IRL: Indy 500: Cheever Racing Pole Day report

INDIANAPOLIS (May 15, 2005) -- After rain forced cancellation of Saturday's Pole Day, cars hit the track on Sunday in pursuit of the first 22 spots in the field for the 89th Indianapolis 500. The morning included a 90-minute practice session that...

INDIANAPOLIS (May 15, 2005) -- After rain forced cancellation of Saturday's Pole Day, cars hit the track on Sunday in pursuit of the first 22 spots in the field for the 89th Indianapolis 500. The morning included a 90-minute practice session that saw a majority of the teams hit the track to make final changes before the afternoon qualification period. With temperatures in the 50's all day, drivers had to pay extra attention to the grip on the track.

The new Indy 500 qualification format stipulated that bumping would begin on Sunday after the first 22 cars had qualified. Early in the day, Alex Barron and Patrick Carpentier had posted four-lap average speeds of 219.958 mph and 219.999 mph (respectively). The drama started to build late in the day when the Red Bull Cheever Racing drivers' speeds were in danger. This became a reality when Dario Franchitti bumped Barron out of the field at 5:13 p.m.

The team quickly put his car back in the qualifying line where Barron posed a speed of 221.053 mph, which left him 22nd at the end of the day. Carpentier wasn't so lucky. He also got bumped at 5:44 p.m. by Franchitti who was trying to move up in the field. When the gun signaling the end of qualifying went off, the #83 car was left sitting in the qualifying line. As a result, he will have to attempt to get in the field when qualifying resumes next weekend, Saturday, May 21, for the final 11 spots in the field.

Barron turned his best speed of the week in the morning practice where he completed 22 laps. During the session, he posted a speed of 221.751 mph.

"It was a long day putting the suit on, off and on, but we came back and got some things changed. We're happy to be in the lineup at this point. It's good for the guys because we've been working very hard all week, but we still need to figure out how to get the speed with the top guys. We just need to keep our heads up and keep working hard on the things we can control," Barron said.

Patrick Carpentier ran 16 laps in the morning session, also posting his top lap of the week, 221.136 mph.

"The car was pretty much perfect. No push, no loose. I was flat out in the four laps and that is all we can do. At one point I think the pedal was twisting I was pushing it so hard (joking). The speed we did was pretty much it. We tried everything on the car. It was disappointing that we got bumped, but now we're going to start working on race set up. We know we are going to get in, so we just need to look ahead," Carpentier said.

The Red Bull Cheever Racing team will return to the track on Wednesday, May 18.

-www.redbullcheeverracing.com

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Patrick Carpentier , Dario Franchitti