1996 Indianapolis 500 Daily Trackside Report
DAY 2 -- SUNDAY, MAY 5
The #15 Tempero-Giuffre entry of Justin Bell was the first car pushed to pit road this morning. Jim Guthrie was the first driver in uniform on pit road. Mark Dismore was the first to buckle into his assigned car, the #23 Menards/Glidden/Quaker State Special. Team Menard crewman Scott Parks fired Tony Stewart's #20 Menards/Glidden/Quaker State Special first at 8:58 a.m. When the track opened, Michele Alboreto in the #33 Alta Spring Water/Perry Ellis/Royal Purple entry was the first to leave pit road, followed by Stewart and Dismore. Stewart was the first to complete a lap. Dismore was the first to pass a phase of his driver's test at 9:23 a.m. Chief Steward Keith Ward imposed a 185 mile-an-hour speed limit to start the day and lifted it at 9:18 a.m. Track temperature when the Speedway opened was 69 degrees, according to Goodyear tire engineers. The track closed at 9:35 a.m. because of rain.
Although the sports exhibition portion of the 16th annual "Save Arnold" Barbecue for Special Olympics of Indiana was canceled, 30 drivers, former drivers and media representatives came to Tent 3 behind the Speedway's flag lot for an autograph session with Special Olympians and their guests. More than $75,000 was raised this year, according to Dennis Schmidt, executive director of Special Olympics of Indiana. Corporate sponsors included Target Stores, Pepsi-Cola, 7-Up, Helene Curtis, Frito-Lay and Nabisco. "I think it's wonderful these guys have taken the time to sit down and do this," said Mari Hulman George, chairman of the Speedway, who initiated the event in 1981 and has hosted it each year. Volunteers from the Championship Auto Racing Auxiliary helped to organize the event. Food for the barbecue was donated by Kroger and Jug's Catering. All-time contributions to Special Olympics of Indiana from this annual fundraiser exceed $1.3 million. Drivers and former drivers attending were David Kudrave, Scott Harrington, Davy Jones, Johnny Unser, Alessandro Zampedri, Ted Prappas, Tony Stewart, Randy Tolsma, Paul Durant, Dan Drinan, Roberto Guerrero, Buzz Calkins, Stephan Gregoire, Gordon Johncock, Jeff Wood, Tyce Carlson, Scott Sharp, Davey Hamilton, Lyn St. James, Butch Brickell, Michele Alboreto, Joe Gosek, Justin Bell, Eddie Cheever, Mike Mosley Jr., Johnny Parsons, Bill Rose, Lyn St. James and Bill Puterbaugh and Dave Calabro from the Speedway public-address staff. Zampedri said he had been looking forward to the sports exhibition, which was scheduled to be a basketball shootout. "Last year, it was baseball," Zampedri said with a smile. "This year it was going to be basketball and I'm pretty good at that."
In the previous 15-year history of USAC's Rookie Orientation Program: --Most drivers to complete all phases is 12 in 1994. --Most total laps run, 316, by Marco Greco, 1994. --Most laps run, all participants, is 1,698 in 1993. --Total laps turned, in 15 previous programs, is 17,171.
Mark Dismore was the first to complete two phases of the driver's test. Buzz Calkins and Tony Stewart each passed the first phase before the track went yellow for rain this morning. The track closed for the day at 3:30 p.m.
9 cars were on the track today, running 138 laps. Cars on track today: #10 Brad Murphey, Hemelgarn Racing; #12 Buzz Calkins, Bradley Food Marts Reynard; #15 Justin Bell, Tempero-Giuffre Racing; #20 Tony Stewart, Menards/Glidden/Quaker State Special; #22 Michel Jourdain Jr., Herdez Quaker State Canels; #23 Mark Dismore, Menards/Glidden/Quaker State Special; #25 Joe Gosek, Tempero-Giuffre Racing; #33 Michele Alboreto, Alta Spring Water/Perry Ellis/Royal Purple; #44 Richie Hearn, Della Penna Motorsports Ralph's Food 4 Less Fuji Film.
A total of 27 cars are now at the Speedway, 18 have passed technical inspection and 9 are in the process. 9 drivers have been on the track to date. There were two yellows for 5 hours, 43 minutes. Track temperature from Goodyear tire engineers was 69 degrees when the track opened. Winds were out of the east at 12 miles per hour.