IRL: Indy500: Practice Day One 98-05-10

Indianapolis, IN (May 10, 1998) - Fifty cars are at the Speedway along with thirty eight drivers. Of the thirty six cars that took to the track today, Robbie Buhl's No. 3 was fastest at 219.325 mph. Buhl worked on a qualifying set up today while...

Indianapolis, IN (May 10, 1998) - Fifty cars are at the Speedway along with thirty eight drivers. Of the thirty six cars that took to the track today, Robbie Buhl's No. 3 was fastest at 219.325 mph. Buhl worked on a qualifying set up today while his teammate Tony Stewart, worked on a race day set up.

If given a perfect set up with perfect conditions, Buhl thinks a speed of 225 is attainable. "I think we're looking at the whole fron row at 220 plus," Buhl said. Buhl added that Team Menard will be looking for speed early in the morning and late in the afternoon. Midafternoon will be spent on race day set up.

There were two crashes at the Speedway today, both coming off turn four and both by rookie drivers. Jack Hewitt pushed off a high line in turn four, hit the outside wall, turned around and hit the inside wall before taking a third hit against the outside wall. "I tried to follow Davey Hamilton's line" Hewitt said. "Whatever I did I did it wrong".

Hewitt's car caught fire but was quickly extinguished by alert crew members from Pagan Racing. Pagan Racing crew members, Jack Pegues, Doug Barnes, Greg Eliff, Brett Andrew and Barry Walkup, armed with a fire bottle, buckets of water and a hose, put the fire out before the first fire truck arrived on the scene. Hewitt was examined at the infield medical center and released with clearance to drive.

Jimmy Kite, the fastest rookie today, was involved in an incident in the same area as Hewitt's. Kite hit the turn four wall with his right front as his car pushed off the racing line. Kite was unhurt.

J.J. Yeley was the second fastest rookie today. His lap at 216.403 mph was fast enough to for ninth overall. When asked if he learned anything on his first day of official practice he replied "not to get over rambunctious!" Yeley reported a little push in the car but was "taking little baby steps" to sort the car out.

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Notes:

Stephan Gregoire's question mark now sports a red circle with a slash through it covering it. The international "no question" sign?

Cheever's new paint job is blue with black sidepods. Cheever announces a new sponsor at 10:00 a.m. Monday morning.

Claude Bourbonnais has been named as the driver of Blueprint Racing's Dallara Aurora.

Bobby Unser will be the honored driver on Monday as part of the "Parade of Champions".

David Reininger - Motorsport News International

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Tony Stewart , Robbie Buhl , Stephan Gregoire , Jimmy Kite , Bobby Unser , J.J. Yeley , Jack Hewitt , Claude Bourbonnais