Speedway IN (May 16, 2004) -- Red Bull Cheever Racing's Alex Barron qualified his No. 51T Chevy-powered entry in the field for the 88th Indianapolis 500 on second day qualifying. Barron attempted to qualify yesterday at the 2.5 --mile oval ...
Speedway IN (May 16, 2004) -- Red Bull Cheever Racing's Alex Barron qualified his No. 51T Chevy-powered entry in the field for the 88th Indianapolis 500 on second day qualifying.
Barron attempted to qualify yesterday at the 2.5 --mile oval speedway during MBNA Pole Day Qualifications, but made contact with the SAFER Barrier in Turn 1.
"I was going into Turn 1 and just before the apex the car went loose and I spun into the wall" Barron said yesterday. "With cool temperatures there were a lot of incidents on track. I wish I could have given the crew a good qualifying run. We'll just have to get out there and try again tomorrow."
And try again they did. Despite a bruised foot and sore limbs, Barron recorded a four-lap average of 218.836 mph, earning 24th position and placing himself on the outside of the 8th row starting grid.
"It was a long night last night," Barron said. "You can't help but replay the whole scenario in your head and analyze everything, but I'm lucky to have a great group of engineers and a great crew that stick by me. They put together a good car today and we had a solid run. It's a relief to be in the field and focus only on the race."
Barron's previous history at the Indianapolis 500 is marked with success. In 2002 he was named Indianapolis 500 Co-Rookie of the Year and finished fourth. In 2003 he started from the back of the grid in 25th position, and fought his way through the field to finish an impressive sixth place.
"The Indianapolis 500 is known for always having an extremely competitive field," Barron said. "Each year the competition gets tighter and you really have to stay on top of your game throughout the 500 miles. You can't lose concentration for even one second, or you've lost the race."
Teammate Ed Carpenter, in contention for the Indy 500 Rookie of the Year honors, qualified on Pole Day in 16th position with a 218.590 mph average lap time.
Qualifying for the Indianapolis 500 ends on May 23. The Indianapolis 500 will start at noon (EST) on Sunday, May 30 and will be televised live on ABC.