Rain Halted Final Practice Before MBNA Pole Day; Junqueira OVERALL: Rain began to fall five minutes into the 11 a.m. CST start of practice and Junqueira was only able to complete one warm-up lap before the session was stopped. Heavier rains...
Rain Halted Final Practice Before MBNA Pole Day; Junqueira
OVERALL: Rain began to fall five minutes into the 11 a.m. CST start of practice and Junqueira was only able to complete one warm-up lap before the session was stopped. Heavier rains came later in the afternoon and the practice was cancelled for the remainder of the day. Junqueira and the No. 36 PacifiCare/Secure Horizons team had concentrated on the race setup in the practice sessions to date and had planned to work on the qualifying setup today. Based on drawing the number 50 for the qualifying order for his primary car, he will be in the second practice session tomorrow which will take place from 8:30-9:00 a.m. as well as the final group qualifying session from 9-10:00 a.m. before qualifying begins at 11:00.
Bruno Junqueira, No. 36 PacifiCare/Secure Horizons Honda/G-Force/Firestone: "I think it's a big shame that the rain came today. Unfortunately we had no time to run a low downforce setup on the PacifiCare car. We had worked on getting a good setup for the race since that is the most important thing and we were planning on working on the qualifying set-up today. We are going to have to guess a little for qualifying. I believe that Newman/Haas Racing's engineering department will come up with a good downforce/drag ratio and I am going to keep it (fuel pedal) flat during qualifying."
* BRUNO'S FAST FACTS: Will be his third race here and first with NHR at this track. Started 20th and finished fifth in his Indy 500 debut with Ganassi Racing in 2001. Won the pole position in 2002 and led the first 32 laps of the race before his engine failed. Retired in 31st place.
* NEWMAN/HAAS RACING INDY FACTS: The 2004 race will mark the 14th for NHR in the Indy 500 and first since 1995. Prior to 2004, the team prepared a total of 20 entries for drivers such as Mario and Michael Andretti, Nigel Mansell and Paul Tracy. NHR's highest finishes in the Indy 500 were second with Mario Andretti in 1985 and Michael Andretti in 1991 and third with Nigel Mansell in his first attempt in 1993...NHR drivers have led a combined total of 773 laps on the famed 2.5-mile Superspeedway (Mario Andretti - 402; Michael Andretti - 337; Nigel Mansell - 34)...Mario Andretti brought the team it's highest start in the event when he won the POLE POSITION in 1987.
* WHO'S WHO AT NHR/INDY: Jim McGee, Director of Special Operations for NHR, is in charge of the Indy 500 program. He is the winningest manager/chief mechanic with a total of 89 victories; race engineer Tim Wardrop currently holds the record for the fastest practice lap, fastest qualifying lap and fastest four-lap average at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway; Mark Shambarger is the chief mechanic. He has 20 years of experience in the racing industry. The combined total of experience for NHR's Indy group is: 221 years of racing experience, 125 Indy 500's and 26 Indy 500 victories. A complete list of team employees is available that includes hometowns and history for each member.