OLDSMOBILE MOTORSPORT REPORT: Tuesday, May 18, 1999 GOOD DAY FOR GOODYEAR AND OLDSMOBILE Scott Scoots to Top Speed in Rain-Shortened Day 4 INDIANAPOLIS, May 18, 1999 - Rain drops kept falling on heads and helmets as the fourth day of...
OLDSMOBILE MOTORSPORT REPORT: Tuesday, May 18, 1999
GOOD DAY FOR GOODYEAR AND OLDSMOBILE
Scott Scoots to Top Speed in Rain-Shortened Day 4
INDIANAPOLIS, May 18, 1999 - Rain drops kept falling on heads and helmets as the fourth day of practice for the 83rd Indianapolis 500 was interrupted by the notoriously fickle Midwestern weather. Almost four of the scheduled seven hours of practice were lost to wet track conditions. When the sun finally broke through the clouds at the end of the day, Scott Goodyear was shining in the speed department. Goodyear guided his Oldsmobile-powered Pennzoil Panther Racing G-Force around the 2.5-mile superspeedway at 223.842 mph to claim the top spot on the speed chart for Day 4.
Frenchman Stephan Gregoire made a great leap forward in Dick Simon Racing's Mexmil Oldsmobile G-Force to claim the second spot at 223.647 mph. Reigning Pep Boys Indy Racing League champion Kenny Brack was third fastest in A.J. Foyt's Oldsmobile Dallara at 223.447 mph.
* Oldsmobile engines turned the five fastest speeds and powered 36 of the 39 cars on the track on the fourth day of practice. Oldsmobile drivers accounted for 92 percent of the laps today, completing 1,332 of the 1,442 laps. Three Nissan drivers ran a total of 110 laps (8 percent).
* Great Scott: "We're still working on getting a handle on the car in superspeedway configuration," said Scott Goodyear after turning his fast lap. "We finished up early and went back and changed engines. We've got over 600 miles on this motor. The motors have come a long way in the last couple of years.
"We've tested motors here at the Speedway with up to 740 miles on them. The reliability of the engines allows us to spend more time on testing. Our guys at Speedway Engine Development have done a great job - the performance is there and the reliability is there."
* Triple Threat: Greg Ray wasn't the fastest driver for the first time since opening day, but he claimed two spots in the Top Five with a pair of Team Menard Oldsmobile Dallaras. After posting the fourth fastest lap of the day at 223.214 mph in his primary #2 Glidden-Menards entry, Ray initiated Menard's #32 machine. Within four laps, Ray was circling the imposing oval at 223.209 mph, fast enough to capture the fifth spot.
"Today was primarily an exercise and not a speed assault," Ray explained. "The big victory for us was that we finally ran our third car and now we have three cars within spitting distance of each other in speed."
* Better Day for Boat: After crashing two of A.J. Foyt's Oldsmobile Dallaras on successive days, 1998 Indy 500 polewinner Billy Boat returned to form at the Speedway. Boat was the tenth fastest driver on the track at 222.091 mph.
* Today's Aurora Factoid: The pistons in an IRL Aurora V8 engine travel less than 6 inches in their cylinders with every crankshaft revolution, but those inches add up fast when the crank is spinning at 10,300 rpm. Each piston travels 4,961 feet in one minute - nearly a mile up and down in its cylinder. In a typical 500-mile race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, each piston will travel 500 miles around the track and 135 miles up and down in its cylinder.
* TOP 10 DRIVERS OF THE DAY Pos/Car # Driver Entry Engine Speed 1. 4T Scott Goodyear Panther Racing Oldsmobile 223.842 2. 7 Stephan Gregoire Simon Racing Oldsmobile 223.647 3. 14 Kenny Brack A.J. Foyt Ent. Oldsmobile 223.447 4. 2 Greg Ray Team Menard Oldsmobile 223.214 5. 32 Greg Ray Team Menard Oldsmobile 223.209 6. 51T Eddie Cheever Team Cheever Infiniti 222.999 7. 17 Jack Miller Tri Star Mtrspts. Oldsmobile 222.519 8. 8T Scott Sharp Kelley Racing Oldsmobile 222.519 9. 22 Tony Stewart Tri Star Mtrspts. Oldsmobile 222.480 10. 11T Billy Boat A.J. Foyt Ent. Oldsmobile 222.091