IRL: Behind the Barriers: Pole Day

With qualifying postponed one day today's activities were titled "Rubberqueen Qualifying for the MBNA Pole." Rubberqueen is the maker of aftermarket automotive accessories including rubber and carpeted mats, cargo mats for trucks and SUVs, utility...

With qualifying postponed one day today's activities were titled "Rubberqueen Qualifying for the MBNA Pole." Rubberqueen is the maker of aftermarket automotive accessories including rubber and carpeted mats, cargo mats for trucks and SUVs, utility consoles, cup holders and mobile phone holders.

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Ambient temperatures during qualifying ranged from 53 to 58 degrees (11 to 14 C), the coldest of the event.

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Thiago Medeiros, Roberto Moreno, Jeret Schroeder, P.J. Jones, Jimmy Kite, Jeff Simmons, and Derek Hill were all burning shoe leather turning laps on pit lane.

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Sebastien Bourdais hopes to become the fifth Frenchman to win the Indy 500. Of the four winners, three have been born in Paris; Jules Goux (1913 winner), Rene Thomas (1914) and Gil de Ferran (2003). Gaston Chevrolet, who won the 1920 race, was born in Beaune.

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Fresh from his Saturday night Nextel Cup race at Richmond International Raceway, Casey Mears toured the pit lane at the Speedway today. Mears, who made three IndyCar Series starts in 2001, finished 28th last night driving the Target Ganassi Racing Dodge. Mears is the son of Roger Mears, who made two Indianapolis 500 starts ('82 & '83) and the nephew of four-time winner Rick Mears.

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Of the three cars bumped from the 22 starting positions filled today, Dario Franchitti bumped two of them. After waving off his first run at 1:34 p.m., Franchitti returned to the track at 5:13 p.m. and bumped Alex Barron from the field. At 5:44 p.m. Franchitti made his third qualifying run, bumping Patrick Carpentier off the bubble. Barron made a second run and improved his 219.958 mph to 221.053, returning to the 22nd starting position. Both Barron and Carpentier drive for Red Bull Cheever Racing.

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When Marlboro Team Penske withdrew the No. 6 entry, Sam Hornish became the first driver to take advantage of the new rule which allows three qualifying attempts each day. Hornish was 10th after his first run with a four lap average of 225.847 mph. His second run (227.273 mph) moved him to the middle of the front row.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Derek Hill , Casey Mears , Gil de Ferran , Jeret Schroeder , Jimmy Kite , Roberto Moreno , Patrick Carpentier , Dario Franchitti , Rick Mears , René Thomas , Sébastien Bourdais , P.J. Jones , Jeff Simmons , Roger Mears , Thiago Medeiros , Sam Hornis
Teams Team Penske , Chip Ganassi Racing