IRL: Indy 500: Unser Jr day six summary

Final Day Of Practice Before Pole Day Qualifying Rained Out At At The Indianapolis Motor Speedway INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - FRIDAY, MAY 14, 2004 - 88TH INDIANAPOLIS 500 - DAY ...

Final Day Of Practice Before Pole Day Qualifying Rained Out At At The Indianapolis Motor Speedway

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - FRIDAY, MAY 14, 2004 - 88TH INDIANAPOLIS 500 - DAY #6 - Today's final day of practice prior to tomorrow's Pole Day qualifying for the 88th running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana was rained out.

Patrick Racing, which was looking forward to using the day to finish up the program they began last Sunday, instead worked in the garage preparing the #20 Patrick Racing Chevrolet/Dallara/Firestone car and going over qualifying strategy.

Driver Al Unser Jr., who notched his fastest time of the week yesterday with a quick lap of 41.2921 seconds (217.959 mph), was particularly disappointed saying, "The rain delay definitely did not help the Patrick Racing team. We could have used the time today to work on the car, but I have been very pleased with the way the Patrick Racing Chevrolet/Dallara/Firestone car has progressed over the last few days. We have learned a lot and really improved the balance and handling of the car. Patrick Racing has picked up about one mph per day and that has put us in a position to have a good qualifying run tomorrow."

Patrick Racing, which drew #26 for the backup car and #45 for the primary for tomorrow's qualifying will definitely go with the primary car. After subtracting all the duplications ahead of them it is projected that Patrick Racing will be the 26th car to qualify tomorrow. This is not an ideal situation given the fact that it should be hotter, and therefore speeds will be slower, however weather conditions are expected to be moderate all day. Additionally, by qualifying at the end at least the team will know what time they need to run to put them solidly in the show. Plus they potentially will have the opportunity to wait until conditions are cooler before making their qualifying run.


Patrick Racing Announces Associate Sponsor:

Patrick Racing announced today that STACKER 2 will be an associate sponsor for the team during the 2004 Indy Racing League IndyCar season. STACKER 2, an Ephedra-free dietary supplement, will appear on the #20 Patrick Racing Chevrolet/Dallara/Firestone car, the firesuit of driver Al Unser Jr. and crew uniforms beginning with Pole Day qualifying for the 88th running of the Indianapolis 500 on Saturday, May 15, 2004.

"Patrick Racing is pleased that STACKER 2 has decided to expand its involvement in motor sports by choosing to become an associate sponsor for our team," Pat Patrick said. "STACKER 2 is a quality company with experience in racing sponsorship. We look forward to their involvement for the 2004 IRL season and hopefully, for many years to come," he concluded.

Patrick Racing Background:

Patrick Racing, which is owned and led by one of the most respected names in motor sports, U. E. "Pat" Patrick, is one of the most successful teams in American open wheel racing history. Patrick drivers have started 787 races, won two national championships (Gordon Johncock - 1979; Emerson Fittipaldi - 1989) and taken the checkered flag 45 times. Patrick Racing will be making its 24th appearance and 45th start at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2004. The team has earned 20 top-10 finishes including 14 in the top-five with three wins (Gordon Johncock - 1973 and1982; Emerson Fittipaldi - 1989) and three second place showings (Mario Andretti - 1982; Kevin Cogan - 1986 and Fittipaldi - 1988) at the Brickyard. They have qualified in the top-10 a total of 26 times with 14 top-five starts and one pole (Johncock -1982).

Al Unser Jr. Background:

Unser Jr. hails from one of America's most famous racing families. His father Al is a three-time national champion and a four-time Indianapolis 500 winner, and uncle, Bobby, is a two-time national champion and three- time Indy 500 winner. Unser Jr. is in his fifth season with the IRL and 22nd at the premier level of American open wheel competition. He has amassed a total of 34 career wins (31 in CART and three in the IRL) including wins at the Indianapolis 500 in 1992 and 1994. He was the national championship in 1990 and 1994. The resident of Henderson, Nevada will be contesting his 17th Indy 500 where he has posted 10 top-10 finishes placing in the top-five seven times including victories in 1992 and 1994. The talented native of Albuquerque, New Mexico, has qualified in the top-10 a total of eight times including four top-five starts with one pole (1994).

The Indianapolis 500 will be run on Sunday, May 30. It will be televised live on ABC at 12:00 p.m. (EDT). The pre-race show ill begin at 11:00 a.m. (EDT). Pole Day (qualifying) will be on Saturday, May 15. ESPN will begin broadcasting Pole Day at 12:00 p.m. (EDT) with ABC picking up the coverage beginning at 1:00 p.m. (EDT). ESPN will come back with coverage beginning at 5:00 p.m. (EDT)

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Al Unser Jr. , Mario Andretti , Gordon Johncock , Kevin Cogan