OLDSMOBILE MOTORSPORT REPORT: May 15, 1999 OLDSMOBILE DOMINATES OPENING DAY IRL Aurora V8 Engines Set Unofficial Track Record, Run Seven Fastest Speeds, and Power 34 of 37 Cars on Track INDIANAPOLIS, May 15, 1999 - On a perfect spring day, ...
OLDSMOBILE MOTORSPORT REPORT: May 15, 1999 OLDSMOBILE DOMINATES OPENING DAY
IRL Aurora V8 Engines Set Unofficial Track Record, Run Seven Fastest Speeds, and Power 34 of 37 Cars on Track
INDIANAPOLIS, May 15, 1999 - On a perfect spring day, Oldsmobile's IRL Aurora V8 was off to a fast start in the opening day of practice for the 83rd Indianapolis 500 on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway 2.5-mile oval. Greg Ray turned the fastest lap in Team Menard's Oldsmobile Dallara at 225.887 mph. Ray's run unofficially bettered the 224.573 mph track record for new-formula IRL cars set by 1998 Indy 500 polewinner Billy Boat.
* Oldsmobile engines powered the seven fastest drivers and 34 of the 37 cars on the track on opening day - the second largest turnout of cars for the first day of practice in Indy 500 history. Thirty-three drivers ran a total of 1,553 laps, the second-highest number of laps recorded on an opening day at the Speedway.
* Arie Luyendyk kicked off his final appearance in the Indianapolis 500 with the second fastest lap of the day at 225.163 mph in Treadway Racing's Oldsmobile G-Force. Other Oldsmobile frontrunners included Scott Goodyear (224.405 mph), Sam Schmidt (224.394), Kenny Brack (222.910), Buddy Lazier (222.866), and Jeff Ward (22.096). Eddie Cheever, Jr., winner of last year's Indy 500 with Oldsmobile power, was the eighth fastest driver at 221.888 mph with an Infiniti Indy engine.
* Greg Ray Quotes: "It was a very clean lap. I was out there for four laps, and I was flat for 2 1/2 of them. I was hanging it out - there was nothing left. I think you're going to have to run 226 to take the pole. If you don't qualify at 220 this year, you're probably not going to make the field. They keep taking rpm away from the motors and the cars keep going faster.
"The conditions are much different than when we ran 227 mph in testing here. I have a high regard for this place, and it's easy for it to get away from you here. We had an engine problem early today; that motor had close to 500 miles on it, and we were trying to test some high-mileage motors here. We'll take that one back to the shop and see what happened."
* Today's Aurora Factoid: Oldsmobile engines have completed 101,422 racing miles in 21 Pep Boys Indy Racing League events in 1997-99 - the equivalent of four laps around the earth's equator.