IRL: Indy 500: Buddy Lazier Pole Day 2 report

Lazier qualifies for 11th Indianapolis 500. Indianapolis, IN -- Qualifications for the 87th Running of the Indianapolis 500 finally got underway for Buddy Lazier and Hemelgarn Racing on Sunday May 12 after severe thunderstorms on Saturday ...

Lazier qualifies for 11th Indianapolis 500.

Indianapolis, IN -- Qualifications for the 87th Running of the Indianapolis 500 finally got underway for Buddy Lazier and Hemelgarn Racing on Sunday May 12 after severe thunderstorms on Saturday postponed Pole Day.

Although it was dry, Lazier and his crew were faced with wind gusts nearing 30 mph and chilly temperatures forcing them to alter their qualification setup and make minor adjustments to the chassis.

"It was extremely windy especially in Turn 2," Lazier said. "It was gusting so bad that at times the wind would get under the car and it felt as though my car was floating."

The No. 91 Victory Brand/Delta Faucet/Kele Dallara/Chevrolet-powered chassis took to the 2.5-mile famed Brickyard at 1:38pm. The 1996 Indianapolis 500 winner turned in three consistent laps with speeds in excess of 224.6 mph; however team owner Ron Hemelgarn made the decision to throw the yellow flag and wave off Lazier's first qualification attempt. The IndyCar Series rule book allows each car three qualifying attempts.

Lazier and his Victory Brand crew patiently waited for the right time to make their second qualifying attempt. After a few practice laps had been run, the decision was made to roll the No. 91 back through the technical inspection line and back on the course. At 3:53pm, Lazier returned to the track but the team waved off his qualifying attempt before the run even began.

Just before 5:00pm, Lazier qualified for his 11th Indy 500 with speeds of 225.109, 224.674, 225.088, 224.770 mph, respectively, and a four lap average of 224.910 mph. Buddy will start in 21st in the field of 33 alongside his younger brother, Jaques.

"We were flat out during the earlier run and only running 224s. We knew the car was capable of running 225 on its own. We thought we needed to pull a taller gear, so we shifted a couple times during the run and it slowed us down a bit. Nevertheless, we ran two laps at 225."

The track will be shut down May 12-13 but will reopen Wednesday May 14. Lazier and the Hemelgarn team will begin full fuel-load practice runs, simulating possible race conditions and setups.

A total of 24 cars qualified.

-hr-

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Buddy Lazier