IRL: Indy500 Day Two Report

by motorsport.com staff Indianapolis, IN (May 14, 2000) - Eddie Cheever set the fastest lap in the second day of practice for the 84th running of the Indianapolis 500. Cheever's best lap was just 36 one-thousands of a second quicker than Al...

by motorsport.com staff

Indianapolis, IN (May 14, 2000) - Eddie Cheever set the fastest lap in the second day of practice for the 84th running of the Indianapolis 500. Cheever's best lap was just 36 one-thousands of a second quicker than Al Unser Jr. who set the fastest lap yesterday. Cheever and Unser were the only two drivers to reach 220 mph today.

"It's kind of like having the best grades on the first day of school, but today was a lot of fun" said Cheever. "Today was for the mechanics - they've worked really hard."

Even with the best lap of the day, Cheever said his Excite@Home Infiniti-powered Dallara experienced problems. "The car wasn't perfect. - we had some push in turn two - and the westerly winds was making things very tricky when you're going 230 mph. You have to take a deep breath and hope the car sticks all the way around.

Al Unser Jr toured the 2.5 mile speedway over three miles an hour faster than he did yesterday but had to settle for second place on the speed charts. "We feel very comfortable with the car, but every day everyone is going to go a little bit quicker. I think that we can get a bit more out of the car, but it is going to depend on track conditions. Once the track conditions change, meaning temperature, everyone's car is going to change. We need to make sure we can adapt to those changes, because that is what can catch people out at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. We need to make sure we can run quick in all conditions."

Robby McGehee turned 88 laps today, second only to Scott Sharp who ran three more. McGehee's best lap of the day was recorded at 219.780. McGehee improved his speed by six mph over his best lap yesterday. "We just trimmed the car out, working form our baseline from the Open Test," said McGehee. "We've got more to pull out, but that's the most we can do on a day like this with so much wind."

Sharp, who was eighth fastest yesterday, managed to set the fourth fastest lap today. "We're extremely happy with where we are. We wanted to see how fast we could go. We put on some new tires. We trimmed the car up, and we are in the top five. That's great. It just takes baby steps to get the car where we want it to be."

Buddy Lazier, third fastest yesterday, stayed in the top five today with a speed of 219.453. Lazier, who won the Phoenix round of the Northern Light Series driving a Riley and Scott chassis, is using a Dallara for the Indy 500. "A lot of teams have been testing their cars since December, but this is a new car for us" said Lazier. "It's only our second day in the car. We need to find more speed every day, and we're working toward that. Hopefully, with not as much wind, I think speeds will steadily creep up.

Jimmy Kite, driver of the Blueprint Racing entry, made another appearance in the top ten on today's speed chart. Kite moved from tenth to seventh on today's chart with a lap at 218.441 mph. "Going into this month, I had a great feeling about the car, and after two days I still have it," said Kite. We have a very strict test plan that (team manager and engineer) Brad (McCanless) put together, and so far we are right on it. The wind is really bad out there so we aren't even working on aero changes. We have made some mechanical changes to the car to find some speed but nothing that will give us the big speeds to crack 220 (mph) yet. That is for later in the week."

NOTES:

Tyce Carlson was transported to Methodist Hospital for evaluation after complaining of pain in his ankle. Check indyracing.com for updates from Dr. Henry Bock, the Speedway's Medical Director.

Today was driver Stephan Gregoire's 31st birthday.

Sam Schmidt is visiting the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Sam made a brief appearance at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway and is in good spirits.

Davey Jones is making the rounds at the Speedway looking for a ride. Jones says he's been given a clean bill of health and may be close to putting together a deal to return to the cockpit.

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Robby McGehee , Eddie Cheever , Buddy Lazier , Stephan Gregoire , Scott Sharp , Jimmy Kite , Sam Schmidt , Al Unser Sr. , Tyce Carlson , Davy Jones