IRL: Texas first practice session

DAY 01 - June 3, 1997 Welcome to the True Value 500 and Pronto Auto Parts 400 at Texas Motor Speedway, the second race week at the new superspeedway. Laura Maready, public relations manager for Texas Motor Speedway; Mai Lindstrom, public ...

DAY 01 - June 3, 1997

Welcome to the True Value 500 and Pronto Auto Parts 400 at Texas Motor Speedway, the second race week at the new superspeedway.

Laura Maready, public relations manager for Texas Motor Speedway; Mai Lindstrom, public relations director for the Indy Racing League; and Owen Kearns Jr., media coordinator for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and their staffs are on hand this weekend to facilitate the media operation.

If you have questions, please ask any of us for assistance.


TRUE VALUE 500 QUALIFYING PROCEDURE 1. Car leaves pits second time around receives green flag, which starts the clock for qualifying. 2. Next time around, car receives green flag, which completes Lap 1 with clock still running. 3. On second lap, car receives white flag, then enters pit lane in Turn 3 at the end of the backstretch. 4. Car comes into pits and stops in a designated pit box 30 feet short of the start/finish line. 5. Pit stop: Three crew members are allowed over the wall. One member will jack the car up, another will change the right front tire and the third will change the right rear tire. At the conclusion of the tire change, the car will exit the pit box, cross the start/finish line and receive the checkered flag, stopping the clock and ending the qualification attempt. Two tires will be allowed in the pit box but crew members can go over the wall only after the car comes to a complete stop. 6. There will be one qualification attempt per car. Should the car stall or not complete the run, the car can go to the end of the qualifying line and will be allowed another run, time permitting. 7. There is no speed limit on pit lane. *** 81st Indianapolis 500 Aftermath Notes: --Arie Luyendyk (1997), Bobby Unser (1975) and Johnny Rutherford (1976) are the three drivers who won their second Indianapolis 500 in their 13th starts. The only driver other than this trio to have waited longer for a second "500" victory is Gordon Johncock, who was competing for the 18th time at the Speedway when he won for the second time in 1982. --The 1997 race had three different lap leaders (Jeff Ward, Scott Goodyear and Arie Luyendyk in the last nine laps. The 1996 Indianapolis 500 had three different lap leaders (Alessandro Zampedri, Davy Jones and Buddy Lazier) in the last 12 laps. The 1996 and 1997 editions of the "500" are the only Indianapolis 500s to have three different lap leaders with 12 laps or less in the race. --Tony Stewart led the opening lap of both the 1996 and 1997 editions of the "500", becoming the first driver to lead the opening lap of his first two starts. --In 1992, Scott Goodyear lost in the closest finish in Indianapolis 500 history by .043 of a second to Al Unser Jr. In 1997, Goodyear lost in the third closest finish in "500" history to Arie Luyendyk by .570 of a second, a combined total of two winning margins of .613 of a second. --The 1997 race represented the 50th Indianapolis 500 victory for Firestone. --The latest a rookie driver has ever led the "500" in a losing cause is Lap 192 by third-place finisher Jeff Ward in 1997 and by second-place finisher Bill Holland in 194. --The year 1997 marked the 16th time that the winning car started from the pole. --1997 winner Arie Luyendyk and second-place Scott Goodyear, both driving cars owned by Treadway Racing, became the first team 1-2 finishers since 1962, when Rodger Ward and Len Sutton finished 1-2 in Leader Cards Specials owned by Bob Wilke. --1997 Rookie of the Year Jeff Ward finished third after leading 49 laps of the race. This is the most laps led by a rookie driver since second-place finisher Bill Holland led 143 laps in 1947. --Arie Luyendyk became the 13th different driver to win the "500" starting from the pole. *** First Indy Racing League Practice Notes: 6:53 p.m. GREEN. #5 Luyendyk first on the track. #40 Miller first to cross start/finish line. 6:57 p.m. #3 Buhl first to complete lap at over 100 miles an hour (105.607). 7 p.m. YELLOW, #5 Luyendyk smoking. 7:06 p.m. GREEN. 7:07 p.m. #2 Stewart turned a lap at 174.121 miles an hour, fastest of session. 7:08 p.m. #2 Stewart turned a lap at 196.107, fastest of session. 7:09 p.m. #2 Stewart turned a lap at 199.380, fastest of session. #2 Stewart turned a lap at 206.343, fastest of session and first 200+ lap of practice. 7:10 p.m. #2 Stewart turned a lap at 210.921, fastest of session. 7:11 p.m. #4 Brack turned a lap at 205.027, second fastest of session. 7:14 p.m. #91 Lazier turned a lap at 207.174, second fastest of session. 7:15 p.m. #91 Lazier turned a lap at 209.181, second fastest of session. 7:17 p.m. YELLOW, #7 Salazar lost engine going into Turn 3, #18 Carlson did a half-spin for 150 feet in Turn 4 and hit the outside wall, then slid off the wall backwards into the grass. #40 Miller spun in oil, backed into wall. #5 Luyendyk spun backwards down pit road, no contact. Heavy left rear corner and left side damage on #18 car. Rear gearbox cover, rear wing and attenuator damage on #40 car.

QUOTES AFTER TURN 4 INCIDENT: LUKE WETHINGTON (team manager, #7 Salazar): "We lost the engine going into Turn 3. We dumped oil all over the track. That's why Jack (Miller) and Tyce (Carlson) crashed."

TYCE CARLSON: "I believe the #7 car blew an engine in front of us. The car just swapped ends. The car felt great. It's a little bit bumpy but if you're used to running the old Winchester (Ind., Speedway), it's just fine."

ELISEO SALAZAR: "We did two laps, the second at 205 and a bit, and then the engine blew on the back straight. I managed to keep it on the track, on the low side but a couple of cars were coming behind me and hit the oil. I had nowhere to go. I had to stay on the track because the transition is very bad. I had nowhere to go and I just tried to save it. I just hope all of the other guys are okay." (NOTE: The engine in Salazar's car was the one that ran 70 laps of the Indianapolis 500.) *** 7:50 p.m. Crew, #40 Miller reports "there's an outside chance" car could return to track tonight.

Crew, #18 Carlson reports car won't return to track tonight. *** First IRL Practice Notes (continued): 7:54 p.m. GREEN after 37-minute delay. 8 p.m. #2 Stewart turned a lap at 213.211, fastest of session. 8:01 p.m. #4 Brack turned a lap at 212.289, second fastest of session. 8:02 p.m. YELLOW, #10 M. Groff did a half spin for 110 feet in Turn 4 and hit the outside wall with the left side, did a half spin 350 feet off the wall to stop at the edge of the grass on the inside of the front straightaway. Car had heavy left side and rear damage.

SESSION ENDS: Leaders #2 Stewart 213.211, #4 Brack 212.289, #91 Lazier 209.611, #3 Buhl 206.627, #7 Salazar 205.066.

JERRY SHIVELEY (Director of Marketing, Jonathan Byrd Cunningham Racing): "We are putting a motor in the other car. We're assessing the damage. The uprights went through the tub. They are only puncures. It can probably be fixed."

KENNY BRACK: "Car's pretty good...trying to settle in. We don't have many laps." (About the track): Good..not a lot of room for error. When you have oil down like that, you have to be careful. After the disappointment we experienced at Indy, I really just wated t get in the car and drive. The car is handling well and I can't wait untl Race Day."

BUDDY LAZIER: "When it's all over, we'll be first quickest. We have some work to d. It's going to be good. I'm excited."

TONY STEWART: "For a track nobody's tested at, our car is very close right out of the box. I sound like a broken record when we do this but it shows how focused Team Menard is." (Aout the track): "They made that front straightaway a little wider. It was a little narrow when we ran here. They widened the front straight and now you go through there, it's fine. You can run two, mabe three wide there. Visibly, it made a lot of difference. Physically, it's not that much wider but it looks a lot wider. Anytime you have banked corners, it helps anything you drive. I can't tell you how much it helps but we're already within six miles an hour of the pole speed at Indianapolis and that's with 20-30 minutes of running time." (About bumps): "Every race track has bumps. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway has bumps. There's bumps in every race track we go to. I don't see anything tha'ts gonna cause anybody a problem."(About the fast laps): "I think, say, 215. I thnk somebody can run that."

POST-PRACTICE QUOTE: DR. JACK MILLER: "Oil, spin, big wall, crash, ouch, ready to run tomorrow."


Report from Columbia Infield Care Center: Tyce Carlson was examined and released with a bruised left ankle and cleared to drive.

Dr. Jack Miller was examined and released and cleared to drive.

Mike Groff suffered a puncture wound to his left lower leg, was in otherwise good condition and was transported to Harris Mehodist Hospital in Fort Worth for furher evaluation.

END OF FIRST SESSION NOTES: 9:00 Practice still to come

Daily Practice Report 6/03/97 - FIRST SESSION(20:23)

T O D A Y E V E N T SR Car Driver C/E/T Laps Time Speed When Laps Time Speed Date 1 2 Stewart, Tony G/A/F 17 25.327 213.211 20:00 17 25.327 213.211 6/03/97 2 4 Brack, Kenny G/A/G 19 25.437 212.289 20:01 19 25.437 212.289 6/03/97 3 91 Lazier, Buddy D/A/F 19 25.762 209.611 20:01 19 25.762 209.611 6/03/97 4 3 Buhl, Robbie G/A/F 27 26.134 206.627 20:02 27 26.134 206.627 6/03/97 5 7 Salazar, Eliseo D/A/G 9 26.333 205.066 19:16 9 26.333 205.066 6/03/97 6 6 Goodyear, Scott G/A/F 31 26.346 204.965 20:02 31 26.346 204.965 6/03/97 7 5 Luyendyk, Arie G/A/F 14 26.516 203.651 20:00 14 26.516 203.651 6/03/97 8 14 Hamilton, Davey G/A/G 14 26.535 203.505 19:59 14 26.535 203.505 6/03/97 9 51 Cheever Jr, Eddie G/A/G 33 26.768 201.733 20:01 33 26.768 201.733 6/03/97 10 28 Dismore, Mark D/A/G 11 27.043 199.682 20:00 11 27.043 199.682 6/03/97 11 21 Guerrero, Roberto D/I/G 13 27.072 199.468 19:59 13 27.072 199.468 6/03/97 12 18 Carlson, Tyce D/A/G 12 27.138 198.983 19:11 12 27.138 198.983 6/03/97 13 22 Greco, Marco D/A/G 7 28.243 191.198 19:57 7 28.243 191.198 6/03/97 14 97 Ray, Greg D/A/F 8 28.379 190.282 20:01 8 28.379 190.282 6/03/97 15 1 Boat, Billy G/A/G 8 28.461 189.733 20:02 8 28.461 189.733 6/03/97 16 30 Groff, Robbie G/A/G 12 28.475 189.640 19:57 12 28.475 189.640 6/03/97 17 10 Groff, Mike G/I/F 19 28.960 186.464 20:00 19 28.960 186.464 6/03/97 18 40 Miller, Jack D/I/F 11 30.486 177.130 19:16 11 30.486 177.130 6/03/97 19 8 Sospiri, Vincenzo D/A/G 7 34.933 154.582 19:58 7 34.933 154.582 6/03/97 20 44 May, Allan D/A/G 2 55.885 96.627 19:59 2 55.885 96.627 6/03/97 21 12 Calkins, Buzz G/A/G 2 83.099 64.983 19:57 2 83.099 64.983 6/03/97 22 17 Giaffone, Affonso D/A/G 1 168.771 31.996 20:01 1 168.771 31.996 6/03/97 Total 296 296

Legend: SR Speed Rank, C Chassis, E Engine, T Tire Chassis: D Dallara, G G Force Engine: A Aurora by Oldsmobile, I Infiniti Indy V8 Tire: F Firestone, G Goodyear

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Tony Stewart , Al Unser Jr. , Buddy Lazier , Jeff Ward , Arie Luyendyk , Scott Goodyear , Bobby Unser , Tyce Carlson , Davy Jones , Gordon Johncock , Rodger Ward , Johnny Rutherford , Jack Miller