IRL: Indianapolis practice notes 96-05-16

Arie Luyendyk was fastest of the day in the ...

Arie Luyendyk was fastest of the day in the #35 Jonathan Byrd's Cafeteria/Bryant Heating & Cooling entry with a lap at 234.540 miles per hour. Brad Murphey was the fastest of not-yet qualified drivers with a lap at 225.875 mph. Danny Ongais made his first appearance of the month in the #77 Brickell Racing entry and was officially logged as on the track by passing the pit exit area.

Dave Schnelker, Ning Wu, I-Fu Shih of Delco Electronics Corporation and Ed Rothrock of Bell Sports have been awarded the 30th annual Schwitzer Award for their design of the Racing EyeCue. The honor was presented by Steve Roby, the Louis Schwitzer Award Committee chairman, on behalf of the Indiana Section, Society of Automotive Engineers. Schnelker and Dr. W. Scott Walker, senior vice president of Delco Electronics, accepted the award this morning in the Trackside Conference Room. The Racing EyeCue is an optical heads-up display of data and information weighing 3 =BD ounces that has been made= into an attachment for a driver's helmet. "This award is like a Nobel Prize for technical people," said Dr. Walker, "and we are honored to accept it." Schnelker explained that the display's projection looked like it would be roughly 12 feet away. Roby said it takes roughly nine-tenths of a second to look down at a dashboard and a car would travel around 315 feet here during that time. Schnelker said yellow and green rectangles are included in the display that can show a driver track conditions. "Instead of having to take the time to look down, a driver can concentrate on what he's doing, so it's quite a good safety feature," said Schnelker. "We expect Davy Jones to be testing this helmet on Saturday, weather-permitting and we expect to see this helmet in use later this year," said Roby.

Scott Harrington passed the observation phase of his driver's test today, becoming the 18th driver of the month to do so. Veteran observers for the test were Steve Chassey, Tero Palmroth and Gordon Johncock. Billy Boat passed the second, third, fourth and observation phases of his test, becoming the 19th driver of the month to do so. Veteran observers for Boat's test were Chassey, Palmroth and John Paul Jr. Andy Michner completed the first three phases of his driver's test. Rob Wilson completed the first phase of his driver's test.

At 1:28 p.m., Scott Harrington in the #39 Harrington Motorsports/LP Racing entry pushed high 330 feet in Turn 3 to hit the wall with the right side, slid along the wall 120 feet, came off the wall 760 feet with a half spin to hit the wall again in Turn 4, then came off the wall 330 feet to a stop in the middle of the track at the exit of Turn 4. The car sustained extensive damage. Harrington suffered a bruised left foot and bruised left shoulder, was examined at Hanna Medical Center and was released to drive.

Johnny O'Connell and Billy Boat came to the Trackside Conference Room at the end of the day.

BILLY BOAT: "Ten years ago when I was running Indy Lights, I came here and the drama and excitement of this place was unbelievable. I knew this was what I wanted. But a year ago, I would never had had the chance. I'd be running a midget in California today." (About help from drivers): "After I ran 216, I talked to Steve Chassey a little. I was trying to make two corners instead of one, so after I talked to him, I got a more even line on the turns."

JOHNNY O'CONNELL: "I passed the final phase of my rookie test and Clayton (Cunningham, the car owner) said, =91you only have to do 220 now to= qualify.' And I said I'd be embarrassed with a 220.001. As well as we've run before, and we're at 225 now, this place is all about miles and if I qualify at 220, that gets me in the show. I've always been a better racer than a qualifier."

Two-time "500" winner Gordon Johncock has been spending much of the month in the STP garage office in Gasoline Alley. A sign there reads: "Johncock's Bed and Breakfast."

Justin Bell said today that he would pass up this year's "500." "This is how my week has been," Bell said. "It's like Michelle Pfeiffer knocking on your motel room door and saying, =91Oops, wrong room.'"

USAC Steward Art Meyers said today that Friday's schedule will have driver orientation 9-11 a.m. and open practice 11 a.m.-6 p.m.

Cary Agajanian of USAC, Johnny Rutherford and Tony Stewart attended the International Motor Press Association monthly luncheon in New York today at the Women's National Republican Club in midtown Manhattan. Sixty-five automotive journalists heard the trio discuss the future of the Indianapolis 500 and the Indy Racing League.

22 cars were on the track today, running 899 laps. Cars on track today: #10 Murphey; #11 Sharp; #14 Hamilton; #15 Gosek; #18 Paul Jr.; #23 Cheever; #24 Tolsma; #27 Guthrie; #33 Alboreto; #34 Salazar; #35 Luyendyk; #36 Drinan and Michner; #39 Harrington; #41 Greco; #44 Hearn; #45 St. James; #46 Rob Wilson, Ruger Titanium/Project Indy Reynard; #60 Groff; #75 O'Connell; #77 Danny Ongais, Brickell Racing; #99 Boat.

A total of 48 cars are now at the Speedway, 45 have passed technical inspection and one is in the process. 40 drivers have been on the track to date. There were 12 yellows for one hour, 36 minutes.At 11:24 a.m., when the track opened, the temperature was 71 degrees with winds SW at 7 mph. Track temperatures from Goodyear tire engineers were 80 degrees at 11:30 a.m., 115 degrees at 3 p.m. and 94 degrees at 5 p.m. At 5:45 p.m., the temperature was 78 degrees with winds out of the west at 8 mph.=20

1  10 Brad Murphey      Hemelgarn Racing                        225.875
2  75 Johnny O'Connell  Mechanics Laundry/Cunningham Racing     225.315
3  99 Billy Boat        Pagan Racing                            224.657
4  36 Dan Drinan        State Bail Bonding/Kelly's Pub Too      213.159
5  39 Scott Harrington  Harrington Motorsports/LP Racing        209.859
6  36 Andy Michner      State Bail Bonding/Kelly's Pub Too      203.367
7  46 Rob Wilson        Ruger Titanium/Project Indy Reynard     192.332
8  24 Randy Tolsma      McCormack Motorsports                   186.521
9  15 Joe Gosek         Tempero-Giuffre Racing                  123.859


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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Tony Stewart , Arie Luyendyk , Billy Boat , Johnny O'Connell , Justin Bell , Randy Tolsma , Danny Ongais , Scott Harrington , Davy Jones , Dan Drinan , Gordon Johncock , John Paul Jr. , Johnny Rutherford