Indianapolis, IN (May 18, 2000) - For only the second time in thirty years, six different drivers have sat atop the speed charts in the first six days of practice for the Indianapolis 500. Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammates took the top two...
Indianapolis, IN (May 18, 2000) - For only the second time in thirty years, six different drivers have sat atop the speed charts in the first six days of practice for the Indianapolis 500.
Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammates took the top two spots on the speed charts today, with Jimmy Vasser edging Juan Montoya by 24 one-thousandths of a second after recording a lap at 221.681 mph late this afternoon.
"It's nice to come back here in terms of the reception we've received from the fans and the media," said team owner Chip Ganassi. "So far everything this week has gone well for us."
Juan Montoya set the fastest lap of the day in practice yesterday.
Robby McGehee turned his fastest lap of the event today despite adding downforce to his car. McGehee's lap, third quickest of the day, was recorded at 220.964 mph, narrowly beating his previous best of 220.383 mph, set on Monday.
"We ran the same setups today but just added more downforce," said McGehee. "Our speed problem yesterday was the fact that we were running on old tires. Every time we put stickers on, it started to rain. So today we actually got lucky and ran several laps with stickers, and that made all the difference in the world."
Mark Dismore and Scott Sharp, who have been sharing setup information at Kelley Racing, captured the fourth and fifth spots today. Dismore edged Sharp today, turning a lap at 220.896 mph, while Sharp was two tenths of a second slower at 219.922 mph.
"The wind is making it hard to find out about the car," said Dismore. "We are trying to get a well-balanced qualifying car, but like I said, the wind is much too strong."
"Our focus has been on the race setup," said Sharp, who set the fastest lap of the event on Tuesday, at 223.936 mph. "We have a race car that is extremely steady. I'm very happy with the Delphi car. Overall, I have a good feel for the car."
Jimmy Kite turned a lap at 219.810 mph just before 1:00 p.m. this afternoon, holding position one on the speed charts for four hours. "I'm very happy," said Kite. "To be on the top before Happy Hour proves we can run well. This is the first time we've been out since Monday, so to be this good out of the box, that's great. I'm excited about this weekend, but I'm really excited about next Sunday."
Hedeshi Matsuda moved into the top ten today, driving the No. 20 car for the first time. Matsuda turned 13 laps in the number 54 car on Tuesday, only reaching 195.431 mph. Turning 121 laps today, Hedeshi recorded his best, at 218.650 mph, on lap 117, good enough for tenth place on the speed charts. "I ran a different car the day before, so it was like starting over (today)," said Matsuda. "But it's going fine."
Notes: Typical Andretti luck at the Speedway. Mario Andretti was honored today at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the continuing "Legends of the Speedway" program. Andretti was taking a ceremonial lap around the famed two and a half mile speedway when his pole car from 1967, the Dean Van Lines car, came to a stop just short of the pit entrance. The Ganassi Racing crew who were located at the turn four end of the pits retrieved Andretti.
Thirty-nine cars and 33 drivers were on the track today, running 1,950 laps.
Raul Boesel was on the track for the first time in this event.