IRL: Behind the Barriers: Indy Opening Day

Sam Hornish was suffering from symptoms of an upper respiratory infection and did not practice today. Firestone tires used at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway feature a full color IMS "wing and wheel" logo. Firehawk Indy 500 is emblazoned on the...

Sam Hornish was suffering from symptoms of an upper respiratory infection and did not practice today.

Firestone tires used at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway feature a full color IMS "wing and wheel" logo. Firehawk Indy 500 is emblazoned on the side of each tire with a much smaller Firestone logo as well.

Reports that PDM Racing were closing their doors and selling their equipment generated interest in the team. The team is currently negotiating a deal that may see PDM return to the track next week. "We'll know in the next couple days," said team co-owner Larry Arnold.

The Borg Warner Indianapolis 500 Trophy has gained weight since last season. Fifteen pounds to be exact. The trophy, which made its debut in victory lane in 1936, has a new base. Each year, the Indy 500 winner earns the distinction of having their likeness added to the trophy. Faced with the prospect of limited space, adding the new base will allow the trophy accommodate winners through 2034. The previous base was comprised of three rows of faces while the new one has five.

For the third consecutive year, Robby Gordon will attempt to compete in the Indianapolis 500 and NASCAR's Coca Cola 600 at Charlotte on the same day. Gordon, who started on the front row at Indy last year, will do double duty on May 15, qualifying his Meijer/Coca Cola Dallara-Chevrolet before flying to Richmond to drive the Cingular Wireless Chevrolet in the NASCAR Nextel Cup race. Gordon will also compete in the Busch Series race at Richmond on Friday night.

Bruno Junqueira will attempt to start in his third Indy 500 this year. Junqueira won the pole in 2002 and led the first 32 laps before being sideline with problems. Junqueira, who made both his Indy 500 starts with Target Chip Ganassi Racing, will drive for Newman Haas Racing, which has not been at the Speedway since 1995. Junqueira hopes to become the third Brazilian-born driver to win the 500. Emerson Fittipaldi and Helio Castroneves have each won two 500s. Last year's winner Gil de Ferran was born in France.

The annual Mayor's Breakfast & Queen Coronation will take place 10:00 a.m. May 22 at the Plaza Pavilion, located directly behind the pagoda. Roger Penske will deliver the keynote address. Reservations are available by calling the 500 Festival at (317) 614-6400 or (800) 638-4296.

On Monday, May 10, the Speedway gates will open at 9:00 a.m. with practice for the IndyCar Series from 11:00 to 6:00 p.m.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Robby Gordon , Helio Castroneves , Gil de Ferran , Bruno Junqueira , Emerson Fittipaldi , Chip Ganassi , Roger Penske , Sam Hornis
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing