IRL: Indy500: Public drivers' meeting prepares field for race

INDIANAPOLIS, Saturday, May 26, 2001 -Drivers and crew members participating in the 85th Indianapolis 500 received final instructions and awards May 26 in the public drivers' meeting, the final track activity before the race May 27. The 85th ...

INDIANAPOLIS, Saturday, May 26, 2001 -Drivers and crew members participating in the 85th Indianapolis 500 received final instructions and awards May 26 in the public drivers' meeting, the final track activity before the race May 27.

The 85th Indianapolis 500 is scheduled to start at 11 a.m. (EST) Sunday.

Team owner Chip Ganassi accepted a "Baby Borg" trophy from John Fiedler, chairman and CEO of Borg Warner, Inc., for being the winning car owner at the 2000 Indianapolis 500. Ganassi also accepted a "Baby Borg" for 2000 winner Juan Montoya, who is participating in the Formula One Monaco Grand Prix this weekend.

The Baby Borg is a miniature replica of the famed Borg-Warner Trophy, awarded to the winner of the Indianapolis 500.

This year's MBNA Pole winner, Scott Sharp, accepted the MBNA Pole Award from Mike Faust, assistant vice president of MBNA. Sharp won the pole with a four-lap average of 226.037 mph in his No. 8 Delphi Automotive Systems Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone.

"I would like to thank MBNA, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and certainly the Delphi team, which worked so hard to take us to the next level," Sharp said.

Delco Remy CEO Thomas Snider presented special rings to each of the 33 starters and a ring to Official Pace Vehicle driver Elaine Irwin-Mellencamp. MBNA Pole Winner Sharp then presented a special portrait to Snider on behalf of the starting field.

Donald Gurtner, chairman of the Directors of Milk Promotion Services of Indiana, presented a plaque with an American Dairy Association milk bottle to last year's winner, Montoya. Ganassi accepted the award on behalf of Montoya.

Tom Bose, the chief mechanic for Curb-Agajanian/Beck Motorsports, was presented with the Clint Brawner Award and $5,000 for mechanical excellence, creativity and perseverance. Joe Barbieri, supervisor of Firestone's racing division, and Carl Gelhausen, secretary/treasurer of the Clint Brawner Foundation, made the presentation to Bose.

Bose is the chief mechanic for the No. 98 CURB Records Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone driven by Billy Boat, who will start 32nd. Boat was the first driver to qualify on Bump Day, May 20, but Bose and the crew were forced to scramble to prepare a backup car that afternoon in case Boat was bumped from the field. Instead, Boat was never bumped from the field despite spending the last 48 minutes of qualifying "on the bubble" as the slowest qualifier.

"I'm ecstatic," Bose said. "There have been some great people who have won the Brawner award. I've looked up to many of them for years and been able to work with some. I'm surprised and honored to be named with them."

Greg Beck, the co-owner of Curb-Agajanian/Beck Motorsports, won the Brawner award in 1995.

Championship Association of Mechanics (CAM) presented the CAM/Snap-On Tools Top Wrench Award to Brad Brewer, chief mechanic for the No. 24 Team Purex Dreyer & Reinbold G Force/Infiniti/Firestone driven by Robbie Buhl.

Buhl will start ninth, the best starting spot among the three Infiniti-powered drivers in the field.

Andy Granatelli, the two-time winning car owner known for the famous turbine-powered "whoosh mobile" cars that ran in 1967 and 1968, presented longtime Indianapolis Motor Speedway Media Center Manager Bill York with the Unsung Hero Award for York's tireless work with local, national and worldwide media.

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 celebrities attending the drivers' meeting were music superstar John Mellencamp, actors Anthony Edwards, Josh Brolin, Antonio Sabato Jr., Erik Palladino and Jim Nabors, actresses Minnie Driver and Florence Henderson, and television host John Walsh.

-IRNLS/IMS-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Robbie Buhl , Scott Sharp , Billy Boat , Chip Ganassi , Brian Barnhart