IRL: 81st Indy500 Provisional Starting Lineup

For Immediate Release LUYENDYK CAPTURES POLE POSITION FOR 81st INDIANAPOLIS 500 INDIANAPOLIS, May 10, 1997 Arie Luyendyk and the Treadway Racing Team picked their spot during the day to qualify and reeled in the pole position for the...

For Immediate Release


INDIANAPOLIS, May 10, 1997 Arie Luyendyk and the Treadway Racing Team picked their spot during the day to qualify and reeled in the pole position for the 81st running of the Indianapolis 500 Saturday at a four-lap average speed of 218.263 miles an hour .

Luyendyk, who was the fastest qualifier a year ago and also won the pole in 1993, continues to hold every major speed record at the historic 2 1/2-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval with the run.

His qualification in the Treadway Racing WavePhore Miller Lite G Force/Oldsmobile Aurora was the fastest for the new Indy Racing League machines, which were designed to slow speeds. Luyendyk holds the Speedway records for one- and four-lap qualification runs, the fastest practice lap and the 500-mile race record of 185.981 miles an hour posted en route to victory in 1990.

When qualifying opened at the scheduled time, only five drivers completed runs as others waited until higher track temperatures were reached.

At 3:21 p.m. (Indianapolis time), Luyendyk was the first of the rest to go into the qualifying line after more than three hours of waiting from the initial group.

"I had my mind made up that if it was over 218, we'd take it," Luyendyk said. "I think it's better to chase the mark' but I didn't want to sit around and wait all day for somebody else to make their mind up."

After Luyendyk's run, the line stretched out until the 6 p.m. closing gun, when Roberto Guerrero became the 21st qualifier of the day.

Tony Stewart, who was the pole starter a year ago, qualified second fastest in the Glidden/Menards/Special at 218.021, followed by surprising rookie Vincenzo Sospiri, who qualified the Scandia Royal Purple Alta Xcel entry outside the front row at 216.822.

Sospiri led four other rookies into the provisional lineup. Jeff Ward qualified for ninth starting spot and Affonso Giaffone, Kenny Brack and Dr. Jack Miller also put cars in the show with additional time trials scheduled Sunday and May 17-18 to fill the 33-car starting field..

Defending winner Buddy Lazier qualified the Delta Faucet-Montana-Hemelgarn Racing entry, a Dallara which was switched to an Aurora engine, in 10th starting spot as the next-to-last qualifier of the day.

In all, 12 G Force chassis and nine Dallaras are in the provisional lineup. Seventeen are powered by Aurora engines and four by Nissan Infiniti Indy engines.

PROVISIONAL STARTING LINEUP 81st Indianapolis 500-Mile Race Saturday, May 10 1997

S P CAR DRIVER CAR NAME C/E/T Time Speed Row 1 1 5 Arie Luyendyk Wavephore/Sprint PCS/Miller Lite G/A/F 2:44.939 218.263 2 2 Tony Stewart Glidden/Menards/Special G/A/F 2:45.122 218.021 3 8 Vincenzo Sospiri (R) Scandia Royal Purple Alta Xcel D/A/G 2:46.035 216.822

Row 2 4 3 Robbie Buhl Quaker State/Special G/A/F 2:46.588 216.102 5 6 Scott Goodyear Nortel/Sprint PCS/Quebecor Printing G/A/F 2:46.813 215.811 6 27 Jim Guthrie Jacuzzi/Blueprint Racing Dallara D/A/F 2:47.281 215.207

Row 3 7 52 Jeff Ward (R) FirstPlus Team Cheever G/A/G 2:47.819 214.517 8 14 Davey Hamilton AJ Foyt PowerTeam Racing G/A/G 2:47.845 214.484 9 7 Eliseo Salazar Copec/Cristal/Scandia D/A/G 2:47.973 214.320

Row 4 10 91T Buddy Lazier Delta Faucet-Montana-Hemelgarn Racing D/A/F 2:48.000 214.286 11 51 Eddie Cheever, Jr. FirstPlus Team Cheever G/A/G 2:48.167 214.073 12 42 Robby Gordon Coors Light G/A/G 2:48.847 213.211

Row 5 13 77 Stephan Gregoire Chastain Motorsports G/A/G 2:48.914 213.126 14 17 Affonso Giaffone (R) General Motors of Brazil Chitwood Dallara D/A/G 2:49.035 212.974 15 4 Kenny Brack (R) Monsoon Galles Racing G/A/G 2:50.438 211.221

Row 6 16 90 Lyn St. James Lifetime-TV-Cinergy D/I/F 2:51.310 210.145 17 12 Buzz Calkins Bradley Food Marts G/A/G 2:51.785 209.564 18 40 Dr. Jack Miller (R) AMS/Crest Racing D/I/F 2:52.043 209.250

Row 7 19 34 Alessandro Zampedri Mi-Jack Scandia Royal Purple D/A/G 2:52.171 209.094 20 10 Mike Groff Jonathan Byrd's Cafeteria/Visionaire/Bryant G/I/F 2:52.631 208.537 21 21T Roberto Guerrero Pennzoil-Pagan Racing Dallara Infiniti D/I/G 2:53.602 207.371

1997 Field Average: 213.116 1996 Field Average: 229.329 Difference: -16.213

LEGEND: SP-Start Position; R-Rookie. CHASSIS LEGEND: D-Dallara; G-G Force ENGINE LEGEND: A-Oldsmobile Aurora; I-Nissan Infiniti Indy TIRE LEGEND: F-Firestone; G-Goodyear.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Tony Stewart , Robby Gordon , Buzz Calkins , Eddie Cheever , Robbie Buhl , Eliseo Salazar , Buddy Lazier , Stephan Gregoire , Jeff Ward , Davey Hamilton , Arie Luyendyk , Jim Guthrie , Scott Goodyear , Roberto Guerrero , Kenny Brack , Lyn St. James , Vincenzo Sospiri , Jack Miller