty Roth was checked and released at the Clarian Emergency Medical Center. He is cleared to drive.

MARTY ROTH: "I just was going around (Buddy) Lazier on the outside of him and just got caught up in the marbles and just went for a ride."

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#06 Graham Rahal, the youngest driver in the field (19), was the first car out of the race, while #25 Marty Roth, the oldest driver in the field (49), was the second car out of the race.

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#11 Tony Kanaan became the first driver in history to lead seven consecutive Indianapolis 500-Mile Races when he took the lead on Lap 94. Kanaan had shared the previous record of six straight with Rick Mears (1979-84). Kanaan has led every Indianapolis 500 in which he has competed.

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Medical update from Dr. Mike Olinger, senior medical director for the Indy Racing League: #34 Jaime Camara was checked and released at the Clarian Emergency Medical Center. He is cleared to drive.

JAIME CAMARA: "I just had understeer in traffic, and the car wouldn't turn in. We just tried to work that with the front wing, and I was losing pace on the track. By myself I was fine, but in traffic it was tough even to approach someone slower than me, and when I got really close, the front end just gave out, and I was in the marbles. I crossed my arms trying to turn left and I almost made it, but I didn't make it."

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#11 Tony Kanaan led Lap 100 in both the 2007 and 2008 Indianapolis 500-Mile Races. The leader at the 100-lap mark has gone on to win the race 38 times in the previous 91 runnings of the Indianapolis 500, but the Lap 100 leader has only visited victory circle on three occasions (1989, 1997, 2000) in the past 21 Indianapolis 500-Mile Races.

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When #26 Marco Andretti took the lead on Lap 122, it represented the third consecutive Indianapolis 500 that Andretti, 21, has led. The only other Andretti to lead three consecutive events is Marco's grandfather, Mario, who did not lead his third consecutive Indianapolis 500 until 1993 at the age of 53. The 2008 race is Marco Andretti's third career Indianapolis 500 start.

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Medical update from Dr. Mike Olinger, senior medical director for the Indy Racing League: #11 Tony Kanaan and #67 Sarah Fisher were checked and released at the Clarian Emergency Medical Center. They are cleared to drive.

TONY KANAAN: (About Marco Andretti's pass of Kanaan just before Kanaan's incident): "It was a stupid move. I think teammates shouldn't do that to teammates. I'm sure he will have a good explanation for what he did. Halfway through the race with a bunch of traffic, why are you going to dive into me like that? I will wait to see what he has to say."

SARAH FISHER: "It was just racing. Tony was racing real hard for the lead, and got high and just spun right there in front of me. I think I got him in the intrusion panel, so it's a good thing they update these cars every year so he can walk away fine. It was just a terrible day. It just wasn't our day. The guys worked so hard this month and put together such a good race car. It was great on track; we just messed up the start, messed up the parade lap. It just wasn't our day."

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#19 Mario Moraes took the lead on Lap 136 to become the 56th driver to the lead the Indianapolis 500 in his first start. He is the 193rd different driver to have led an Indianapolis 500.

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Medical update from Dr. Mike Olinger, senior medical director for the Indy Racing League: #41 Jeff Simmons was checked and released at the Clarian Emergency Medical Center. He is cleared to drive.

JEFF SIMMONS: "The car was getting pretty loose on those runs. I was trying to get the tires warm for the restart. I think it just hooked up, and I went into the wall. I've seen a lot of guys do it, but I never thought it would happen to me."

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Medical update from Dr. Mike Olinger, senior medical director for the Indy Racing League: #02 Justin Wilson was checked and released at the Clarian Emergency Medical Center. He is cleared to drive.

JUSTIN WILSON: "I was just running in the pack and just trying to experiment with a few different lines trying to get a run on people because you'd often come down in the corner and wash out on the exit, and you'd have to lift off and you can't pass anyone. So I was just experimenting and learning, and I thought everything was fine. But as you start to come out of the corner, I felt the back lighten up so I was out of the throttle, and it just slowly came around. And next thing I know, I'm going backward. I tried to keep the McDonald's car out of the wall, but just ran out of real estate."

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At 19 years, 156 days of age, #19 Mario Moraes is the third-youngest driver to lead the Indianapolis 500. Only Josele Garza (1981), at 19 years 70 days of age, and Marco Andretti (2006), at 19 years 76 days of age, were younger.

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#33 Viso is out of the race.

E.J. VISO: "Since we started the race, we had a problem with the gearbox. It stayed stuck in any gear. Most of the time it was third. After revving up the engine, it would go up the gears. But this time it didn't happen; it just stayed in third. I would think there's something inside the gearbox. It's very frustrating because I was running 11th or 12th and was very comfortable. The car was good, and we were going to start trimming the car down. We were going to be in the top 10 easily without any risk."

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Medical update from Dr. Michael Olinger, IRL senior director of medical services: Alex Lloyd has been checked and released from the Clarian Emergency Medical Center. He is cleared to drive.

ALEX LLOYD: "I don't know exactly (what happened). We had an incident early on where we slightly touched or whitewalled it on the right side. It never felt right since that. We were struggling. We were playing around with the setup, trying to get it right. We just couldn't get it. It was hooking mid-corner, and I came through Turn 4 and it stopped turning and went straight up to the wall. I don't know why. I hit the wall, and that was that. It was long, frustrating day, really. Something wasn't right, right from the start. We were trying our best to fix it in the pits, but nothing was working."

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#7 Danica Patrick and #6 Ryan Briscoe collided while exiting the pits on Lap 171. Patrick was eliminated from the race. This is the first time in her four Indianapolis 500 starts that she failed to finish on the lead lap.

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The 2008 IndyCar Series season continues with the ABC Supply/A.J. Foyt 225 on June 1 at the Milwaukee Mile. The race will be telecast live in High Definition at 4 p.m. (EDT) by ABC. The race will air live on the IMS Radio Network. A Spanish-language telecast of the race will be carried by ESPNDeportes. The IMS Radio Network broadcast also is carried on XM Satellite Radio and www.indycar.com. The 2008 Firestone Indy Lights season continues with the Milwaukee 100 on June 1 at The Milwaukee Mile. The Firestone Freedom 100 will be telecast at 1 p.m. EDT May 31.

-credit: irl

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Justin Wilson , Sarah Fisher , Helio Castroneves , Tony Kanaan , Graham Rahal , Parnelli Jones , Tracy Hines , Tony Elliott , Ryan Briscoe , Emerson Fittipaldi , Marty Roth , Marco Andretti , Jeff Simmons , Johnny Rodriguez , Bobby East , Alex Lloyd , Shane Cottle , Jaime Camara , Mario Moraes , Josele Garza , A.J. Foyt , Brian Barnhart , Chase Scott , Danica Patrick