IRL: Indy 500: Billy Boat sidelined with gear problems

Gear problems rule out third day of practice for CURB team. It looked like it would be an even better day than yesterday. Although there were severe thunderstorms until early Tuesday morning, by the afternoon the track was dry and ready.

Gear problems rule out third day of practice for CURB team.

It looked like it would be an even better day than yesterday. Although there were severe thunderstorms until early Tuesday morning, by the afternoon the track was dry and ready. However, as the #98 CURB Records car came out of the front straight on its second hot lap, it clearly lost power and needed a tow back to the pit from the backstretch apron.

Billy Boat felt the change and said, "the car seemed to jump out of gear" and would be taken back to the garage for inspection. Some 20 minutes later, the news wasn't good.

"Unfortunately, the CURB Records car broke a gear in the gear box on our second hot lap today," said Boat. "This is not a tremendous set back, but when you break a gear like that, it puts a lot of little metal shavings in the gear box. So, the gear box on our primary car is going to have to be completely gone through and unfortunately the "tests" that we need to run, we need to do with that car, so it 's a little bit of a set back for us."

As the CURB/Agajanian/Boat Indy Racing Team worked feverishly to get the car in shape, there was no lack of speed and excitement on the track.

Just as the #98 stopped on the backstretch, history was being made on the front straight when CART Fedex Championship driver Bruno Junqueira hit the fastest lap speed of the month - 228.566 mph. His record was short lived when merely two hours later, IRL rookie driver Laurent Redon took a lap at 229.808 mph.

By the days end, three drivers, Junqueira, Redon and Scott Sharp had all surpassed the 228 mph mark, truly putting the pressure on drivers for Qualifying Day.

Billy Boat left the track with an attitude of determination, "Today was disappointing, but we'll get everything together and be back ready to go in the morning. Obviously, we're seeing the speeds continue to climb here at the Speedway. For us personally, after running the 225 mph lap yesterday, we know that we have a little bit left, but we've got to go out and put it on the table. So hopefully, barring any unforeseen weather problems, we'll get that done tomorrow.

The last time the start of two consecutive days of practice was delayed was 1997. Practice is scheduled for 11:00am until 6:00pm tomorrow, Wednesday.

-cabir-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Scott Sharp , Billy Boat , Bruno Junqueira , Laurent Redon