'WELL QUALIFIED,' VISION RACING NOW READY FOR THE 91ST RUNNING OF THE INDIANAPOLIS 500 SPEEDWAY, Indiana -- Vision Racing team principals, drivers, engineers and crew were confident that the remaining three team entries would qualify for the...
'WELL QUALIFIED,' VISION RACING NOW READY FOR THE 91ST RUNNING OF THE INDIANAPOLIS 500
SPEEDWAY, Indiana -- Vision Racing team principals, drivers, engineers and crew were confident that the remaining three team entries would qualify for the 91st running of the Indianapolis 500 today, but a collective sigh of relief was still evident amongst team members when qualifications were complete.
Rows four through seven will each contain a Vision Racing entry when the green flag drops on the field of 33 on the famed 2.5-mile oval. Leading the team will be Tomas Scheckter and the team's No. 2 Dallara/Honda/Firestone who took the 10th spot in qualifying yesterday.
After narrowly missing out on the top 11 spots selected on Saturday, team driver Ed Carpenter returned today for another shot. His 223.495 mph average lap in the No. 20 Hitachi Power Tools special was good enough for 14th quick amongst the field.
A.J. Foyt IV will represent the team in row six as he will start from the 18th spot behind the wheel of the No. 22 Dallara/Honda/Firestone. His four-lap qualifying average speed was 222.413 mph.
And while the team's fourth driver Davey Hamilton will be in the seventh row, starting 20th, he and the No. 02 HP car are also one of the month's biggest stories. In 2001, Hamilton suffered serious injuries to his legs and feet as a result of an accident at Texas Motor Speedway. It was popular opinion amongst the paddock that the two-time Series runner-up would never drive competitively again.
Some six years, two dozen surgeries and countless hours of physical therapy later, Hamilton has officially made his return to Indianapolis and the IndyCar Series. His four-lap qualifying average of 222.327 mph was very smooth and consistent; giving the appearance that he's never missed a race since the accident.
With qualifying behind them, Scheckter, Carpenter, Foyt and Hamilton will begin preparing their cars for racing conditions as IndyCar Series practice will resume at the Brickyard this coming Wednesday, May 16th starting at noon (EDT) until 6 p.m.
Ed Carpenter -- No. 20 Hitachi Power Tools Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone
"Yesterday we came close to getting 11th, but just weren't able to do it so today I felt like we should be 12th, but I think we got all we could out of the car. We ran a consistent, solid run in the Hitachi Power Tools car which was good, I just wanted to be a bit faster. I wanted to be on the fourth row with my teammate so I'm disappointed. But, we are in solidly so that's good and now we can focus on building a fast racecar."
A.J. Foyt IV -- No. 22 Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone
"Obviously I would have liked to have had a better run, but it's the best run I've had in qualifying trim so I'm happy about that. I just have to thank Tony George and Larry Curry for this opportunity. I'm happy to be back at Indy and I'm glad we were able to put this car in the race today. Now we will focus on getting this car ready to go 500 miles."
Davey Hamilton -- No. 02 HP Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone
"I'm so happy right now. Honestly, I wasn't sure I'd be back here and in the race, but with help from HP and Tony George, my hard work paid off and we made it happen. The HP car ran really well and consistent for me. It just felt good out there. Especially since I had worked on nothing but race setups all week, it's just a testament to Vision Racing and all the guys on this team that we were able to put a qualifying trim on this car and get it in the race. I'm just so excited to be back and I'm not only thrilled for myself, but for all of the people and fans who helped to get me back here."