RAY, LUYENDYK TOP 225 ON OPENING DAY INDIANAPOLIS, May 15, 1999 -- Greg Ray led the opening day of practice for the 83rd Indianapolis 500 at 225.887 mph in his backup car Saturday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Ray and Arie Luyendyk both were...
RAY, LUYENDYK TOP 225 ON OPENING DAY
INDIANAPOLIS, May 15, 1999 -- Greg Ray led the opening day of practice for the 83rd Indianapolis 500 at 225.887 mph in his backup car Saturday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Ray and Arie Luyendyk both were faster than the best official lap ever turned by a new-formula Pep Boys Indy Racing League car at the Speedway, 224.573 by Billy Boat in 1998. Luyendyk opened his final year at the Speedway in with a top speed of 225.163 the Sprint PCS-Meijer G Force/Aurora/Firestone. "You have to be comfortable to go fast," Ray said. "I have a high regard for this place, and it can get away from you in a hurry." Practice resumes from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday. Pole Day is May 22; Race Day May 30. Ray completed 64 laps on the 2.5-mile oval under partly cloudy skies in the Glidden-Menards Dallara/Aurora/Firestone. His best lap came with less than 90 minutes left in the seven-hour practice session. Since 1994, a Team Menard car has turned the fastest practice speed of the day at this event 21 times. Pep Boys Indy Racing League points leader Scott Goodyear was third fastest at 224.405 in the backup Pennzoil Panther G Force/Aurora/Goodyear, followed by Luyendyk's teammate Sam Schmidt at 224.394 in the Unistar Auto Insurance G Force/Aurora/Firestone. It was Schmidt's fastest unofficial lap at the Speedway. 1998 Pep Boys Indy Racing League champion Kenny Brack was fifth fastest at 222.910 in the A.J. Foyt PowerTeam Racing Dallara/Aurora/Goodyear. Defending champion Eddie Cheever Jr. was eighth fastest at 221.888 in the Team Cheever-The Children's Beverage Group-Dallara Dallara/Infiniti/Goodyear. John Hollansworth Jr. was the fastest rookie at 221.811 in the pcsave.com-Lycos-Dallara Dallara/Aurora/Firestone, ninth fastest overall. Thirty-three drivers in 37 cars combined to complete 1,553 laps. The 37 cars on the track were the second-highest number on the official Opening Day since records were kept. Thirty-nine cars were on the track on Opening Day in 1994. The 1,553 laps completed were the second highest on Opening Day. Drivers turned 1,733 laps on Opening Day in 1994. Two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Rodger Ward will be honored Sunday to begin the Indy Racing Legends Week. Ward, winner in 1959 and 1962, will drive his 1959 winning Leader Card/Watson machine around the track at 3:45 p.m. after signing autographs at FanFest from 2-3 p.m.