IRL: Day 3 - Indy 500 - May 5

DAY 3 MONDAY, MAY 5 An oil-absorbent device has been mandated to line the undertrays of the new Indy Racing League machines to contain oil from leaks. "This is something guys have run in sprint cars and midgets and the dragster guys all use ...

DAY 3 MONDAY, MAY 5

An oil-absorbent device has been mandated to line the undertrays of the new Indy Racing League machines to contain oil from leaks. "This is something guys have run in sprint cars and midgets and the dragster guys all use it," said USAC Technical Director Mike Devin. "It's not a new technology but it's the first time it's been adapted to these cars. It's a material spawned out of the environmental world. It's a real, real thirsty chemical fabric." Devin said 35 of the devices have been produced and cost $375 each. "The teams are really receptive," he said. "It not only keeps oil from getting on the rear tire, but it also helps maintain the car. With wear and tear on any engine, oil can get into the undertray and can cause long-term degradation to the carbon fiber. It's awfully hard to repair an oil-soaked undertray. With the height of the engine in the car and the tunnels being lower, when an engine blows, oil is capable of getting in the sidepods. In the past, it was contained in the bottom of the center."

USAC Chief Steward Keith Ward said this afternoon that driver's tests and rookie track time would continue 9-11 a.m. each day. "We'll do it on a day-to-day basis as necessary," Ward said. He added that drivers who have passed the first four phases of the test must complete the final observation phase during regular practice hours. "That's so the veteran drivers at their posts get the opportunity to see them run in traffic a little bit," Ward= said.

Rookie Sam Schmidt passed the first phase of his driver's test at 12:17 p.m. and the second phase at 12:58 p.m. The #16 Blueprint Racing entry was undamaged when Schmidt ran over a piece of debris on the frontstretch with the left front tire during the session. SAM SCHMIDT: (about the rookie test): "I've done three laps in the third stage at 197 miles an hour. That's where I'm at. Things are going fine except for the suspicious weather. I'm getting used to the wind. This is an exciting experience. I'm now getting used to it for qualifying."=20

The 59th awarding of the Borg-Warner Trophy, to honor 1996 Indianapolis 500 winner Buddy Lazier, will take place at 1 p.m. Wednesday in the Speedway's Hall of Fame Museum. A media luncheon is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. Wednesday in the Borg Warner suite, #408 in the Hulman Terrace, preceding the ceremony.

It is believed that one record was set today, for the longest tow-in in Speedway history. When Kenny Brack and the #4 Monsoon Galles Racing entry stopped in the north chute, Brack needed a tow. As the tow truck approached pit road, Brack continued holding the tow line and was forced to hang on for another complete lap around the 2 1/2-mile oval. "I was sort of wondering what the guy was doing," Brack said with a laugh. "Normally, they tow you to the pit (in Europe). I didn't realize I was supposed to let go. No one told me. A record? That's good to know but I want to set other records."

Completion for Indy FanFest, the free, family-oriented racing theme park at the Speedway, is almost complete in preparation for Friday's opening. The 200,000 square-foot area next to the Hall of Fame Museum will showcase 12 major attractions, including the Aurora Start Your Engines exhibit, Infiniti Heritage Quiz Show, FirstPlus Call the Race, MBNA Lap Leader Indy 500 video game, Firestone Legendary Moments Theater, Goodyear Victory Lane, Kodak Mini Indy, Pennzoil Personalized Trading Cards, FanFest Marketplace, McDonald's Brickyard Bistro and Gasoline Alley exhibits by Monsoon, ABC Interactive, Indy 200 at Walt Disney World, Comfort Classic at the Brickyard and the Indy Racing League. Volunteers are still needed to staff FanFest through its 12-day run (May 9-12, 16-18, 21-25). The "500" Festival's Volunteer Hotline is 317/237-3414.=20

The first CARA (Championship Auto Racing Auxiliary) Pro-Am Karting Race is scheduled for May 20 at Stefan Johansson Karting Center. The event replaces the CARA tennis tournament as a month-of-May fundraiser for the charity organization. Registration is at Noon, with driver's meeting at 1 p.m., a LeMans- style race at 2 p.m. and trophy presentation at 5 p.m. Teams are composed of 10 people, which includes a professional driver as a teammate, luncheon and entertainment. For further information, call 299-2277 or stop at the CARA office at the south end of the tower terrace.

Four cars were on the track today, running 80 laps. #4 Brack, #16 Schmidt, #52 Jeff Ward, FirstPlus Team Cheever, #97 Greg Ray, Tobacco Free Kids,

A total of 33 cars are now at the Speedway, six have passed technical inspection and 14 are in the process. Seven drivers have been on the track to date. At 10:59 a.m., the temperature was 66 degrees with winds SW at 17 miles an hour. Winds intensified to 33 miles an hour with gusts of 45 miles an hour during the day. There was five yellows for three hours, 39 minutes. Track temperatures was 94 degrees at Noon, according to Firestone tire engineers. The track closed at 4:30 p.m. because of rain and high winds.

PERFORMANCE HISTORY OF THE DAY FROM USAC ROOKIE ORIENTATION

Car  Driver                Car                        Laps        Top            Phases
No.                                                        Speed            Completed
 4   Kenny Brack        Monsoon Galles Racing        23        205.597            0 (4)
16   Sam Schmidt        Blueprint Racing        43        198.325            2 (2)
97   Greg Ray                Tobacco Free Kids        12        185.494            0 (0)
52   Jeff Ward                FirstPlus Team Cheever        2        (Under 100) (refresher)

--IMS--

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Stefan Johansson , Greg Ray , Buddy Lazier , Jeff Ward , Kenny Brack , Sam Schmidt