IRL: Indy 500: Unser Jr qualifying 2 practice notes

Patrick Racing Makes Full Tank Runs in Preparation for 88th Running of the Indianapolis 500 INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - SUNDAY, MAY 16, 2004 - 88TH INDIANAPOLIS 500 - DAY ...

Patrick Racing Makes Full Tank Runs in Preparation for 88th Running of the Indianapolis 500

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - SUNDAY, MAY 16, 2004 - 88TH INDIANAPOLIS 500 - DAY #8 - Patrick Racing practiced on full fuel tanks today in preparation for the 88th running of the Indianapolis 500, May 30, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Al Unser Jr., who drives the #20 Chevrolet/Dallara/Firestone car, which has associate sponsorship from STACKER 2, ran a total of 66 laps. Most of the laps were completed during to two long stints. For the first run the team put in 25 gallons of fuel (maximum 30) and ran the car down until there were just a few gallons remaining. The second stint they put in the maximum 30 gallons and ran until there was less than a gallon remaining completing 30 laps. Unser Jr. consistently ran speeds in the high 214's and low 215's with a quick time of 41.7674 seconds (215.242 mph).

The object of today's practice was to get a read on how the car will perform under simulated race conditions, full tanks, in traffic, etc. By all accounts the team was pleased with how the car fared, however they did make some minor adjustments in search of some additional speed. Race speeds are expected to be somewhere between 215 and 217 mph, so Patrick Racing will continue to trim out the car beginning Wednesday, May 19. There is no on track activity the next two days.

"I am pretty happy with the way the car performed on fuel tanks," Unser Jr. said. "It was pretty consistent all the way around the track and felt good to drive. We tired a couple of changes and experimented with a few things looking for a little more speed, but overall I think we are good shape," he concluded.

Yesterday Unser Jr., who is participating in his 17th Indianapolis 500 and first race of the 2004 IRL IndyCar season, qualified 17th meaning he will start the 88th Indianapolis 500 in the middle of Row #6. In 16 previous Indy 500's Unser Jr. has posted 10 top-10 finishes placing in the top-five seven times including victories in 1992 and 1994. The native of Albuquerque, New Mexico, has qualified in the top-10 a total of eight times including four top-five starts with one pole (1994).

The Indianapolis 500 will be run on Sunday, May 30. It will be televised live on ABC at 12:00 p.m. (EDT). The pre-race show ill begin at 11:00 a.m. (EDT).

-pr-

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Al Unser Jr.