INDIANAPOLIS, May 18 -Billy Boat finally made it into the field for his seventh Indianapolis 500 Sunday, qualifying the Pedigo Chevrolet Dallara/Chevrolet at 225.598 miles per hour. His speed placed him in the 29th starting spot. It was the...
INDIANAPOLIS, May 18 -Billy Boat finally made it into the field for his seventh Indianapolis 500 Sunday, qualifying the Pedigo Chevrolet Dallara/Chevrolet at 225.598 miles per hour. His speed placed him in the 29th starting spot.
It was the first time Boat had driven the car since Thursday. It was torn down on Thursday, and weather kept him off the track on Friday and Saturday.
"It would have been nice if we had gotten a few more laps on the race car on Saturday, but the weather is like that sometimes," he said after qualifying. "You just have to know you have confidence in your engineers and mechanics. They set the car to where they say it will go, and you just go out and push the button."
Boat said the car was a little better than the last time he drove it.
"We had made some gains last week on a few things that probably gave me a more superior race car all the way around," he said. "The guys have done a great job and it feels really good to put it solidly in the show."
Rookie Buddy Rice, who qualified last weekend, put the finishing touches on the race setup in 18 laps of practice Sunday, fastest of which was 223.614 in the Red Bull Cheever Racing Dallara/Chevrolet.
"We had a few little problems here and there, but we didn't run too many laps," Rice said. "We're pretty happy with where we are. We have our race program set, so we'll be ready to go.
"All we'll do on Thursday is scrub some tires and make sure everything is good on the motor for the race and we'll be ready to rock and roll."
Nine cars qualified Sunday, led by Alex Barron's run of 227.274 in the Meijer Mo Nunn Racing Dallara/Toyota to fill the field for the 87th running of the "500."
The track will be closed until "Carb Day" practice on Thursday and the "500," to be aired live on ABC, on Sunday.
There was little good news for Phoenix-area drivers in the Infiniti Pro Series Freedom 100, which was completed Sunday morning. Billy Roe finished 14th and Arie Luyendyk Jr. 15th after both encountered problems on Saturday before the race was halted by rain.
"We just picked the wrong gear, and it just wouldn't pull," said Roe, who dropped out Saturday with a gearbox problem. "The car felt really good, but I guess going that slow, any car would feel good."
Luyendyk, who restarted the race eight laps behind because of an electrical fire, said he was "just driving around" to gain a few positions.
"The car was great, but it was kind of like a Sunday drive," he said.