Treadway on Top Again - Luyendyk Claims his Third Pole at Indianapolis Indianapolis, IN: It was magic today for Treadway Racing. In a flash of guts and glory, the team landed very confidently into the top ten for the start of this Sunday's ...
Treadway on Top Again - Luyendyk Claims his Third Pole at Indianapolis
Indianapolis, IN: It was magic today for Treadway Racing. In a flash of guts and glory, the team landed very confidently into the top ten for the start of this Sunday's Indianapolis 500. Team veteran Arie Luyendyk created magic on the track as he secured his third and final pole at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway today. Not to be outdone, teammate Sam Schmidt followed shortly behind (just over a row) on the inside of row three in seventh position on the grid.
Both drivers began the morning late, waiting for the weather to clear in hopes that qualifying day would not be a "washout". As if anticipating their qualifying runs, Luyendyk and Schmidt made one last test on their G-Force chassis and finished first and third respectively on the speed charts for their hour of practice time.
As the 30th car out, Luyendyk was the first Treadway pilot to challenge the waiting polesitter. At the first lap it was obvious that once again, 45 year-old famed Dutchman was "on it." Opening with a lap of 224.854 mph, Luyendyk swept the track for his final qualifying effort of his career, and the fates smiled on his attempt and he closed with another lap of 225.062 mph. The crowd rose to their feet to cheer on the racing legend and pay tribute to his final combined lap time of 225.179 mph, another track record to add to his already well established list.
"I think the thing that struck the me the most for myself, is that I didn't wake up this morning thinking it was going to be my last qualifying day," stated Luyendyk. 'When I had completed the run, I was really moved by the enthusiastic crowd all around the track. And when I came into the pits, all of the crews were waving and clapping. It just shows that this whole racetrack and the Indianapolis 500 is about the fans and the people that make it happen. It's still very much a people sport. I will always remember this day, coming into the pits, under any set of circumstances, no matter where we qualify. And of course, it could only be topped by coming in when everybody's cheering while I'm coming into Victory Lane!"
This is Luyendyk's third career pole at Indianapolis, and his 15th and final start. He won the race for the first time in 1990 driving for Shierson Racing, and again in 1997 (from the pole) for his current team - Treadway Racing. With the addition of this pole position to his long and illustrious racing career, Luyendyk now adds the one and four lap practice records for a normally aspirated engine to his established list of four currently holding Indianapolis track records.
Teammate Sam Schmidt held his own and ran a very solid run to place him on the inside of the third row for the 83rd running of the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 30th. Schmidt had been running consistently at the top of the practice charts each day with speeds hovering around the 224-225 mph range - the fastest of his career! He opened with a lap at 222.761 mph, and kept all of his laps within two tenths of each other. His final run was 222.618 mph with a combined four lap average of 222.734 mph.
"We feel great about the run," stated Schmidt. "Our main goal was to shoot for the top three rows, so I think we will take the top two! We had a bit too much grip with all of the clouds this morning; so we knew we couldn't run speeds comparable to Arie's (Luyendyk) or Greg's (Ray), so we just decided to put it safely in the show. It's far from over though, raceday is still to come, and that is really what we have been concentrating on since we got here. Today, we knew what we had, and where it could be, so we just left it at that!"
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