INDIANAPOLIS (May 21, 2005) -- With Alex Barron in the ...
INDIANAPOLIS (May 21, 2005) -- With Alex Barron in the #51 car already qualified in the race, Red Bull Cheever Racing returned to action today trying to add Patrick Carpentier to the field of 33 for the 89th Indianapolis 500. Not only was the team able to get Carpentier in the #83 car safely into the race, they also put up their best speeds of the month.
During the one-hour morning practice session, Carpentier posted a best speed of more than 222 mph. After a short break, the team then pulled the car into the qualifying line. It started out well with a first lap of 222.346 mph, but Carpentier brushed the wall in turn one forcing the team to wave off the attempt. The car was then taken back to the garage area to repair the minor damage caused by the contact, but the team quickly brought it back out for another attempt. This time, Carpentier put together a solid run, posting a four-lap average of 222.803 mph, which puts him on the inside of row nine for the race. During the first lap of his second attempt, he posted his best speed of the month, 223.127 mph.
"This morning, we tried to run with less downforce in the car, and we were sliding too much. The car just came out, and we brushed the wall. We came back with a little more downforce to put it in the show, and it was actually faster. We've improved about four miles per hour since we got here, and we need it for the race. We think we have a good racecar, so we're really happy. We struggled so much in the last two weeks, and it's been very tough. We couldn't get above 220, and now finally we're above 223, so we're very happy," Carpentier said.
After qualifying, Carpentier returned to the track late in the afternoon to work on race setup. He turned 28 laps, posting a top speed of 220.439 mph.
Having qualified in 22nd position last Sunday, Alex Barron used the practice sessions in between qualification attempts to continue working on his race setup, which he has been doing all week. He completed 62 laps with a top speed of 220.536 mph.
"I wore my suit and gloves out today. I was in the car for four and a half hours. We tried a lot of different things, but it's hard to calculate when to go out because of the way people were running together. A few guys came out at the end of the day, but we ran so much that we're just going to diagnose what we did, and put together a setup and run with it tomorrow," Barron said.
Sunday is "Bump Day" at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Once the field is full at 33 cars (one spot remains after today's qualifying) drivers will have an opportunity to bump qualified cars from the field. In between any qualification attempts, teams will have an opportunity to practice. Red Bull Cheever Racing will use this session to continue to work on race setups. Both cars are expected to practice on Sunday.