IRL: Indy 500: Opening Day Report

BUHL BEST ON OPENING DAY; FOUR FASTER THAN '97 POLE INDIANAPOLIS, May 10, 1998 - Robbie Buhl led the opening day of practice for the 82nd Indianapolis 500 at 219.325 mph Sunday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the best of four drivers...

BUHL BEST ON OPENING DAY; FOUR FASTER THAN '97 POLE

INDIANAPOLIS, May 10, 1998 - Robbie Buhl led the opening day of practice for the 82nd Indianapolis 500 at 219.325 mph Sunday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the best of four drivers faster than the 1997 pole speed.

Buhl, from Indianapolis, completed 34 laps on the 2.5-mile oval under sunny skies in the Johns Manville-Menards Special Dallara/Aurora/Firestone. Defending race champion Arie Luyendyk (219.207), Scott Sharp (219.101) and rookie Jimmy Kite (218.765) also were faster than the 1997 pole speed of 218.263 by Luyendyk.

"I think you're looking at the whole front row at 220 plus," Buhl said. "So far everything is fine. The conditions are kind of tough today. It was windy and gusty in Turn 4 and coming off of Turn 1. You never know what it's going to be like on Pole Day, so you've got to run."

Pole Day is May 16 and Bump Day May 17 in the new, shortened qualifying format. The Indianapolis 500 is May 24. The race is the third of 11 this season in the Pep Boys Indy Racing League.

While Kite was the fastest rookie, his day ended with an accident just 15 minutes before the track closed. The right side of Kite's Royal Purple Dallara/Aurora/Goodyear hit the outside retaining wall exiting Turn 4. Kite was unhurt, and the car is repairable.

Rookie Jack Hewitt also crashed exiting Turn 4 earlier in the day. USAC veteran Hewitt was unhurt, but his Parker Machinery G Force/Aurora/Goodyear was heavily damaged.

Veteran Mike Groff was the first driver on the track. He started his first lap in the Jonathan Byrd's-VisionAire-Bryant Heating & Cooling G Force/Aurora/Firestone at 11:07 a.m., less than one minute after the track was opened. Thirty-two drivers in 35 cars combined to complete 928 laps before practice ended at 6 p.m.

1963 Indianapolis 500 winner Parnelli Jones was honored as part of the Speedway's Parade of Champions. He drove his #98 Agajanian Special for two laps around the track as part of his salute. Three-time Indy 500 winner Bobby Unser will be honored Monday and will drive two laps in the Rislone Special that he guided to victory in 1968.

Practice continues at 11 a.m. Monday.

Daily Practice Report 5/10/98 (18:00) Race Starts at 11AM Central

 S E S S I O N  E V E N T  
SR  Car  Driver  C/E/T  Laps  Time  Speed  When  Laps  Time  Speed  Date  
1  3  Buhl, Robbie  D/A/F  34  41.035  219.325  16:00  34  41.035  219.325
5/10/98  
2  5T  Luyendyk, Arie  G/A/F  38  41.057  219.207  16:18  38  41.057
219.207  5/10/98  
3  8  Sharp, Scott  D/A/G  19  41.077  219.101  16:57  19  41.077  219.101
5/10/98  
4  7T  Kite, Jimmy  D/A/G  41  41.140  218.765  16:47  41  41.140  218.765
5/10/98  
5  51  Cheever Jr, Eddie  D/A/G  25  41.272  218.066  17:58  25  41.272
218.066  5/10/98  
6  28  Dismore, Mark  D/A/G  28  41.330  217.759  16:59  28  41.330  217.759
5/10/98  
7  6  Hamilton, Davey  G/A/G  44  41.542  216.648  17:42  44  41.542
216.648  5/10/98  
8  1T  Stewart, Tony  G/A/F  15  41.557  216.570  16:57  15  41.557  216.570
5/10/98  
9  44  Yeley, J. J.  D/A/F  29  41.589  216.403  17:29  29  41.589  216.403
5/10/98  
10  77  Gregoire, Stephan  G/A/G  32  41.599  216.351  13:31  32  41.599
216.351  5/10/98  
11  1  Stewart, Tony  D/A/F  10  41.682  215.921  11:45  10  41.682  215.921
5/10/98  
12  15T  Salazar, Eliseo  R/A/G  28  41.689  215.884  17:57  28  41.689
215.884  5/10/98  
13  53  Guthrie, Jim  G/A/G  20  41.787  215.378  17:12  20  41.787  215.378
5/10/98  
14  52  Unser, Robb1e  D/A/G  27  41.834  215.136  16:47  27  41.834
215.136  5/10/98  
15  35T  Ward, Jeff  G/A/G  17  41.872  214.941  16:43  17  41.872  214.941
5/10/98  
16  99  Schmidt, Sam  D/A/F  19  41.912  214.736  17:37  19  41.912  214.736
5/10/98  
17  30  Boesel, Raul  G/A/G  21  41.945  214.567  16:19  21  41.945  214.567
5/10/98  
18  16  Greco, Marco  G/A/F  52  41.990  214.337  17:58  52  41.990  214.337
5/10/98  
19  21  Guerrero, Roberto  D/A/G  77  42.003  214.270  16:42  77  42.003
214.270  5/10/98  
20  40  Miller, Jack  D/I/F  36  42.314  212.696  14:08  36  42.314  212.696
5/10/98  
21  4  Goodyear, Scott  G/A/G  17  42.326  212.635  12:14  17  42.326
212.635  5/10/98  
22  12T  Calkins, Buzz  G/A/G  49  42.434  212.094  16:42  49  42.434
212.094  5/10/98  
23  33T  Roe, Billy  D/A/G  25  42.434  212.094  11:51  25  42.434  212.094
5/10/98  
24  10T  Groff, Mike  G/A/F  41  42.447  212.029  16:21  41  42.447  212.029
5/10/98  
25  98  Beechler, Donnie  G/A/F  31  42.490  211.815  17:42  31  42.490
211.815  5/10/98  
26  3T  Buhl, Robbie  G/A/F  7  42.498  211.775  17:58  7  42.498  211.775
5/10/98  
27  91  Lazier, Buddy  D/A/G  19  42.506  211.735  14:20  19  42.506
211.735  5/10/98  
28  35T  Knapp, Steve  G/A/G  7  42.525  211.640  17:40  7  42.525  211.640
5/10/98  
29  24  Drinan, Dan  D/A/G  41  42.538  211.576  16:46  41  42.538  211.576
5/10/98  
30  81  Ongais, Danny  D/A/F  11  42.554  211.496  17:21  11  42.554
211.496  5/10/98  
31  30T  Boesel, Raul  G/I/G  10  42.616  211.188  11:44  10  42.616
211.188  5/10/98  
32  19  Wattles, Stan  R/A/G  34  43.321  207.751  17:30  34  43.321
207.751  5/10/98  
33  18  Hewitt, Jack  G/A/G  27  45.441  198.059  14:09  27  45.441  198.059
5/10/98  
34  90  St James, Lyn  G/I/G  5  90.768  99.154  17:57  5  90.768  99.154
5/10/98  
35  33  Roe, Billy  D/A/G  2  112.309  80.136  17:40  2  112.309  80.136
5/10/98  
36  20  Carlson, Tyce  D/A/G  0  0  0  15:54  0  0  0  5/10/98  

Legend: SR=Speed Rank, C=Chassis, E=Engine, T=Tire Chassis: D=Dallara, G=G Force, R=Riley & Scott Engine: A=Aurora by Oldsmobile, I=Infiniti Indy V8 Tire: F=Firestone, G=Goodyear

Source: IRL/IMS

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Robbie Buhl , Scott Sharp , Arie Luyendyk , Jimmy Kite , Bobby Unser , Parnelli Jones , Jack Hewitt