Robbie Buhl set the fastest lap of the day in the Dreyer and Reinbold No. 24T in what he called a tire test. "We got out today in the backup car to see what we could learn about tire wear during some fast laps," said Buhl after topping the speed...
Robbie Buhl set the fastest lap of the day in the Dreyer and Reinbold No. 24T in what he called a tire test. "We got out today in the backup car to see what we could learn about tire wear during some fast laps," said Buhl after topping the speed charts at 228.077 mph.
Race speeds should be in the 221-222 mph range and tire tests above expected race speeds suggest the No. 24T may become part of the interesting story which will unfold this weekend.
While teams scramble to find speeds capable of qualifying for the 86th Indianapolis 500, teams already safely in the field may be running their backup cars in hopes of attracting drivers producing last minute deals.
Buddy Lazier, who was fourth fastest on the day at 226.112 mph, was another driver practicing at speeds well above those normally seen on race day. While no second driver has been announced at Hemelgarn, rumors have been circulating that the No. 91T or 92 may become available this weekend.
Steve Knapp, Johnny Unser and Roberto Guerrero have all been hovering around the Hemelgarn garage this week.
Felipe Giaffone turned 52 laps shaking down the No. 21T car. Roberto Moreno is interested in the car and was at the Mo Nunn Racing shop for meetings but has not had a seat made. While the car is race ready, the team does not have the personnel to run the car.
Moreno has also been rumored to replace George Mack at 310 Racing should Mack, who reported to Methodist Hospital last night after suffering dizziness and nausea, feel he's not able to drive.
Two time Indy 500 winner Arie Luyendyk posted the sixth and seventh fastest times of the day driving both his primary and backup cars. Luyendyk has yet to qualify and his speeds are still questionable as his best of the day was a 225.826 mph lap in his primary car.
Luyendyk has past ties to Ganassi Racing and Chip Ganassi has yet to rule out running a fourth car. In 1995 and '96 Luyendyk drove for Team Menard and their No. 2T may be become an option too.
The prelude to the drama takes place tomorrow as the final practice before Bump Day takes place from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. local time.
Notes from the 86th Indianapolis 500:
Mark Dismore has been cleared to drive after suffering concussion in practice on Thursday, May 9. "I haven't been in the car yet, but I'm cleared to drive. Hopefully I'm going to get in the car tomorrow, run some laps and get a good qualifying setup to get this thing in the show."
Jimmy Kite replaced Anthony Lazzaro in the No. 99 Sam Schmidt Motorsports Racing Special today after Lazzaro's speeds dropped off from a high speed of 226.119 set last Friday. The decision came after Richie Hearn tested the No. 99 reaching a speed of 225.515 after ten laps. On the same day, Lazzaro's best lap was recorded at 223.697 mph.
Johnny Herbert did not practice at the Speedway today as he was at Sears Point Raceway preparing for Sunday's American Le Mans Series race. Herbert will attempt to qualify for the Indy 500 early on Bump Day before returning to California to drive in the last portion of the sports car race.
Roberto Guerrero raised eyebrows today when he was seen in Gasoline Alley wearing a Pennzoil Panther Racing jacket. When asked if he had a deal to drive for the team, he admitted he arrived at the track without a jacket and had been loaned one by Panther Racing co-owner John Barnes when temperatures dropped this afternoon.