Thiago Medieros earned the final starting position for the 90th running of the Indianapolis 500 by averaging 215.729 mph for four laps around the historic speedway. The bulk of the final day of qualifying, known as Bump Day, was used for practice,...
Thiago Medieros earned the final starting position for the 90th running of the Indianapolis 500 by averaging 215.729 mph for four laps around the historic speedway. The bulk of the final day of qualifying, known as Bump Day, was used for practice, with thirty drivers recording a total 2154 laps. It wasn't until the final hour that Medieros presented his No. 18 PDM Racing entry for a qualifying run.
"We ran 50 laps in the morning and it wasn't comfortable," said Medieros.
Medieros felt there was more speed left in the car, but pressed for time, the crew gave him a car that was "comfortable to get four consistent laps."
Marty Roth was expected to attempt to bump Medieros from the field but his month long effort ended when he crashed into the Turn one wall with less than 30 minutes left in the day. After completing a run with laps just shy of 216 mph, Roth reported to the pits for some last minute changes.
Upon Roth's return to the track for his last practice run, Race Control radioed pit techs and race observers, asking them to relay to teams a request to extend Roth the courtesy of not interfering with his attempt to find the speed to make the show. Seconds later, Roth's car was sliding along the wall between Turns one and two.
"The car was pushing for the whole month," said Roth. "It was still pushing today. We did some changes, and it just didn't work out."
Roth's fastest speed of the month came yesterday when he averaged a lap at 219.010 mph.
Sam Hornish ran his backup car, setting the fastest lap of the day at 226.256 mph. Sitting atop the speed chart has become somewhat uneventful for Hornish but today the Defiance, Ohio driver was involved in a single car incident. Hornish was entering Turn one when his Team Penske Dallara did a quarter spin to the left, then a half spin to the right before sliding down the track and making contact with the SAFER Barrier. Hornish climbed from the car without assistance and has been cleared to drive.
"We got stuck behind a few people who slowed down," said Hornish. "I slowed up too, and when I went back on the gas, the back of the car came out from under me."