INDY 500 PRACTICE NOTES (May 21, 1999) Indianapolis Motor Speedway In anticipation of the Indy 500 Qualifier tomorrow and "Bump Day" on Sunday, Team Cheever made the final changes to their ...
INDY 500 PRACTICE NOTES (May 21, 1999) Indianapolis Motor Speedway
In anticipation of the Indy 500 Qualifier tomorrow and "Bump Day" on Sunday, Team Cheever made the final changes to their #51 and #52 Dallara Indy racing cars. Team owner and defending Indy 500 Champion, Eddie Cheever, will qualify first and sixtieth (T-car) while rookie Wim Eyckmans will qualify 26th. Cheever and Eyckmans will be competing for one of 33 starting positions.
Qualifying and "Bump Day
Qualifying for the Indy 500 can be a difficult and nerve wracking experience with each driver attempting to qualify his race car by performing two warm-up laps and then four consecutive timed (or "green") laps. The average time of the four laps become the official qualifying time for that car. Once the team accepts this time (to abort the session, they must wave off the qualifying session before the four laps are completed), the car becomes officially logged in the 33-car starting grid by its time. Over the two day period, cars with lower times can be "bumped" (or eliminated) out of the qualifying grid by cars with better times. Once "bumped", the team can elect to move the driver to another car and attempt to "bump" a slower car out of the starting order. No further attempt can be made by a car that is already "qualified".
Wim Eyckmans Best time of the week: 222.327 mph #52 EGP/Beaulieu of America/Team/Dallara/Goodyear/Oldsmobile
On qualifying "We know what speed we can do. I was able to do 222 by lap 6 and had more but got stuck in traffic. The car is ready for tomorrow. Tomorrow morning we will do a short run, double check the balance of the car, then go."
To prepare for qualifying "For me, the most important thing is to stay relaxed. It is like a job: when you do it, you must do it well. I go step by step. I try and stay focused on what is at hand....not what might be."
On Team Cheever "This team has the experience and the motivation to win races. Each one of these guys was part of their win last year, so there is nothing stopping them from doing the same this year. In fact, I'm the only new person on the team! When the spirit is in the team to do great things, then it makes it easier for you as a driver to perform well."
On bicycling 80-miles and running 10-miles a day "I chose these forms of exercise for reasons of building endurance. I am able to keep my heart rate from 140-170 for three hours and that means that I will be prepared physically for a 500-mile race. Though concentration is very key, I believe that you either have it or you don't. If you are not physically fit, however, your body will fool with your ability to concentrate. If you want to win races, you cannot afford one chink in your armor."
Sponsor Information Primary sponsorship of Wim Eyckmans comes from EGP and Beaulieu of America. EGP, based near Brussels-Belgium, was founded in 1997. After several years of research and development, the firm has introduced an extensive line of fully environmental cleaning products for use in the industrial, business and domestic arenas. The company currently employs a staff of 28 and is growing quickly. Turnover for 1998 was $15 million dollars. EGP's goals are to double their turnover in 1999, to expand strongly on the US market and to bring a safer and more responsible use to the maintenance tasks in today's world at large. Beaulieu of America is the largest privately held, and overall, the third largest carpet and rug manufacturer in the world. The most fully integrated company in the floor covering industry, Beaulieu controls production from raw materials to finished products. This vertical integration allows Beaulieu to control product quality standards and ensures a continuous supply of material to marketplace demands. With approximately 12,000 employees worldwide, Beaulieu of America reported annual sales revenues of $1.5 billion in 1998.
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