'Fast Friday' Practice Report: Luyendyk 'Day-To-Day' After Crash INDIANAPOLIS (Friday, May 9, 2003) -- Mo Nunn Racing teammates Tora Takagi, Felipe Giaffone and Arie Luyendyk concluded their final full day of practice Friday before Pole Day ...
'Fast Friday' Practice Report: Luyendyk 'Day-To-Day' After Crash
INDIANAPOLIS (Friday, May 9, 2003) -- Mo Nunn Racing teammates Tora Takagi, Felipe Giaffone and Arie Luyendyk concluded their final full day of practice Friday before Pole Day qualifying for this month's 87th Indianapolis 500. For Takagi and Giaffone, it was essentially business as usual. Luyendyk's day, meanwhile, came to an abrupt ending after an accident during the noon hour.
Luyendyk was released in good condition from Methodist Hospital after he and his #20 Meijer/Mo Nunn Racing Toyota-powered Panoz G Force made heavy contact with the Turn 1 wall on only his third lap of the day. He complained of pain between the shoulder blades and proclaimed his status as "day-to-day." The 1990 and 1997 winner of this event must be cleared by IRL IndyCar Series medical officials before getting back behind the wheel of the Meijer car. He will be examined by Dr. Henry Bock at the track medical center on Saturday morning.
Takagi and the #12 Pioneer/Mo Nunn Racing Toyota-powered Panoz G Force, who turned the second-fastest lap of the opening week of practice (232.007 mph) on Thursday, came back today with a fast lap of 229.822 mph (39.1608 seconds) during 42 laps of work around the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway four-cornered oval. Takagi drew the 11th spot in the order for Saturday's Pole Day qualifying session for his #12T back-up car and the 45th spot in the order for his primary car.
The crew for Giaffone's #21 Hollywood/Mo Nunn Racing Toyota-powered Panoz G Force spent the better part of the day doing extensive work on his two race cars. Giaffone finally took to the track with some 50 minutes left on the schedule with his #21T back-up car. He was able to turn a fast lap of 224.563 mph (40.0778 seconds) in 23 laps of work. Giaffone's best lap of the week was a 229.410-mph (39.2310-second) effort on Thursday. Giaffone drew the 35 spot in the qualifying order for his back-up car and the 37th spot for his primary car.
The 29th spot in the qualifying order was drawn for Luyendyk's Meijer car and the 31st spot for his back-up car.
Robby Gordon turned the fastest lap of the day at 231.362 mph (38.9000 seconds), followed by Scott Sharp at 230.829 mph (38.9899 seconds) and Scott Dixon at 230.714 mph (39.0094 seconds). Dan Wheldon's lap of 232.202 mph (38.7594 seconds) on Thursday was the fastest lap of the opening week of practice.
Pole Day qualifying is set for 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. CDT on Saturday. There are 90 minutes of practice time on the schedule between 8 and 10 a.m. CDT, weather permitting. The weather outlook for Saturday calls for strong storms and wind with a 60% chance of rain.
"It seems our setup didn't agree with the conditions today like it did yesterday. The data we went over after our first run today made total sense. The big challenge is to find just the right setup that will work best in the heat like we had today. You never know what it's going to be like when it's your turn to qualify. I just hope it's going to be like it was for us yesterday (Thursday, when he went 232.0007 mph)."
"We didn't get a whole lot of time to work on things today. The guys were making some major modifications to my car, which took most of the day. Unfortunately, we got out after 5 o'clock and it didn't' leave us enough time to get up to speed. We have 90 minutes of practice before we qualify tomorrow, so that gives us a chance to get things just right."
"I'm hurting between the shoulder blades pretty bad right now. But, fortunately, nothing is broken, no fractures, cracks, nothing. So that's the good news. The bad thing is I have to walk around with my arms folded to keep from hurting as much. My status is day-to-day. There's no telling when I'm going to be cleared to drive. The doctor says it's totally up to me, when I feel absolutely comfortable doing what I have to do to drive my Meijer race car. It's strange, what happened. I've had much harder crashes where I didn't get hurt at all. I wasn't pushing the car too hard at the time. We finally got the car to where it was balanced just right through (Turns) 3 and 4, and I came by and swapped ends in (Turn) 1. I was planning to go around one more time before really standing on the gas. But I didn't get that far, did I? The car was set up in a way where maybe it was too tricky for the conditions, which are different than they have been all week. We'll see how I feel tomorrow and work with Dr. Bock on deciding when it makes sense to get back into the car. There's no sense getting back into the car if I'm hurt to the point where it is going to affect my driving. You have to be smart, first and foremost. It's really disappointing because I think we cured one of the bigger problems we had all through the week. But we never got a chance to see for sure. I'll be back in the car sooner or later, though. This is too much fun."