IRL: Indy 500: AGR/Herta Pole day report

SPEEDWAY, Ind. (May 15, 2004) - XM Satellite Radio driver Bryan Herta's run for the pole position in the Indianapolis 500 ended abruptly when he hit the Turn 1 wall on his first qualifying attempt. Herta had just taken the green flag after three...

SPEEDWAY, Ind. (May 15, 2004) - XM Satellite Radio driver Bryan Herta's run for the pole position in the Indianapolis 500 ended abruptly when he hit the Turn 1 wall on his first qualifying attempt.

Herta had just taken the green flag after three warm-up laps when his car became loose in Turn 1 and he made hard contact with the outside SAFER barrier. Herta was released from the infield medical center with minor abrasions to his right leg. Herta's status will be re-evaluated tomorrow.

Buddy Rice, driving with Honda power, earned the pole position today with a four-lap average speed of 222.024 miles per hour, leading a Honda sweep of the first seven positions on the grid. Herta's Andretti Green teammates, Klein Tools/Jim Beam driver Dan Wheldon and ArcaEx driver Dario Franchitti make up the rest of the front row starting second and third, respectively. Bruno Junqueira was fourth fastest and another of Herta's AGR teammates, Team 7-Eleven's Tony Kanaan, was fifth.

Second day qualifications will begin tomorrow morning at 12 p.m. EST.

Bryan Herta, Driver, #7 XM Satellite Radio Dallara/Honda/Firestone

"It's unfortunate for the XM Satellite Radio team. We tried to free the car up. We had a little bit of understeer in Turn 1, and I think we went a little too far. I went into Turn 1, and the back just gave up."

George Klotz, Team Manager, #7 XM Satellite Radio Dallara/Honda/Firestone

"It is really unfortunate we hit the wall today, but Bryan was out there giving it his all to get the pole. We had some understeer in the morning practice and I guess we just made too big of a change."

-agr-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Dario Franchitti , Tony Kanaan , Bryan Herta , Dan Wheldon , Buddy Rice , Jim Beam