IRL: Indy 500: Infiniti final qualifying report

Indy 500 starting lineup set with record seven Infiniti drivers in field. Buhl starts on front row, Hattori qualifies on Bump Day. Indianapolis, Ind. (May 19, 2002) - With the final day of qualifying for the Indianapolis 500 complete, the 33-car...

Indy 500 starting lineup set with record seven Infiniti drivers in field. Buhl starts on front row, Hattori qualifies on Bump Day.

Indianapolis, Ind. (May 19, 2002) - With the final day of qualifying for the Indianapolis 500 complete, the 33-car starting grid is set with a record seven Infiniti drivers in the field, led by Robbie Buhl on the front row in second place--the best starting position ever for Infiniti at the Indianapolis 500.

Shigeaki Hattori and the EPSON/NISMO Bradley Motorsports team found the necessary speed for Bump Day on Sunday, earning the 27th spot with an average speed of 228.192 mph. He drove his fastest laps of the month during his qualifying attempt.

Hattori was the seventh Infiniti driver to qualify for the 86th Indianapolis 500, the most Infiniti-powered entries to ever qualify for the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing." Previously, the most number of Infiniti-powered cars to qualify was six in 1997.

Oriol Servia and Walker Racing also made two attempts to qualify for the race in the backup Mi-Jack/Conquest Racing Infiniti but were unable to get up to speed during Bump Day, which ended one hour early due to rain.

Using the Infiniti Indy 35A V8 engine, Hattori joins first-day Infiniti-powered qualifiers Robbie Buhl (2nd), Eddie Cheever Jr. (6th), Sarah Fisher (9th), Tomas Scheckter (10th), Laurent Redon (16th), and Max Papis (18th) on the starting grid for the 86th Indianapolis 500.

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is closed for practice until Carburetion Day on May 23. The final practice session takes place from 11 to 1 p.m. (EST). The 86th running of the Indianapolis 500 starts at 11 a.m. (EST) Sunday, May 26. Live timing and scoring of all on-track activity can be found on www.indyracing.com.

QUOTES

Shigeaki Hattori, #12 EPSON/NISMO Bradley Motorsports Infiniti:
"I am so happy I don't even know the words for it. We struggled the first week with fires, and all the rain. This is the same motor we had the last two fires with, it wasn't the motor just an oil line. The Infiniti motor was very strong, and the car handled very good. We didn't change much at all on the car it was great! I'm so proud of the crew, Infiniti, and proud to represent Japan here! Now I'll be able to sleep tonight."

Buzz Calkins, team owner, Bradley Motorsports:
"The EPSON/Bradley team overcame a lot these past couple weeks, and they never gave up. And I can't say enough about Shigeaki. He found almost two mph in qualifying; we had only run 227 in a tow, and then he runs almost 229. Now we'll just prepare for the race."

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Tomas Scheckter , Buzz Calkins , Sarah Fisher , Eddie Cheever , Robbie Buhl , Shigeaki Hattori , Oriol Servia , Laurent Redon
Teams Conquest Racing