IRL: Day 7 - Indy 500 - May 9

DAY 7 FRIDAY, MAY 9 At 11:43 a.m., Robbie Buhl in the ...

DAY 7 FRIDAY, MAY 9

At 11:43 a.m., Robbie Buhl in the #3T Quaker State Special turned a lap at 214.352 miles an hour, fastest of the day. At 11:54 a.m., Fermin Velez in the #33 Old Navy Scandia Royal Purple Alta Xcel entry turned a lap 214.403, fastest of the day. At 12:15 p.m., Tony Stewart in the #2 Glidden/Menards/Special turned a lap at 215.368, fastest of the day. At 12:19 p.m., Velez turned a lap at 215.760, fastest of the day. At 12:39 p.m., Robbie Buhl in the #3 Quaker State Special turned a lap at 216.081, fastest of the day. At 1:38 p.m., Stewart turned a lap at 217.292, fastest of the day. At 5:14 p.m., Arie Luyendyk in the #5 Treadway Racing WavePhore Miller Lite entry turned a lap at 218.325, fastest of the day. ARIE LUYENDYK: "We've been the fastest here for four days in a row. That still doesn't mean anything on Pole Day. I'm just going to take it one step at a time."

USAC Rookie Orientation Chronology: 9:54 a.m. #40 Dr. Jack Miller passed second phase of driver's test. 10:15 a.m. #44 Steve Kinser passed second phase. 10:23 a.m. #40 Miller passed third phase. 10:48 a.m. #44 Kinser passed third phase. 11:04 a.m. #40 Miller passed fourth phase. 11:08 a.m. #44 Kinser passed fourth phase. 12:27 p.m. #40 Miller passed the final observation phase of the driver's test with Johnny Rutherford, Paul Durant, Lyn St. James and Tyce Carlson serving as the observers. "I'm very comfortable and as happy as I've ever been in a race car in my life," Miller said. "Now we need to get out there and run for speed and hopefully qualify tomorrow." 12:28 p.m. #44 Kinser passed the final observation phase with the same observers. "We got all the rookie phases out of the way," Kinser said. "Now we want to get this thing smoothed out and get some speed. We'll try to get qualified and see what happens." 12:40 p.m. #16 Sam Schmidt passed the final observation phase with the same observers. "Yesterday, we did six laps with the veterans watching and had problems with the rotor," Schmidt said. "By the time I got back out, the track was closed. Today we went out and we were running 203, 204 and the car didn't feel real comfortable. We put wickers on both front and rear wings and the car ran like a dream. I'd be real happy if we got to 213-214 if the weather stays the same." 4:45 p.m. #52 Jeff Ward completed his 20-lap refresher test.

At 12:42 p.m., John Paul Jr. in the #18 Klipsch Tnemec Overhead Door Pyle V-Line Earl's entry did a complete spin in Turn 4 690 feet to hit the wall with the front, came back 60 feet to hit with the rear, then slid down the frontstretch 460 feet with a half- spin to a stop. The car sustained heavy front and left-side damage. Paul Jr., was awake and alert and was transported by ambulance to Methodist Hospital Trauma Center complaining of pain in both legs. At 3 p.m., it was announced that Paul Jr., was admitted in good condition with a broken lower right leg and a broken left heel.

At 3:49 p.m., Stephan Gregoire in the #77 Chastain Motorsports entry did a full spin 180 feet in the Turn 2 warmup lane, barely touching the inside guard rail. The car sustained minor nose-cone damage. Gregoire was uninjured.

At 5:17 p.m., Scott Sharp in the #1 Conseco AJ Foyt Racing entry did one complete spin covering 635 feet to hit the Turn 4 wall, slid 160 feet along the wall and came off the wall 2,690 feet to a stop near the end of the main straightaway. The car sustained extensive right-side damage. Sharp was transported by ambulance to Methodist Hospital. He was reported awake and had signs of a concussion, according to Dr. Henry Bock, Speedway medical director. The accident closed the track for the day.

Auto racing drivers and teams competing in the Indianapolis 500 and other races are making a major contribution to the safety of future production vehicles, General Motors' top motorsports engineer said today in the Trackside Conference Room. "Our automotive safety scientists are learning information about human survivability in high-speed impacts through the GM Motorsports Safety Technology Research Program that would not otherwise be available from any other source," said Herb Fishel, executive director, GM Motorsports. "Over the past five years, we have recorded significant race track impacts and conducted 160 impact sled tests utilizing data recorded in these racing accidents. We are discovering things that were not previously thought possible prior to the installation of impact recorders on racing cars, such as the ability of a properly protected driver to be able to sustain impacts of more than 100 Gs (force of gravity) without major injury."

The creation of the Scott Brayton Driver's Trophy was announced today in the Trackside Conference Room and will honor at the 1997 Indianapolis 500 any past or present entrant that best exemplifies the character and racing spirit of the late two-time "500" pole winner. The announcement was made by Andrew Evans, the chairman of the award's presenting sponsor, Royal Purple Motor Oil, Inc. It will be presented annually to an Indianapolis 500 entrant who extends the legacy of one of Indy's own, through sportsmanship, competitiveness and goodwill. The recipient will receive a $25,000 cash award and a uniquely-crafted crystal trophy designed and produced by Tiffany's. The selection will be made by Evans, Speedway President Tony George and Lee Brayton, Scott's father. LEE BRAYTON: "My wife (Jean) and I think that this is just a great tribute. I think that the trophy itself would be a great honor to receive and that the financial award is a great incentive for somebody to program their life after my son."

ANDREW EVANS: "Scott made an impression on everyone he met, from sponsors to team members to the average fan. The industry benefitted from his enthusiasm and this award has been created to both honor his life and to remind our current drivers that sitting behind the wheel is but a small portion of their profession."

TONY GEORGE: "Scott...all the things he brought to this sport that we miss very much will live on in this recognition."

Pole Day Schedule: 7 a.m. Gates open 8-8:30 a.m. Group 1 practice (first half of qualifying order) 8:30-9 a.m. Group 2 practice (second half of qualifying order) 9-10 a.m. Open practice 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Qualifications and/or practice

Pole Day Radio and Television Schedule (Indianapolis times): 10:15 a.m. - 6:15 p.m. IMS Radio Network, hourly reports 10:30 - 11:30 a.m. IMS Radio Network, INDY AM 11:30 a.m. - 12 p.m. WNDY, Channel 23, FanFest 12 - 2 p.m. ABC, Pole Day Qualifying 5:30 - 6 p.m. IMS Radio Network, INDY PM 6-7 p.m. WTHR, Channel 13, Eyewitness News/Speedquest=20 6:30 p.m. WISH, Channel 8, Sportslocker Extra: Qualification Wrap-up 6:30 - 7 p.m. WRTV, Channel 6, Trackside Six Qualification Summary 6:30 - 7:30 p.m. WNDY, Channel 23, Qualification Recap 7:30 p.m. WISH, Channel 8, Sportslocker Extra: Lazier in High Gear 11 p.m. WTHR, Channel 13, Eyewitness News Nightbeat

Brief explanation of qualifying procedures: 1. The pole position is decided by the fastest qualifier on the first day, or the fastest qualifier after one trip through the original qualifying line, whichever comes LAST. 2. Each car can make three qualification attempts. When a car completes a four-lap, 10-mile qualification attempt, its speed becomes official. The car may not requalify. The driver, if the car is bumped, may qualify in another car. 3. If a top 25 car in Indy Racing League entrant points meets the minimum average speed requirement of 203 miles per hour, it cannot be bumped. 4. Cars must meet the minimum average speed requirement of 203 miles an hour to be eligible for the field. 5. The 24 cars eligible under the IRL qualifying provision for spots in the field if they meet the minimum speed are: #10 Jonathan Byrd-Cunningham Racing, #22 Team Scandia; #14 AJ Foyt Enterprises; #12 Bradley Motorsports, #33 Team Scandia, #21 Pagan Racing, #1 AJ Foyt Enterprises, #2 Team Menard, #27 Blueprint Racing, #40 Arizona Motorsports, #18 PDM Racing, #51 FirstPlus Team Cheever, #5 Treadway Racing, #30 McCormack Motorsports, #91 Hemelgarn Racing, #6 Treadway Racing, #3 Team Menard, #7 Team Scandia, #77 Chastain Motorsports, #17 Chitwood Motorsports, #4 Galles Racing International, #54 Beck Motorsports, #28 PDM Racing and #15 Tempero-Giuffre Racing. The #74 of Della Penna Motorsports is not entered.

QUALIFYING AWARDS

The PPG Pole Award of $100,000 and a $35,000 customized van from Chevrolet head the list of qualifying awards for the 1997 Indianapolis 500. The PPG Pole Award was started in 1989. Other awards include:

GTE "Front Runner" Awards  $30,000
True Value "Pole Winning Chief Mechanic" Award  $10,000
Sure Start/Automotive Armature "On the Bubble" Award  $10,000
Ameritech "Youngest Starting Driver" Award  $7,500
Citadel Group "Overachiever" Award  $5,000
Buckeye Machine/Race Spec "Final Measure" Award  $5,000
Ferguson Steel "Most Consistent Rookie Qualifier" Award  $5,000
Snap-On/Championship Association of Mechanics "Top Wrench" Award  $5,000
Mi-Jack "Top Performer" Award  $5,000
S R E Industries "My Bubble Burst" Award  $5,000
T.P. Donovan "Top Starting Rookie" Award  $5,000
Indianapolis Motor Speedway qualifying prizes  $120,000

31 cars were on the track today, running 1,195 laps. Cars on track today: #1T Scott Sharp Conseco AJ Foyt Racing; #2 Stewart; #3 and #3T Buhl; #4T Kenny Brack, Monsoon Galles Racing; #5 Luyendyk; #6 Goodyear; #7 Salazar; #8 Sospiri; #10 Groff; #10T Mike Groff, Jonathan Byrd's Cafeteria Bryant Heating & Cooling; #12 Calkins; #14 Hamilton; #16 Schmidt; #17 Giaffone; #18 Paul Jr; #21T Guerrero; #22 Greco; #27 Guthrie; #30 R. Groff; #33 Velez; #34 Zampedri; #40 Miller; #42 Gordon; #44 Kinser; #50 Billy Roe, Sega Progressive Electronics Eurointernational; #51 Eddie Cheever, FirstPlus Team Cheever; #52 Ward; #77 Gregoire; #91 Lazier; #91T Buddy Lazier, Delta Faucet-Montana-Hemelgarn Racing.

A total of 43 cars are now at the Speedway, 37 have passed technical inspection and none are in the process. 30 drivers have been on the track to date. There were nine yellows for two hours, 33 minutes. At 10:14 a.m., the temperature was 48 degrees and winds were out of the west at 24 miles an hour, gusting to 33 mph. At 6:12 p.m., the temperature was 51 degrees and winds were out of the northwest at 16 miles an hour, gusting to 26 mph.

TOP 10 DRIVERS OF THE DAY

1  5        Arie Luyendyk        Treadway Racing WavePhore Miller Lite                G/A/F        218.325
2  2        Tony Stewart        Glidden/Menards/Special                                G/A/F        217.355
3  3        Robbie Buhl        Quaker State Special                                G/A/F        216.899
4  14        Davey Hamilton        AJ Foyt Power Team Racing                        G/A/G        215.853
5  33        Fermin Velez        Old Navy Scandia Royal Purple Altz Xcel                D/A/G        215.760
6  42        Robby Gordon        Coors Light                                        G/A/G        215.326
7  17        Affonso Giaffone  General Motors of Brazil Chitwood Dallara        D/A/G        215.162
8  7        Eliseo Salazar        Copec/Cristal/Scandia                                D/A/G        214.690
9  1T        Scott Sharp        Conseco AJ Foyt Racing                                G/A/G        214.148
10 8        Vincenzo Sospiri  Scandia Royal Purple Alta Xcel                D/A/G        213.498

--IMS--

QUALIFYING ORDER -- Pole Day, May 10

                                                Best        Best
        Car        Driver                        C/E/T        Speed        Date
1        10        Mike Groff                G/I/F        209.585        8-May
2        50        TBA                        D/A/F        178.243        9-May
3        4T        Kenny Brack                G/A/G        211.466        9-May
4        52        Jeff Ward                G/A/G        209.404        9-May
5        4        Kenny Brack                G/A/G        212.821        7-May
6        40        Dr. Jack Miller                D/I/F        208.169        9-May
7        17        Affonso Giaffone        D/A/G        215.162        9-May
8        21T        Roberto Guerrero        D/I/G        210.664        8-May
9        44        Steve Kinser                D/A/F        206.536        9-May
10        91        Buddy Lazier                D/I/F        214.128        6-May
11        42        Robby Gordon                G/A/G        215.993        7-May
12        3        Robbie Buhl                G/A/F        216.899        9-May
13        16        Sam Schmidt                D/A/F        211.129        9-May
14        8        Vincenzo Sospiri        D/A/G        213.498        9-May
15        51        Eddie Cheever, Jr.        G/A/G        212.665        9-May
16        27        Jim Guthrie                D/A/F        216.076        7-May
17        34        Alessandro Zampedri        D/A/G        211.367        9-May
18        30        Robbie Groff                G/A/G        210.679        9-May
19        97        Greg Ray                D/A/F        205.255        6-May
20        5        Arie Luyendyk                G/A/F        220.297        7-May
21        77        Stephan Gregoire        G/A/G        213.326        9-May
22        22        Marco Greco                D/A/G        209.293        9-May
23        33        Fermin Velez                D/A/G        215.76        9-May
24        12        Buzz Calkins                G/A/G        213.792        7-May
25        21        Roberto Guerrero        D/I/G        204.341        6-May
26        6        Scott Goodyear                G/A/F        214.123        7-May
27        7        Eliseo Salazar                D/A/G        214.69        9-May
28        14        Davey Hamilton                G/A/G        215.853        9-May
29        3T        Robbie Buhl                G/A/F        215.708        8-May
30        51T        TBA                        G/A/G        205.78        4-May
31        91T        Buddy Lazier                D/I/F        209.57        9-May
32        2        Tony Stewart                G/A/F        217.355        9-May
33        90        Lyn St. James                D/I/F        212.565        8-May
34        2T        Tony Stewart                G/A/F        215.822        8-May
35        10T        Mike Groff                G/I/F        204.685        9-May

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Tony Stewart , Robby Gordon , Buzz Calkins , Greg Ray , Eddie Cheever , Robbie Buhl , Eliseo Salazar , Buddy Lazier , Stephan Gregoire , Jeff Ward , Davey Hamilton , Scott Sharp , Arie Luyendyk , Jim Guthrie , Scott Goodyear , Roberto Guerrero , Kenny Brack , Billy Roe , Sam Schmidt , Lyn St. James , Tyce Carlson , Steve Kinser , Fermin Velez , John Paul , Vincenzo Sospiri , Johnny Rutherford , Jack Miller