RAIN POSTPONES POLE QUALIFYING FOR INDIANAPOLIS 500 INDIANAPOLIS, Saturday, May 13, 2006 --Steady rain forced WorldPoints Visa Card Pole Day Qualifications for the 90th Indianapolis 500 to be moved from Saturday, May 13 to Sunday, May 14, ...
RAIN POSTPONES POLE QUALIFYING FOR INDIANAPOLIS 500
INDIANAPOLIS, Saturday, May 13, 2006 --Steady rain forced WorldPoints Visa Card Pole Day Qualifications for the 90th Indianapolis 500 to be moved from Saturday, May 13 to Sunday, May 14, Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Indy Racing League officials announced.
All on-track activity was canceled at 2 p.m. (EDT) Saturday after rain fell on the Speedway throughout the morning and early afternoon, preventing any action on the historic 2.5-mile oval.
Qualifying for spots 1-22 in the field will start at noon Sunday and continue through 6 p.m. Practice will precede WorldPoints Visa Card Pole Qualifications from 9:30-11 a.m. Public gates will open at 7 a.m. Fans can use Saturday's ticket as a rain-check for Sunday.
On this date in 1998, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway plays host to its inaugural Champions Day. Champions Day was created to salute the champions of various open-wheel racing series in the United States. Among the champions who visited the Speedway were: Rebel Jackson Jr. (Western Super Modified), Jerry Nemire (ARCA), Frankie Kerr (ALLSTARS), Johnny Saathoff (IMCA), Larry Tyler (Tampa Bay Area Racing Association), Kevin Olson (Badger Midget Auto Racing), Don Lehmann (MARA), Mel Kenyon (NAMARS), Marty Davis (UMARA), Joe Roe (IRA), Terry Goff (UMRA), Kevin Chambers (American Mini Sprints), Russ Wood (International Super Modifed), Russ Stoehr (North East Midget), Dave Darland (USAC Silver Crown), Jason Leffler (USAC National Midget), Ricky Shelton (USAC Western States Midget), Michael Lang (USAC Speeddrome Regional), Steve Knepper (USAC 16th Street Speedway), Zak Morioka (USAC Formula Ford).
In celebration of the 90th Running of the Indianapolis 500, various personalities associated with "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing" will give their favorite "500" memories. Here's today's memory:
LARRY CURRY (Team manager, Vision Racing/crew chief for Kevin Cogan in 1986): "We were leading the race with three laps to go when we had a restart and Bobby Rahal passed Kevin Cogan and won the race. Clearly that day, we had the fastest car, but we got snookered on the restart. I was talking to Cogan on the radio as they're heading down the backstretch on the restart. I could see what Rahal and Mears were doing. They were backing up to get a run on Kevin, and you could see it coming. I said on the radio: 'Kevin, you've got to have a great restart and a great plan here. This is for the Indy 500.' He said not to worry because he had a plan. I told him, 'Boy, you better have because the two guys behind you do.' We got beat. Let me tell you, when you're that close to that race, you never forget it and you have a taste in your mouth."
Did you know?: The revolutionary SAFER Barrier, now used at most major racing facilities made its debut in May 2002 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Ethanol will present $2,500 to the driver who records the fastest lap on five practice days during the Month of May. The "Ethanol Fastest Lap" will be presented May 10, 11, 17, 18 and 26. In addition to the ethanol awards, Cholula Hot Sauce will award $15,000 to the driver who completes the Fastest Lap of the Day on May 19.
Entertainment industry veteran James "Jazzy" Jordan is heading to the Indianapolis 500 to make his mark on "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing." Jordan will join Dreyer & Reinbold Racing as a co-entrant for 1996 Indianapolis 500 winner Buddy Lazier's No. 5 Honda-powered entry. The "500" marks the debut of Jordan Racing Group and Jordan's entrance into the world of motorsports.
JAMES "JAZZY" JORDAN (Owner, Jordan Racing Group): "I am both excited and proud to join forces with both DRR and the IRL. This partnership validates our vision to further expand the reach of this sport and the IRL's commitment to diversity. This union is not only a credit to the entire DRR team but also to the league as a whole. It demonstrates their unyielding commitment to broadening the face and the spirit of the sport." (About role late NFL great Reggie White played): "Reggie is a large part of why I'm here today because he always talked about owning a racing team. He was extremely committed to broadening the span of motorsports and to making it accessible to minorities, so he planted that seed for this dream some years ago, and here I am today. My entrance into this league marks a tremendous moment in history, not just for African-Americans, not just for motorsports fans, but for anyone who's ever felt like something was outside of their reach. I want my presence in motorsports to have the same effect that Tiger has had on the world of golf--where everyone feels included. I want my face to be a reminder to all people, young, old, black, white, rich or poor, that you can do anything and that nothing is beyond your reach."
ROBBIE BUHL (Co-owner Dreyer & Reinbold Racing): "James is a huge race fan and he's interested in creating more excitement and involvement in the sport. We're eager to provide an introduction to the IRL, and we believe his experience in marketing and the entertainment industry will bode well for DRR and the IRL."
This is the fifth-straight year that weather has affected Pole Day for the Indianapolis 500. Weather has played a role in eight of the last 11 Pole Days.
May 14, 2005 Morning rain closed track at 12:15 p.m.
May 15, 2004 Morning rain delayed start of practice until 12:25 p.m. Qualifying began at 2:19 p.m. Twenty-two cars qualified.
May 10, 2003 Rain at 10:24 a.m. during practice. Track closed for the day at 12:02 p.m.
May 11, 2002 Two light rain showers during qualifications. Qualifications began at 11 a.m. Twenty-four cars qualified.
May 12, 2001 No rain
May 10, 2000 No rain
The last time two consecutive days of activity for the Indianapolis 500 were washed out by rain was May 10-11, 1981.
In celebration of Mother's Day, several IndyCar Series drivers paid tribute to their mothers and the role they played in their racing careers.
SCOTT SHARP (No. 8 Delphi Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "I know if my mom had her druthers, I wouldn't be racing cars right now. I'd have some corporate desk job - nice and safe. She is not the biggest proponent of my driving. The good part is that my mom was very into scholastics when I was growing up, and put her fist down when I was a senior in high school and all I wanted to do was go racing. She made me go to college and carry a full load and graduate in four years if I wanted to keep driving. I am really grateful for that. I received a great business education from Babson College because of her insistence. I am very appreciative now when I look back on that. She is still very supportive of my driving but, I think, still wishes I wasn't doing it."
FELIPE GIAFFONE (No. 14 ABC Supply Co./AJ Foyt Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "The only race she saw me in I was 13 years old and I flipped my go-kart right in front of her. After that she hasn't gotten too close. She wouldn't care watching my dad race, but she doesn't like watching me race--at least in person. She watches on TV."
LARRY FOYT (No. 41 A.J. Foyt Racing Panoz/Honda/Firestone): "She was a big help because Dad was against the kids racing for a living. She helped me persuade him to help me out. She knew how badly I wanted to race. She probably regrets it now because she gets more nervous watching the kids race than she did watching Dad race."
P.J. CHESSON (No. 91 Carmelo Hemelgarn Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "My mom hasn't played much of a role in my racing career. In fact, I think she still wants me to join the Coast Guard. But still I love her."
ED CARPENTER (No. 20 Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "The rain delay is really kind of boring, actually. I just came out to see what was going on and if there is a chance that we might get to go (on track). I like to be here. I have a hard time being away from the track anyway. They have a ping-pong table set up over in the Speedway Engines garage, so I stopped by there to play a little. Things are not looking good for running today, so I'll probably head out of here pretty soon."
DARIO FRANCHITTI (No. 27 Klein Tools/Canadian Club Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "The PR guys usually keep me pretty busy. Today, I've been sitting with the engineering guys quite a bit. Yesterday, the five of us went shopping, so that was fun. My wife is in town now, so I'm planning on spending time with her, which is my ideal way to spend a rain delay." (About his recent purchase of an Xbox 360): "Bryan (Herta) and I have been playing quite a bit. I've definitely been owning him in our boxing matches. Now both of our wives are here, so I'm guessing the Xbox playing will get put on the back burner for now."
SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "I just got here, actually. I've been in bed watching TV. The other days, I've gone training. It may be a little too wet to go cycling or running, so I may go swimming today, just to take some the stress away." (About the lack of track time): "I think it might be a little harder on the team and their timetable for things. We still need to do full tanks because we've been focusing on qualifying runs. We'd need to be qualified because we'd like to get the engine into the T-car and run some laps so we're ready in case something happens to a qualified car. It's confusing, and for me I don't have to be too concerned with it, but it's something the team has to deal with, and I'm sure the team has something worked out. I think that's why the league will keep pushing (qualifying) if we don't run today."
BRYAN HERTA (No. 7 XM Satellite Radio Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "I spend a lot of time bugging my engineer. I'll go back to the bus here in a little bit. Dario (Franchitti) and I have been playing video games a lot lately. I also just try to visit with everyone. There are so many people you work with all year long, and you don't have much time to talk with them. Today is a good day to do things like that. I just like to say hi to them, chat for a bit, and find out how their family is doing. I also do press conferences on days like today, and basically anything you can do to pass the time until it's time to go back on track."
MICHAEL ANDRETTI (No. 1 Jim Beam/Vonage Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "We sit around and twiddle our thumbs really. It's frustrating, boring and pretty nerve wracking because you just want to get it over with. But this is all up to Mother Nature, and you can't mess with her."
MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 26 NYSE Group Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "I've just been hanging out and spending some time with my engineer. We just try to get ready for what we're about to go do. I look at it as everyone is waiting. I would be going crazy if I was the only one that had to wait, but it's the same for everyone. Qualifying is going to be the most nerve- wracking day in motorsports for me. I'm not going to say that I'm not nervous because I am, but I think I have a pretty good idea of what I need to go out there and do."
TONY KANAAN (No. 11 Team 7-Eleven Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "It's a little frustrating. I feel bad for the fans and people that have come out here and have to wait around to see what is going to happen. I'm going to try to sign as many autographs and visit with media as much as I can. I think that once we get on track, the fans will not be disappointed, and we'll put on a good show for them."
BUDDY LAZIER (No. 5 Dreyer & Reinbold Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "It's tough because we are struggling to find some things we need to find, and the rain is really hurting us. We're working to have all of our ducks in a row."
AL UNSER JR. (No. 31 A1 Team USA Geico Dreyer & Reinbold Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "The Dreyer and Reinbold team is doing very well. But, we have our work cut out for us and definitely need the track time."
DAN WHELDON (No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "I think it's been a strange month with a lot of the rain interrupting. I hope it doesn't dampen fans' spirits because I think it's certainly going to be a very competitive race. I think we've seen that the Penskes this year have in practice and qualifying been extremely fast, but they certainly come back to us in the races. I was asked by Chip, actually, I think it was not yesterday but the day before, if he needed to panic at all because he thought the Penskes might be a chunk quicker than us, he wasn't sure how we were going to fare in qualifying. I told him not to panic."
EDDIE CHEEVER (No. 51 Cheever Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "When you come to Indy, you've got to be ready for everything. It's just one of the things that happens. It's Indiana, the weather can change in two minutes. I think it's tougher on the mechanics than it is on the drivers. They've got to get the car ready and then change it for the weather. They're always fiddling with the wings and the springs and the shock absorbers, so it's just part of the deal.
We have not practiced on qualifying. You can't expect a team that's been hibernating for eight months to turn up at Indy and be fast right away. But, it's a long race. It is 500 miles long, and patience pays an important part."
DANICA PATRICK (No. 16 Rahal Letterman Racing Team Argent Panoz/Honda/ Firestone): "The one factor we can't control here at the track is the weather. We have lost a lot of practice time due to the weather and as frustrating as it is, you just have to be ready to drive when the opportunity presents itself."
SUNDAY'S SCHEDULE (all times local):
7 a.m. Public Gates Open
9:30-11 a.m. IndyCar Series Practice
Noon-6 p.m. WorldPoints Visa Card Pole Qualifications
6 p.m. WorldPoints Visa Card Pole Winner Ceremony (Victory Podium)
Note: Subject to change due to weather.
The 2006 IRL IndyCar Series continues with the 90th running of the Indianapolis 500 at 1 p.m. (EDT) on May 28 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. ABC will broadcast the race live beginning at noon (EDT). A Spanish-language telecast of the race will be carried by ESPN Deportes. Live coverage on the IMS Radio Network begins at noon (EDT). The IMS Radio Network broadcast also is carried on XM Satellite Radio channel 145 "IndyCar Racing" and www.indycar.com. The fifth season of Indy Pro Series competition continues with the Freedom 100 at 12:30 p.m. on May 26 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The race will be telecast as part of ESPN2's Carb Day coverage on May 26. Live coverage on the IMS Radio Network begins at 12:15 p.m. (EDT).