IRL: Indy500: Sharp fastest on Carb Day

INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, May 24, 2001 - Scott Sharp now is taking aim at the "triple crown" of the 85th Indianapolis 500 after leading Coors Carb Day practice May 24. Sharp won the MBNA Pole on May 12, led the final practice for the race today...

INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, May 24, 2001 - Scott Sharp now is taking aim at the "triple crown" of the 85th Indianapolis 500 after leading Coors Carb Day practice May 24.

Sharp won the MBNA Pole on May 12, led the final practice for the race today at 223.678 mph and now aims for his first victory in the Greatest Spectacle in Racing this Sunday in the No. 8 Delphi Automotive Systems Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone.

"Obviously it's the last chance to run hard," Sharp said. "We wanted to confirm the race-starting setup was strong right out of the box."

Gil de Ferran was second fastest today at 222.757 mph in the No. 66 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone. de Ferran will start fifth Sunday. 1996 Indianapolis 500 winner Buddy Lazier was third at 222.392 in the No. 91 Tae-Bo/Coors Light/Life Fitness/Delta Faucet Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone. Lazier will start 10th Sunday.

1999 Indy pole sitter Greg Ray was fourth at 222.372 in the No. 2 Johns Manville/Menards Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone. 1997 Indianapolis 500 Bank One Rookie of the Year Jeff Ward rounded out the top five at 222.039 in the No. 35 Heritage Motorsports/Firestone/Menards G Force/Oldsmobile Firestone. His car was adorned with a new pink-and-silver paint scheme, part of the team's alliance with rock band Aerosmith announced this morning.

Mark Dismore, Helio Castroneves, Stephan Gregoire, Robby Gordon and two-time Indy winner Arie Luyendyk rounded out the top 10.

Today's practice was the last track activity until the start of the 85th Indianapolis 500 at 11 a.m. (EST) Sunday. All 33 starters in the race turned at least one lap.

The start of practice was delayed by 27 minutes due to wet track conditions caused by early-morning rains. The air temperature at the start of practice hovered around 60 degrees, one of the coolest days of the event, which started May 6.

Sharp turned just 19 laps, content with his Race Day setup. "The car was real strong, and we just didn't need to stay out and run any longer," Sharp said. "That was probably the real advantage of running today. No one has had an opportunity to run in cool conditions. It gave you some data to be able to guess off of for Sunday."

-IRNLS/IMS-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Robby Gordon , Greg Ray , Buddy Lazier , Stephan Gregoire , Jeff Ward , Scott Sharp , Arie Luyendyk , Mark Dismore , Helio Castroneves , Gil de Ferran
Teams Team Penske