LUYENDYK CAPTURES "FINAL" POLE FOR INDIANAPOLIS 500 INDIANAPOLIS, May 22, 1999 - Arie Luyendyk won the PPG Pole Award for the 83rd Indianapolis 500 on Saturday, ending his final Pole Day with a four-lap average speed of 225.179 mph in the Sprint...
LUYENDYK CAPTURES "FINAL" POLE FOR INDIANAPOLIS 500
INDIANAPOLIS, May 22, 1999 - Arie Luyendyk won the PPG Pole Award for the 83rd Indianapolis 500 on Saturday, ending his final Pole Day with a four-lap average speed of 225.179 mph in the Sprint PCS-Meijer G Force/Aurora/Firestone. Luyendyk held off Greg Ray, just behind at 225.073 in the Glidden-Menards Dallara/Aurora/Firestone. Billy Boat overcame an early-day crash to fill out the front row at 223.469 in the A.J. Foyt Racing Dallara/Aurora/Goodyear. Ray and Boat are starting on the front row for the second consecutive year. "I was a lot more nervous watching him than going through my own run, I'll tell you that," Luyendyk said of Ray. "I was actually a little surprised (that he didn't get the pole). It was a great effort on his part, but we came here to win. So we're glad he came up a little short." Luyendyk earned the third PPG Pole in his Indianapolis 500 career, which is ending this year with his 15th career start. He also won the pole in 1993 and 1997. "It just shows this whole racetrack and the Indianapolis 500 is all about the fans and the people that make it happen," Luyendyk said. " I will always remember this day. It could only be topped by coming in when everybody's cheering when coming into Victory Lane." Thirty-three cars qualified Saturday, an event record for first-day qualifiers, even though qualifications started 64 minutes late due to wet track conditions. The previous record was 28, in 1984 and 1985. A first-day record 49 qualification attempts were made in humid, overcast conditions. Bubble Day, the final day of qualifying, starts at 1 p.m. (EDT). Race Day is May 30. Luyendyk's four-lap average was the fastest qualifying average ever by a normally aspirated Pep Boys Indy Racing League car at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The previous best was 223.503 by Boat in 1998. Pep Boys Indy Racing League points leader Scott Goodyear earned the ninth starting position at 222.387 in the backup Pennzoil Panther G Force/Aurora/Goodyear. Defending race champion Eddie Cheever Jr. qualified 16th at 221.315 in the backup Team Cheever-The Children's Beverage Group Dallara/Infiniti/Goodyear. It was his third qualifying attempt of the day. Previous Pep Boys Indy Racing League champion Tony Stewart qualified 24th at 220.653 at 12:11 p.m. before immediately flying to Charlotte, N.C. for his NASCAR Winston Cup commitments.
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