IRL: Indy500: Wednesday - short practice, rain

INDIANAPOLIS, Wednesday, May 17, 2000 - Juan Montoya turned the fastest lap, 221.566 mph, today during Indianapolis 500 practice that lasted only 33 minutes due to rain. Practice started 24 minutes past the 11 a.m. (EST)...

INDIANAPOLIS, Wednesday, May 17, 2000 - Juan Montoya turned the fastest lap, 221.566 mph, today during Indianapolis 500 practice that lasted only 33 minutes due to rain.

Practice started 24 minutes past the 11 a.m. (EST) scheduled start due to morning rain and was halted at 11:57 a.m. due to thunderstorms. Indianapolis Motor Speedway officials closed the track for the day at 4 p.m. after another wave of showers thwarted attempts to dry the historic 2.5-mile oval.

When the track was open, reigning CART champion Montoya wasted little time climbing to the top of the speed charts in his primary #9 Target G Force/Oldsmobile/Firestone, turning his fast lap just four minutes into the session on his sixth lap of the day. Montoya completed just nine laps today.

"I think the car has been really good, but today didn't do much," Montoya said. "We didn't get in both cars, so we'll see. You've got to make the car better, handling-wise.

"We're not worried about how the car handles in traffic yet. We have to make it go fast before anything else."

1996 Indianapolis 500 champion Buddy Lazier was second fastest at 221.510 in the #91 Delta Faucet/Coors Light/Tae-Bo/Hemelgarn Racing Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone. Scott Sharp, fastest May 16, was third fastest today at 220.886 in the Delphi Automotive Systems/MCI WorldCom Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone.

Sharp's teammate, Mark Dismore, was fourth fastest at 220.395 in the #28T OnStar/GM BuyPower/Bryant Heating & Cooling Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone. Montoya's teammate, Jimmy Vasser, was fifth fastest in the #10T Target G Force/Oldsmobile/Firestone at 219.800.

Seventeen drivers were on the track during the brief practice, completing 217 laps. Reigning Indy Racing Northern Light Series champion Greg Ray was sixth fastest at 219.674 in the #1 Team Conseco/Quaker State/Moen/Menards Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone, while two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Al Unser Jr. was ninth best at 218.183 in the #3T Galles ECR Racing Tickets.com Starz Encore Superpak G Force/Oldsmobile/Firestone.

Four-time Indianapolis 500 champion Rick Mears visited the Speedway as part of the weeklong Legends of the Speedway celebration. Fittipaldi, who won the "500" in 1979, 1984, 1988 and 1991, dodged raindrops to take ceremonial laps in the Gould Charge that he drove to victory in 1979. 1969 Indianapolis 500 winner Mario Andretti will be saluted Thursday. Andretti will drive ceremonial laps around the track. Practice for the 84th Indianapolis 500 continues from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Thursday, with gates opening at 9 a.m. Admission is $5 for everyone age 6 and older, and free for children age 5 and younger.

Pole Day qualifying for this Indy Racing Northern Light Series event takes place from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. May 20. The final day of qualifications, MBNA Bump Day, is from noon-6 p.m. May 21.

-IRLNS/IMS-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Greg Ray , Buddy Lazier , Scott Sharp , Mark Dismore , Jimmy Vasser , Mario Andretti , Rick Mears