IRL: Indy 500 Practice Day One Report

Indy 500 Practice Day One Report by Dave Reiniger, motorsport.com, inc. Indianapolis, IN (May 15, 1999) - Greg Ray picked where he left off in April's open test, setting fast speed of the day with a lap at 225.887 mph. Ray managed to turn a...

Indy 500 Practice Day One Report by Dave Reiniger, motorsport.com, inc.

Indianapolis, IN (May 15, 1999) - Greg Ray picked where he left off in April's open test, setting fast speed of the day with a lap at 225.887 mph. Ray managed to turn a lap at 227.072 during the test.

"That was clean lap today," Ray answered when asked if he got a tow. "The 227 was also a clean lap. In fact we were looking for dance partners today."

Arie Luyendyk, who will retire from racing after this year's 500, set the second fastest lap of the day at 225.163 mph. "The car is running good, but it could be better," said Luyendyk. "I was second quick the first day last year, and we almost didn't qualify. I realize it's my last race, but right now I'm just thinking about qualifying."

Since it's Arie's last ride in the 500, he's had plenty of demands put on him, especially by the fans. Autograph hunters see this as one of their last opportunities to get the two-time 500 winner's signature. When Arie stopped to sign autographs for a group of fans this afternoon, 1998 Bank One Rookie of the Year, Steve Knapp requested one too. "At first I thought he was kidding, but he was serious," Luyendyk said. "That was a first for me."

Knapp, who had the front of his driver's suit signed, said, "He's a class act, and the sport will lose a great driver when he retires."

NOTES:

Jimmy Kite has been named the pilot of the McCormack No. 30 entry. He's reunited with his engineer from Team Scandia, Jeff Braun.

Hideshi Matsuda will drive the Beck Motorsports Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone No. 54.

Vincenzo Sospiri will be behind the wheel of a second ISM entry. Steve Knapp's backup car, a G Force/Oldsmobile/Goodyear, has been converted to a primary car for Sospiri.

Several new internet opportunities are now available to race fans worldwide so they can enjoy all the action at this year's Indy 500. Live streaming video is now available at www.indy500.com. A Microsoft Windows Media Player is required to view the braodcast. The media player is available for download at the Indy 500 website.

Scott Goodyear's Panther Racing Team have their team coverage on their website, www.pantherracing.com. Coverage will include live chats with team co-owner and NFL quaterback, Jim Harbaugh and other team members. The site will also carry real-time telemetry from the car as well as communications between Scott Goodyear and his crew.

Tri Star Motorsports, at www.tristarmotorsports.com, will allow fans to have a look inside their garage via their website. The site will feature live continous video and audio from the garage. The team also plans to host a daily live interview and call in show with Larry Curry, Tony Stewart, Dr. Jack Miller and other team members at 6:30 p.m.

Greg Ray set fast time today on Firestone tires but Goodyear took the top six positions in last year's race. Goodyear has won 26 of the past 31 Indianapolis 500s but Firestone has won more than any other tire manufacturer. Firestone has 50 wins at the Indianapolis 500 including Ray Harroun's victory in the 1911 inaugural event.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Tony Stewart , Greg Ray , Arie Luyendyk , Scott Goodyear , Jimmy Kite , Steve Knapp , Vincenzo Sospiri , Matsuda Hideshi , Jack Miller
Teams Panther Racing