IRL: Indy500: Sam Schmidt/Lp Racing notes 2001-05-26

Sam Schmidt/Lp Racing currently resides in the center of row ...

Sam Schmidt/Lp Racing currently resides in the center of row #9 and it is the morning before the big race. Davey and Sam comment on our starting position for the race:

"It's better than the 10th row from last year! It will be okay. There are some good guys back there, some fast guys, Cheever, Unser, we'll just have to settle in and get the race under way. I feel great about the fact that we have a solid race car. We've run consistently well at a race pace and I think that if were patience and stay out of other people's trouble, we can win this race just like anybody else. The field is so competitive and so close, that it really could be anybody's race. I can't wait!" - Davey Hamilton

"I agree with Davey in that I think we have a solid race car. I believe that the Dallara/Ilmore package is going to be tough to beat come Sunday. I'll be watching from the pagoda and if we are leading this race in the end - I'm not going to move until he's completed his victory lap. Then I'll be off to victory circle with a really big straw." - Sam Schmidt

In the driver's meeting yesterday, Brian Barnhart, Vice President of Competition for the Indy Racing League, pointed out that only 33% of the guys leading at Lap 190 with only 10 to go have gone on to win the race. Everyone in the garage area believes that there are at least 15 guys and gal capable of winning.

The weather forecast is set for cold, a whoping 50 degrees, maybe 52. This will reek havoc on the tires. Many are remembering the events of 1992 when the pole sitter, Roberto Guerrero spun on the pace lap. However, if the high pressure moves in and clears this storm out - race strategy will change again.

The boys have been working hard at it all week, rebuilding the car for the race. Today at the track will be short by comparison. We'll go through a final tech and fuel inspection, practice some pit stops, and do a few more garage tours. All of the crews will report for duty beginning no later than 3am Saturday night/Sunday morning. Cars will roll to the pits by 8:30 and be on the grid by 9:30.

By 10:30, it sinks in what is about to happen. The cars are on the grid, most of the VIP's have gone to the suites, and as you soak in the last bit of quiet before the national anthem, you take a moment to look around at the amazing color that now fills that gray bleachers, the sea of people that is truly awesome. Your tired, your feet hurt from the "year of May", but you give thanks for the opportunity of a lifetime to participate in the greatest spectacle in racing.

- LeeAnne

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Roberto Guerrero , Sam Schmidt , Brian Barnhart