Foyt Heads Exciting "Bump Day" at Indianapolis The first driver to make a qualifying run Sunday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, veteran A.J. Foyt IV led the way in "Bump Day" final qualifying for the 92nd running of the Indianapolis 500 as a...
Foyt Heads Exciting "Bump Day" at Indianapolis
The first driver to make a qualifying run Sunday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, veteran A.J. Foyt IV led the way in "Bump Day" final qualifying for the 92nd running of the Indianapolis 500 as a total of six drivers vied for the final three starting positions.
Foyt's four-lap average speed of 219.184 mph bumped Marty Roth -- the slowest of 33 previous qualifiers -- from the field. But it was just the start of a frantic final 40 minutes of qualifying.
Changing weather conditions throughout the day, including blustery winds, wind shifts and temperature changes as the sun moved in and out from behind scattered cloud cover, played havoc with drivers and teams seeking to find the right setup for their qualifying runs.
Forty-five minutes after being bumped by Foyt, Roth bumped his way back into the field, knocking out former Indy 500 winner Buddy Lazier with a four-lap average of 218.965 mph.
At 5:20 pm, a first attempt by Mario Dominguez to get into the field, and by Lazier to bump his way back in, both came up just short. But a second run by Dominguez was successful and the Pacific Coast Motorsports driver bumped Beck Racing's Roger Yasukawa from what would have been his sixth consecutive '500'.
Rubicon Racing Team's Max Papis was next out, but a clutch problem ended his day while still in pit lane. Lazier then came back with his Hemelgarn Racing Honda and manhandled a very loose car around for four laps at just over 219 mph knocked out Dominguez and put Roth back "one the bubble" with less than 10 minutes remaining in qualifying.
Yasukawa was next out, but his four-lap average of 218.476 mph wasn't quite fast enough. With just over one minute remaining, Dominguez began his third and final qualifying attempt. His first lap of 219.780 mph was more than quick enough, but he then spun in Turn One, making heavy contact with the wall but escaping injury in the crash.
As the 6 p.m. gun sounded to end qualifying Foyt, Lazier and Roth were in the race; while Yasukawa, Dominguez and Papis were out. Also out was American Dream Motorsports' Phil Giebler, who was seeking to make his second '500' when he crashed heavily during practice on Saturday. He was kept overnight at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis for treatment of bruised lungs and released today.
Activities at Indianapolis Motor Speedway resume on Friday with the traditional final practice session, known as "Carb Day". The 92nd running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race starts at 1 p.m. EDT Sunday, May 25 with live television coverage beginning at noon on ABC.
Erik Berkman (President, Honda Performance Development) on Honda powering the entire Indianapolis 500 starting field for the third consecutive year: "Once again, we've accomplished our first goal for the 'Month of May' providing the full field of 33 qualified cars and drivers with equal Honda Indy V-8 engines. I'm impressed by the quality of this year's starting field and the closeness of the competition. In particular, the fight for the pole last weekend and 'bump day' today were entertaining for the fans. I'd like to thank all of our associates at HPD and our technical partners at Ilmor for their hard work and attention to detail in making this program operate so smoothly. Now we're looking forward to a sucessful and exciting race next weekend."