Indianapolis, IN, Sunday, May 14, 2006--Intermittent rains forced Pole Day Qualifications for the 90th Indianapolis 500 to be moved to next weekend (Saturday, May 20) at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Teams did get a shortened practice session (2...
Indianapolis, IN, Sunday, May 14, 2006--Intermittent rains forced Pole Day Qualifications for the 90th Indianapolis 500 to be moved to next weekend (Saturday, May 20) at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Teams did get a shortened practice session (2 separate groups) on Sunday afternoon before rain returned and washed out the rest of the day's activities.
Target's Scott Dixon was atop the timing charts with a speed of 227.274 mph as the 1st group got in some track time. He ended up fourth quickest behind the two Penskes.
Not to be out done, Target teammate Dan Wheldon quickly topped by posting the quickest lap time of the month so far with a 228.663 mph (39.3592 second) lap on his fifth of just eight laps on the 2.5-mile oval.
The Target team expects to be back on track this Wednesday, May 17th.
Scott Dixon #9 Target Honda Dallara --
"The weather conditions were better. You know, it's cool. The engine definitely picks up more speed, and the car has more downforce with no wind. I think that's the difference from the other day. The temperature conditions are similar to the other day, but it's nice to not have the wind out there. (About move of qualifying to next weekend): "I think everybody's pretty much got the car they've got now, so it's not like the speeds are going to change between the teams with the split that we already have. It's just a shame that it couldn't play out through the typical scenario that they've been trying to do for the last couple of years."
Dan Wheldon #10 Target Honda Dallara --
"From a strategic standpoint, the engineers really have to manage the time we do on track properly because we're allowed one engine that's allowed to do 1,200 miles up until Carb Day. We will be considering how exactly we utilize that time and I think the weather still going to continue to play a part. That's unfortunately how Indianapolis is during the month of May. The good thing is that it'll be exciting for the pole and the race will be very good. The thing you've got to remember that people remember the race winner for life here. They remember the pole winner for as long as the guy's on pole, until the race starts. The biggest thing is with qualifying being pushed back a whole week, you've got to focus on the race car. That's all that counts. Maybe Friday afternoon, you can switch and you can run your qualifying car which will be your race car but you've really got to focus on the race, because like I said, that's what really counts." (About extra time being a benefit or disadvantage): "I don't think it changes anything for us. It's the same for everybody at the end of the day. I think we've had a very fast car all month, although the way we've gone about qualifying differs from Penske. I think it'll be race for the pole."