IRL: Indy 500: Day eleven practice report

Buhl reaches 228 on cold, wet day at Indianapolis. INDIANAPOLIS, Friday, May 17, 2002 -- It doesn't matter whether he is in his primary or backup car: Robbie Buhl is fast this month at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Buhl turned the fastest...

Buhl reaches 228 on cold, wet day at Indianapolis.

INDIANAPOLIS, Friday, May 17, 2002 -- It doesn't matter whether he is in his primary or backup car: Robbie Buhl is fast this month at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Buhl turned the fastest lap during the rain-shortened practice May 17 for the 86th Indianapolis 500, 39.4604 seconds, 228.077 mph, in the No. 24T Team Purex/Aventis/Dreyer & Reinbold Racing G Force/Infiniti/Firestone, his backup car. Buhl qualified second at 231.033 on Pole Day last Saturday in his primary car.

"We got out today in the backup car to see what we could learn about tire wear during some fast laps," Buhl said. "We tried a few different things and feel like we made some progress. We're trying to learn as much as we can with the limited green-flag time we have. With the weather as it is, we do what we can and then call it a day."

The weather produced tough conditions. There were three delays due to rain for two hours, 22 minutes, and practice ended 35 minutes early due to rain. Air temperatures hovered in the mid-50s for most of the day, with north winds at 15 mph. The track temperature plummeted to 54 degrees just before the final rain delay.

Airton Dare was second fastest today at 39.5718, 227.435 in the No. 14 Harrah's/A.J. Foyt Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone. Dare will try to qualify for the 33-car field Sunday on Bump Day, the final day of qualifications.

Alex Barron, another non-qualified driver, is third at 39.7887, 226.195 in the No. 44T Rayovac Blair Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone.

1996 Indianapolis 500 winner Buddy Lazier was fourth at 39.8032, 226.112 in the No. 91T Coors Light/Life Fitness/Tae-Bo/Delta Faucet Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone. Lazier qualified 20th at 227.495 on Pole Day.

Shigeaki Hattori rounded out the top five at 39.8230, 226.000 in the No. 12T EPSON Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone. Hattori must attempt to qualify on Bump Day.

There was one driver change, as veteran Jimmy Kite replaced rookie Anthony Lazzaro behind the wheel of the No. 99 Sam Schmidt Motorsports Racing Special Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone. Kite, who will attempt to qualify Sunday, turned a top lap of 39.9657, 225.193 today.

"I've just got to thank the guys at Sam Schmidt Motorsports and PDM for giving me this shot," Kite said. "Yesterday I still had nothing to do and was in my street clothes. It's just a great opportunity for me."

Twenty-six drivers in 29 cars turned 649 laps.

The 86th Indianapolis 500 is scheduled for 11 a.m. (EST) Sunday, May 26.

-ims-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Robbie Buhl , Shigeaki Hattori , Buddy Lazier , Airton Daré , Jimmy Kite , Alex Barron , Anthony Lazzaro , Sam Schmidt , A.J. Foyt
Teams Dreyer & Reinbold Racing