IRL: Indy500: Drivers' meeting prepares field for Race Day

INDIANAPOLIS, Saturday, May 27, 2000 - Indy Racing Northern Light Series drivers received final race instructions and awards Saturday in the public drivers meeting today, the last event on track at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway before...

INDIANAPOLIS, Saturday, May 27, 2000 - Indy Racing Northern Light Series drivers received final race instructions and awards Saturday in the public drivers meeting today, the last event on track at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway before the 84th Indianapolis 500 on May 28. The 84th Indianapolis 500 is scheduled to start at 11 a.m. (EST) May 28. John Fiedler, chairman and CEO of Borg Warner, Inc., presented A.J. Foyt with a "Baby Borg" trophy for being the winning car owner at the 1999 Indianapolis 500. Foyt, who won the Indianapolis 500 four times as a driver, earned his fifth win in 1999 as a car owner when Kenny Brack won the race in an A.J. Foyt Racing entry. The Baby Borg is a 10-inch miniature replica of the famed Borg-Warner Trophy, which has been presented to the winning driver and car owner since 1989. The winning driver of each Indianapolis 500 has an engraving of his likeness placed on the Borg-Warner Trophy. Foyt also accepted a Baby Borg for Brack, who could not attend due to his participation in a CART event Saturday at Nazareth Speedway. PPG Industries presented several awards before a large crowd, with Kears Pollack, a retired senior executive from PPG, doing the honors. Pollack presented Indianapolis pole winner Greg Ray with the $100,000 PPG Pole Award. Ray earned the pole with a four-lap average of 223.471 mph. Ray dedicated the award to Team Menard crewmember Gary Gooch, who suffers from bone cancer. "His attitude has inspired everyone on this team," Ray said of Gooch. PPG Industries also presented starters' rings and $15,000 to each of the 33 starters. The Indianapolis 500 starting field made two presentations to David Seuss, CEO of Northern Light Technologies, the title sponsor for the Indy Racing Northern Light Series. Scott Goodyear presented Seuss with a framed print depicting the finish of the 1992 Indianapolis 500, the closest finish in "500" history in which Al Unser Jr. beat Goodyear to the finish line by .043 of a second. Rookie driver Sarah Fisher presented Seuss with a driver's helmet autographed by the starting field. Donald Gurtner, chairman of the Milk Promotion Services of Indiana, presented a plaque with an American Dairy Association milk bottle to Kenny Brack. Foyt accepted the award on behalf of Brack. Firestone tire officials presented Paul Murphy, chief mechanic for PDM Racing, the Clint Brawner Award and $5,000 for mechanical excellence, creativity and perseverance. Murphy was presented the award for helping Northern Light Series rookie Sam Hornish Jr., PDM Racing's driver for 2000, get a strong start in the 2000 season and qualify for the Indianapolis 500. Championship Association of Mechanics (CAM) presented the CAM/Snap-On Tools Top Wrench Award to Glenn Scott, crew chief for the #28 Kelley Racing entry driven by Mark Dismore. The team suffered a setback the day before Pole Day when Dismore crashed, causing significant damage to the car. Scott and the Kelley Racing crew worked through the night to repair the car, which Dismore qualified 11th at 220.970 on Pole Day, May 20. Andy Granatelli, the two-time winning car owner known for the famous turbine-powered "whoosh mobile" cars that ran in 1967 and 1968, presented Indy Racing League Technical Director Phil Casey with the Unsung Hero Award for Casey's tireless work to improve competition, rules and safety. The Scott Brayton Award will be presented at the Victory Celebration Sunday night. The award is presented to the driver best exemplifying the character and racing spirit of late driver Brayton. Brian Barnhart, director of racing operations for the Indy Racing League, concluded the driver's meeting by discussing race rules and guidelines with the drivers. Among the notable items Barnhart discussed: *Restart rules have changed for the 2000 race. On the last lap before a restart, the Pace Car will exit the track at Turn 1, leaving the lead car to pace the lap. *The green flag will drop late on the Lap 1 start to attempt to allow all 11 rows of the field to be on the main straightaway. *Barnhart stressed that drivers should keep a 100-foot spacing between rows on the start of the race, and drivers cannot pass until they cross the start/finish line. Drivers can pass before the line on restarts, once the green flag flies. *Stalled cars will not be towed in after Lap 190, and cars cannot re-enter the race after Lap 190 to increase the chances for a green flag finish. *Spotters for each driver are located in Turns 1 and 3. *The pit lane speed limit is 80 mph.

Several celebrities attended the driver's meeting, including Anthony Edwards, the 2001 Oldsmobile Aurora Official Pace Car driver and star of the hit television show, "ER."

Edwards received a commemorative ring for his role as Pace Car driver and a helmet with autographs from the 33 starters.

Also in attendance was renowned actor Ernest Borgnine, and Florence Henderson, who is co-host of the NBC talk show "Later Today" and will sing "America the Beautiful" during pre-race ceremonies Sunday.

-IRMLS/IMS-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Sarah Fisher , Greg Ray , Mark Dismore , Scott Goodyear , Kenny Brack , David Seuss , A.J. Foyt , Brian Barnhart , Sam Hornish Jr.