IRL: Day 10 - Indy 500 - May 12

IRL: Day 10 - Indy 500 - May 12
Mar 27, 1997, 5:47 AM

DAY 10 MONDAY, MAY 12 The ...


The #4 Monsoon Galles Racing, #42 Coors Light and #51 First Plus Team Cheever entries advanced to the quarterfinals of the $70,000 Coors Pit Stop Challenge through the preliminary round this morning on pit road. The #4 machine, with driver Kenny Brack, Tim McCree (air jack), Jim Copeland (tire carrier), Gary Armentrout (right front), Paul Hennessy (right rear) and Martin Fox (stop sign) posted the fastest time of 12.597 seconds for a two-tire change. The #42 car was next, with driver Robby Gordon, Ed Buffington (air jack), Tracey Dickson (tire carrier), Kenny Koldsbaek (right rear), Dave Forbes (right front) and Bob Temple (stop sign) posting a time of 13.721 seconds. The #51 car was the final qualifier, with driver Eddie Cheever, Loyd Killenback (air jack), Wayne Selman (tire carrier), Robin Boling (right rear), Mitch Davis (right front) and Jim Robinson (stop sign) posting a time of 14.409 seconds. Others in the prelims were the #44 One Call/Menards/Quaker State car at 14.721 seconds, the #52 FirstPlus Team Cheever car at 15.447 seconds, the #40 AMS/Crest Racing entry at 17.245 seconds and the #21 Pennzoil-Pagan Racing Dallara Infiniti with no time. Teams changed two right-side tires and will change four tires and simulate a fuel hose connection in the quarterfinals, semifinals and finals starting at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 22 (Carburetion Day). The three preliminary qualifiers join Team Scandia's #22 entry and Blueprint Racing's #27 car, which qualified through the Indy Racing League series program at the Indy 200 at Walt Disney World and Chastain Motorsports' #77 car and AJ Foyt Enterprises No. 14 machine, which qualified in the Phoenix 200, plus the #5 Treadway Racing entry which won the Indianapolis 500 pole. The teams will be shooting for a record top prize of $40,000.

Arie Luyendyk was fastest of the day in the #5 WavePhore/Sprint PCS/Miller Lite entry with a lap at 217.103 miles an hour at 3:54 p.m. Scott Goodyear was second fastest of the day at 216.092 in the Nortel/Sprint PCS/Quebecor Printing entry at 5:59 p.m. Billy Boat in the #11 AJ Foyt Enterprises entry was fastest of not- yet-qualified drivers with a lap at 212.334 at 4:24 p.m.

A.J. Foyt met with media representatives in the IMS Media Center this morning and said that Scott Sharp was out for the month because of the head injury that he suffered in an accident Friday. A.J. FOYT: "Scotty will not be running for us in the Indy 500 because of his injuries. We're just hoping that Scotty will be back for Texas, for his health and the team and myself and Mr. (Steve) Hilbert of Conseco. We like to stick with the doctors...they know best. We definitely don't want anything to happen to him and take no chances. The brain has a contusion. I'm no doctor but it's kinda settled but it takes awhile for the brain to mend itself and it's just not worth taking chances. Billy (Boat) will continue as he was." (About a third car): "very possible...who I'm working with is my godson, John Andretti, and I've talked to Cale Yarborough. We're good friends and I've asked him for a big favor. Cale and I have discussed it and it's going to be hard getting him back and forth (from Charlotte). Whatever we can work out, and his schedule is very tight, we'll have a private jet to fly him back and forth. Actually, that's our first choice. We'll probably try to practice Wednesday evening, maybe Thursday morning and qualify Sunday." (About choices after Andretti): "There are four or five names but I have not talked to them and I'd rather not say."

JOHN ANDRETTI (by phone, 2 p.m.): "Right now, A.J.'s given me a great opportunity and something to think about. I have a priority of being here with the Winston Cup team. If they can work out how all sides can benefit, not just me, I can be at the Speedway. At this late date, the probability is less than if (arrangements were made) earlier in the year. The last time (I did both races), I qualified (at Indy) the first weekend. Now, I have the Winston Select Open. That boils down to weather on one day of qualifying (Sunday). If the weather's bad, A.J.'s put a lot on the line to make it happen and so have I."

CALE YARBOROUGH (by phone, 2:45 p.m.): "Certainly I wouldn't want to stand in the way of John having a chance to win the Indianapolis 500. I feel his first obligation is to the Winston Cup ride. If it wasn't such an important two weekends for us, it might be a little different. He gets along real well with his Winston Cup crew and I think it would disappoint his Winston Cup crew tremendously. I haven't told John No'. Like A.J. said, we've been friends a long time. I wouldn't consider doing it for anybody else but A.J."

SCOTT SHARP (IMS Media Center, 4:45 p.m.): "I haven't had hardly any headaches. From the standpoint of Dr. (Henry) Bock, he doesn't know how long it's going to take. They found it Saturday morning, then they watched it, then I took an MRI a little while ago. They told me to just be careful, not risk yourself to sudden movements. I was sort of hoping it'd go away in a week but that was pretty well erased this morning." (About his return to the track Saturday): "I had good memory, everything...just a little light in my step, not quite sure." (About recalling the accident): "I remember when the car started to come around, but other than that, no." (About his situation): It's tough for the whole team. When your sponsor's an Indianapolis-based company (Conseco) and all of a sudden, you can't run the can't sit and dwell on it. You just look forward to the next race. A.J. wants me to stay here. He'll put me to work doing something, for sure."

Billy Boat passed a 10-lap refresher test Sunday prior to going into the qualifying line. Billy Roe passed the first phase of his driver's test at 12:40 p.m. today, the second phase at 1:11 p.m., the third phase at 1:41 p.m., the fourth phase at 3:58 p.m. and the final phase with veteran observers Scott Harrington, Johnny Rutherford and Johnny Parsons at 4:50 p.m.

Stefan Johansson Motorsports announced today that its #36 Johansson/Immke Motorsports entry assigned to Scott Harrington will run with Infiniti power and Firestone tires. "We are delighted to be associated with the Nissan Infiniti Group and we have Ron Hemelgarn and Lee Kunzman to thank for making it happen since they were instrumental in providing a Nissan Infiniti engine to us," said Vern Schuppan, managing director of the team. "After hearing of our dilemma, they offered their assistance and the next day we had an engine in our car. This is indicative of the racing spirit of the IRL where you will see racers helping fellow competitors in their efforts to get in the show."

18 cars were on the track today, running 737 laps. Cars on track today: #2T Stewart; #3T Buhl; #4T Brack; #5 Luyendyk; #6 Goodyear; #10T M. Groff; #11 Boat; #12 Calkins; #14 Hamilton; #17 Giaffone; #40 Miller; #42 Gordon; #50 Roe; #51 Cheever; #54 Dennis Vitolo, SmithKline Beecham/Kroger/Beck Motorsports; #77 Gregoire; #90 St. James; #91T Lazier.

A total of 43 cars are now at the Speedway, 40 have passed technical inspection and none are in the process. 32 drivers have been on the track to date. There were six yellows for 43 minutes. At 11:11 a.m., the temperature was 56 degrees with winds out of the west at 20 miles an hour, gusting to 26 mph. At 6 p.m., the temperature was 62 degrees and winds were out of the west at 16 miles an hour. Track temperatures from Goodyear tire engineers were 110 degrees at 11 a.m., 115 degrees at 2 p.m. and 87 degrees at 5:30 p.m.

TOP NOT-YET QUALIFIED DRIVERS OF THE DAY 1 11 Billy Boat AJ Foyt Enterprises D/A/G 212.334 2 50 Billy Roe Sega/Progressive Electronics/Eurointernational D/A/F 206.096

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