INDIANAPOLIS, May 25- Buddy Rice motored to an 11th- place finish in Sunday's Indianapolis 500, but Billy Boat became a spectator when the race was only seven laps old, finishing 32nd. Rice, a rookie, drove the highest-finishing...
INDIANAPOLIS, May 25- Buddy Rice motored to an 11th- place finish in Sunday's Indianapolis 500, but Billy Boat became a spectator when the race was only seven laps old, finishing 32nd.
Rice, a rookie, drove the highest-finishing Chevrolet-powered car, the Red Bull Cheever Racing Dallara.
"We're the top Chevrolet; that's what we came here to do," he said. "We kept fighting hard, and eventually we got lucky (through attrition) and we had some good pit stops toward the end. It's a little disappointing; we should have had a solid top 10, maybe around seventh or eighth."
Rice said it was an electronic problem that got him a lap behind the leaders.
"About the halfway point, we ended up having an electronic 'gremlin' come up," he said. "I think we lost a wheel speed sensor and it activated some things within the electronics. We slowed down for two laps to a pace that allowed the leaders to catch up and put us a lap down."
It was a short day for Boat, the shortest in his seven "500" starts. His engine let go on the front straightaway on lap seven, and the Pedigo Chevrolet Dallara/Chevrolet coasted to a stop on the backstretch. His 32nd-place finish was his worst at Indianapolis.
"It's very disappointing, especially for the fact that I did a 500-mile engine test without a problem," Boat said. "Then to come in here and only run seven laps is very disappointing. It's the earliest I've ever dropped out of this race."
Boat said the engine failure came without advance notice.
"I had no warning whatsoever," he said. "The car was running really well and then it just let go. I tried to get it out of gear and let it roll, and I was hoping to keep it out of the oil. If that happens, you're just a passenger."
Gil de Ferren led a Marlboro Penske Racing sweep of the top two spots in a Panoz G Force/Toyota, depriving teammate Helio Castroneves of an historic three "500" victories in a row. Castroneves was second in a Dallara/Toyota. Tony Kanaan gave Andretti Green Racing a third-place finish in the 7-Eleven Dallara/Honda. The race was televised live by ABC.