DRR Welcomes Back Conway, Prepares for Weekend Runs; Hamilton Works On Race Setups, Andretti, Duno Prepare For Saturday Qualifying INDIANAPOLIS (May 14, 2009)-- The Dreyer & Reinbold Racing team welcomed rookie Mike Conway back...
DRR Welcomes Back Conway, Prepares for Weekend Runs; Hamilton Works On Race Setups, Andretti, Duno Prepare For Saturday Qualifying
INDIANAPOLIS (May 14, 2009)-- The Dreyer & Reinbold Racing team welcomed rookie Mike Conway back to the garage area Thursday after the British racer recovered from a mild concussion suffered last Sunday in an Indy 500 practice incident at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Conway, 25, will be examined Friday morning by Dr. Michael Olinger, medical director for the Indy Racing League, for possible release on Friday afternoon. Conway spent Sunday night in Methodist Hospital for observation and was released Monday morning.
Davey Hamilton, the 22nd qualifier in the No. 44 HP Kingdom Racing Honda Dallara, made some shakedown runs in Conway's No. 24 Purex Dreyer & Reinbold Honda Dallara Thursday in preparation for Conway's return to the track on Friday.
In the meantime, Hamilton took out his regular mount for race setup and made 45 laps Thursday with a best speed of 218.977 miles per hour. Hamilton then traveled to O'Reilly Raceway Park in the evening for testing with his USAC midget car. It was a busy day for the Idaho veteran driver.
John Andretti, who suffered a heavy crash late Sunday in practice, was back on the track Thursday with his No. 43 Richard Petty Window World Honda Dallara with a top speed of 218.721. Andretti, a nine-time Indy 500 starter, was bumped from the top 22 qualifiers last Sunday after a four-lap average of 221.109 m.p.h. Andretti will attempt to qualify this Saturday when time trials open at noon on the famed two and a half mile oval.
Milka Duno, a two-time Indy 500 starter, also returned to action Thursday in the No. 23 CITGO DRR Honda Dallara. The Venezuela racer completed 39 laps with a best speed of 217.936 in the windy conditions. Duno's first 2009 IndyCar Series race was three weeks ago at Kansas Speedway as she placed 16th.
Practice continues on Friday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the third round of qualifications set for noon on Saturday, May 16. Bump Day time trials will be Sunday to secure the 33-driver field.
MIKE CONWAY, No. 24 Purex Dreyer & Reinbold Honda Dallara:
"It was good to be back at the circuit to see the guys and catch up. It was also good to have Davey get a run in my car and make sure it's good to go for tomorrow if we are allowed out. I feel fine and back to normal now. For the last couple of days I felt a bit sore and achy, but that's to be expected at that speed and impact. I'm raring to go now, so let me at it. I have to get the all clear tomorrow and then I'll be ready to go."
DAVEY HAMILTON, No. 44 HP Kingdom Racing Honda Dallara:
"Our car is actually getting better for race trim. I feel like we need to gain another half a mile an hour. We are at 219 and I think we need to be at 219 and a half, so we just need to work on that. The next step is to run in heavy traffic and see what it does. I feel confident and we aren't way out to lunch, but I'm not happy with where we are at. We will make some changes for tomorrow and I think we will be okay. Mike will be in good shape too. We only ran seven or eight laps on his car to shake it down. It's very conservative for him right now. We just wanted to make sure the back is locked down so that he can gain his confidence back. The car felt good and solid. As soon as he gets in I guarantee he will be in the 219 to 222 range right off of the bat and he will be fine for qualifying."
JOHN ANDRETTI, No. 43 Richard Petty Window World Honda Dallara:
"We need to go out and set a good platform with the car. We wanted to get me confident with the Window World Honda Dallara. We tried a totally different setup with the chassis. We didn't go all the way with it. Now, we can go all the way tomorrow with those settings. I think the car is definitely better now. We can work our way to the proper speed. We are not as rushed as last week when we tried to make the Top 22. I think we have a good car now. The crew has really worked hard to be ready."
MILKA DUNO, No. 23 CITGO Dreyer & Reinbold Honda Dallara:
"We continue to work on the car and make it better. We hoped to go a bit faster today, so I'm a little disappointed. We keep making a lot of changes and we will try again for tomorrow and hopefully we will be a little bit faster."