Billy Boat Wins Indy 500 Pole with Conseco/A.J. Foyt Racing Team Indianapolis, Ind.: May 16, 1998 - Billy Boat won the pole position for the 82nd Indianapolis 500 with a four-lap average of 223.503 mph in the Conseco Dallara-Aurora V8 on...
Billy Boat Wins Indy 500 Pole with Conseco/A.J. Foyt Racing Team Indianapolis, Ind.: May 16, 1998 - Billy Boat won the pole position for the 82nd Indianapolis 500 with a four-lap average of 223.503 mph in the Conseco Dallara-Aurora V8 on Goodyear Racing Eagles owned by four-time Indy winner A.J. Foyt. The first lap of Boat's four-lap qualifying run was 224.573 mph. It was the fastest lap posted on the 2.5-mile speedway since opening day on May 10th. He followed that lap with three more fast laps of 223.725, 223.625, and 222.102 mph. "The only problem I had was in turn one with the wind," Boat said about his run for the pole. "It really had the front end of the car pinned. I knew I just had to run through there because the car was perfect in the other three corners. On the last lap
I took it easy in turn one. I could only hold my breath three times going through there. "We didn't have the best conditions with the heat today," Boat continued, "and we didn't go out at the perfect time, but we had a great race car. That is a real testament to the Conseco/A.J. Foyt team. We have a tremendous group of individuals that work on our race cars. They are dedicated and work very hard." The pole position marks the first time an A.J. Foyt-owned car has won the pole at Indy since 1975, when Foyt won the last of his four pole positions. It was a special day for Foyt, who had both of his drivers, Billy Boat and Kenny Brack, qualify on the f ront row. "I'm very proud of Billy and the team," said Foyt, who celebrates his 40th year at Indy this month. "Drivers like Billy Boat make the job a lot easier." The schedule of on-track activities for the 82nd Indianapolis 500 continues on Sunday, May 17 with bubble day qualifying. Thursday, May 21 is the final day of practice, Carburetion Day, before the May 24th race date.
During these final days of practice the team will concentrate on getting ready for the Indy 500. "Now that we've won the pole we need to pull back and think about what we need to do for the race," Boat said. "The race isn't going to be won on the first lap. The lap you want to lead is the 200th lap. "I have a good guy that coaches me along during the race," Boat said referring to A.J. Foyt. "He has so much experience at Indy that he is priceless in terms of race strategy. We'll just try to stay in position with the fast group and during the last 50 miles we'll try to win."
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