The first lap incident at the 79th running of the Indianapolis 500 almost ended the day for Danny Sullivan. "I can't believe I didn't hit anything. I mean, I got hit in the head with some debris, it might have been a nose or something...it cut...
The first lap incident at the 79th running of the Indianapolis 500 almost ended the day for Danny Sullivan.
"I can't believe I didn't hit anything. I mean, I got hit in the head with some debris, it might have been a nose or something...it cut my helmet and there's also a huge gash in the roll hoop just above my head. It rung my bell a little bit but didn't affect the car except for cutting the right front tire."
Sullivan had the right front tire replaced on lap five but he still remained competitive. At the halfway point both PacWest drivers were running in the top five. Gugelmin had one of the strongest cars in the field during the first two thirds of the race and ended up leading the most laps.
"We were running very strong and I really thought this would be our day, but when we switched to the softer compound tire (during lap 138 pit stop) the car developed a push and we never got the car right again. It wasn't the tires because we switched back to the original compound on our last stop (lap 166) and the car still had the push problem. The push was so bad at the end of the race that I had to back off the gas when we ran in traffic."
"I'm happy we finished the race and led a lot of laps, but I'm disappointed because we played it cautious on the yellows and and it seemed to hurt us. They (yellows) benefited a lot of the cars that should have had to pit again before the end."
The PacWest Racing Group drivers logged over 1,500 combined laps (3,750 miles) at the Speedway in May without any major complications.
Russel "Batman" Cameron and the crew of the #18 car won the Sears Roebuck Fastest Pit Crew Award for the shortest elapsed time in the pits on Sunday. Gugelmin pitted five times during the race.
Gugelmin's crew also won a share of the Klipsch Efficiecy Award by running 42 laps between pit stops.
Banco Bandeirantes, a Brazilian financial institution, agreed last Friday to sponsor Mauricio Gugelmin and his Hollywoo PacWest Reynard.
"Just call me Big Mo." Gugelmin made his debut on WFBQ-FM's Bob and Tim show on May 10th and when asked the proper pronunciation of his name replied that people can call hin Morris or Biggggg Mo. Big Mo quickly stuck and it wasn't long before it was being used by fans and the track's public address announcers.
Rain washed out any hopes of Dominic Dobson qualifying for the race. The PacWest co-owner had run in every 500 since 1988.
The Danny Sullivan merchandise trailer will be at all the remaining IndyCar races. The trailer handles merchandise for Sullivan and PacWest team mate Gugelmin as well as Scott Pruett, Arie Luyendyk and Jimmy Vasser.
For more information call 612-759-9897