From Amy Konrath
INDIANAPOLIS (Tuesday, May 18, 2010) – After losing a day of practice to rain, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway re-opened for business on May 18, and teams/drivers quickly got down to business of turning laps around the famed 2.5-mile oval.
Dialing in race setups was the objective for most teams on a chilly day not conducive to big speed, with the focus turning to qualification simulations the next few days in preparation for the two-stage run May 22 for the PEAK Performance Pole Award presented by AutoZone. With the almost five hours available for the session, a few things began to come into focus — primarily that the competition is exceptionally close.
• Five different teams were represented in the top five on the speed chart.
• The top 21 drivers were separated by 0.5755 of a second.
• No. 1 (Scott Dixon) and No. 36 (Milka Duno) were separated by 1.197 seconds.
• Drivers pounded out 1,590 laps (of a total for three days of 3,562).
Last year was the closest field in the history of the ‘500’ at 3.0967 seconds. That record might not last long.
Dixon, driving the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing car, posted a quick lap of 39.7265 seconds (226.549 mph) on the 2.5-mile oval. Mario Moraes was second quick (225.913 mph) in the No. 32 KV Racing Technology entry, and Marco Andretti in the No. 26 Team Venom Energy car for Andretti Autosport was next at 225.751.
The checkered flag flew eight minutes early after the No. 8 PDVSA KV Racing Technology car of E.J. Viso made contact with the SAFER Barrier at the exit of Turn 1. He was transported to Methodist Hospital complaining of back pain.
DAY 4 NOTEBOOK:
Andersen Racing has signed Arie Luyendyk Jr. to be Carmen Jorda’s teammate in the Firestone Freedom 100 Firestone Indy Lights race Friday, May 28 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Luyendyk, 28,is the son of two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Arie Luyendyk. He has 62 career Firestone Indy Lights starts, with one victory. He started the 2006 Indianapolis 500.
His best finish in the Firestone Freedom 100 is third in 2004.
ARIE LUYENDYK JR.: “I am thrilled to be back in a race car, especially at Indianapolis. I have known Dan and John Andersen of Andersen Racing since my days in USF2000. I have always had a great relationship with them over the years, and now I’ll finally have an opportunity to drive one of their cars. Indianapolis means more to me than I can express. I’ve come back to win, and I’m confident that Andersen Racing will give me a car that can make that a reality.”
DAN ANDERSEN (Co-owner, Andersen Racing): “We are pleased to add Arie to our lineup at Andersen Racing. We’ve known him since he competed in USF2000, and we’ve watched his performances in recent years in Firestone Indy Lights with great interest. He clearly is a winner, and with the car we know we can give him at Indy, it’s exciting to look forward to having some fun in the Firestone Freedom 100.”
Indianapolis 500 veteran Paul Tracy will drive in the new series “Battle of the Supercars” on SPEED. Tracy and Formula Drift champion Tanner Foust will drive in some of the most exotic cars, including models from Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche and other manufacturers.
The show, hosted by Lee Reherman, is scheduled to start at 10 p.m. (ET) July 22.
The #06 car fielded by Newman/Haas Racing for Hideki Mutoh will be the 12th and final participant in the Indy 500 Pit Stop Challenge on Miller Lite Carb Day, Friday,May 28.
Thousands of iRacing.com members worldwide will race in the iRacing.com Indy 500 on Saturday, May 29, the day before “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” at IMS.
Part of the iRacing.com World Tour, PC simulation racers will compete in 33-car fields for 200 laps in exact digital duplicates of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval Dallara IZOD IndyCar Series cars. Racers will be matched by skill level, experience and qualifying times.
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway and IZOD IndyCar Series formed an official partnership with iRacing in 2009.
IMS is one of more than 40 racetracks in the U.S. and around the world that are represented in the iRacing.com internet-based motorsport simulation service. The service is inexpensive and intended to let motorsport fans and racing games enthusiasts from all around the world practice and, if they wish, compete against friends and other fans in organized races. The tracks and cars in the service are modeled so accurately that a professional racing driver can use them to learn a track he or she has never seen before.
Survey-quality laser-scanning is used to capture data, so the finished track is accurate to with 2 millimeters. Every tiny bump or change in road camber is accurately represented in the virtual version of the track.
Scanning of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and photographic documentation took nearly six eight-hour days, while another four months were spent by iRacing.com’s production department converting the data into an exact replica of the legendary 101-year-old racetrack.
Indy 500 drivers who are iRacing.com members include Justin Wilson, Will Power, Ryan Briscoe, Vitor Meira, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Dan Wheldon, Tomas Scheckter, Danica Patrick, Mike Conway, Raphael Matos, A.J. Foyt IV, Takuma Sato and Simona de Silvestro.
KEVIN BOBBITT (Director of marketing, iRacing.com): “It’s every racer’s dream to compete in the Indy 500. There is just no other race like it. The World Tour lets every one of our more than 20,000 members compete in any or all of 15 of auto racing’s signature events, but it’s hard to think of another race that exceeds the historic significance or pure thrill of the Indy 500. iRacers won’t have to just wonder what it’s like to funnel into the first turn of the Indy 500 coping with the turbulence of 32 other cars in close proximity – they’ll know first-hand. We have a special promotion that includes the Dallara-Honda Indy car and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, along with the regular rookie package of cars and tracks, plus a three month membership. Anyone interested in getting in on the fun can check it out at http://www.iracing.com/indy-500-2010/.”
Indianapolis 500 veteran Townsend Bell talked about his preparations for the 2010 Indianapolis 500. He is driving the No. 99 Herbalife Ganassi/Schmidt Racing entry.
TOWNSEND BELL: (On getting up to speed in his first start of the season): “It’s great to be back. The car feels fantastic. The team has done a great job of getting us prepared, and we are excited to get some running done here.” (On the new Pole Day format and the shorter month): “Well, obviously the month has been condensed and we’ve had quite a bit of rain so far, which has condensed it even more. I think that that has put an increased intensity on the on-track action as we get closer to qualifying weekend. Any time you can increase the intensity of what’s on the track; I think it’s going to be good for the fans.” (On how an Indy-only program handles the shorter month): “You can’t fast-track chemistry and all that goes with that, but luckily I’ve worked with our race engineer before, and we’ve had a lot of time to prepare. I think that for an Indy one-off, we’re as well prepared as you can be.” (On racing plans after Indy): “I don’t have anything planned at this point.”
A.J. Foyt Racing driver Vitor Meira will appear at a press conference at 10:30 a.m. (ET) Wednesday, May 19 on the fourth floor of the Media Center.
Medical report from Dr. Geoffrey Billows, Indianapolis Motor Speedway director of medical services: #4 Dan Wheldon has been cleared to drive today after being re-evaluated for a bruised right foot suffered in a crash Sunday, May 16.
Apex-Brasil, the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency and the official Trade and Energy partner of the IZOD IndyCar Series, has added a spa featuring high-quality Brazilian beauty products to its hospitality facilities at the track.
A professional hair stylist and professional manicurist will be available to women in the IZOD IndyCar Series family.
Entry update: #98 and #98T entries of CURB/Agajanian/Team 3G have been withdrawn from the 2010 Indianapolis 500.
Tickets are still available for the 11th Racing To Recovery event organized by the Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation from 6:30-10:30 p.m. Wednesday night, May 19 at the Renaissance Indianapolis North Hotel in Carmel, Ind.
Race fans can rub elbows with a who’s who of IZOD IndyCar Series personalities, including several drivers. Tickets may be purchased by contacting the Foundation office at (317) 236-9999. Reserved seats can be purchased for $200, while open seating seats are $125.
1963 Indianapolis 500 winner Parnelli Jones is the evening’s honored guest, as he is being awarded the Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation’s Legendary Driver Award. Several other current and past IZOD IndyCar Series drivers are expected to attend.
The event will feature cocktails, a dinner buffet and a live and silent auction with an impressive list of items. Two featured items include a replica Parnelli Jones helmet that he will sign at the Gala. In addition, one lucky bidder will leave with a Peyton Manning-autographed helmet.
There will be various auction items, from helmets to Indy car parts to photos, that have been signed by Townsend Bell, Ryan Briscoe, Helio Castroneves, Scott Dixon, Sarah Fisher, Dario Franchitti, Jay Howard, Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne, Pippa Mann, Richard Petty, Alex Tagliani, Darrell Waltrip and Gustavo Yacaman.
More information can be found at www.samschmidt.org.
2002 Indianapolis 500 pole winner Bruno Junqueira spoke in the pits today about his prospects for driving the No. 33 FAZZT Race Team entry in this year’s race.
BRUNO JUNQUEIRA: “It feels really good to be back at Indianapolis. I love this place. I’m ready, and we’re just waiting to see what happens with our sponsor. Tag (Alex Tagliani) is going fast, the car is looking good, and the balance of the car is good. I just hope if we get out there that we can make the #33 car just as fast and put both cars in the show.” (What are you racing this year?): “I’ve been racing Brazilian Trucks this year and just finished my third race this weekend. It’s been really fun and a different challenge for me. There are a lot of racers I know in the series, like Cristiano DaMatta and Felipe Giaffone, and there are other good drivers and it’s a really good series. I feel like I’m getting better every time I go out. It has been good to give me some racing experience before coming to Indianapolis since it has been a long time since I have raced. So I’m ready to go.”
Indianapolis 500 veteran Oriol Servia was in Gasoline Alley today, looking around for prospects for a ride for this year’ race. Servia finished 26th last year in a Rahal Letterman Racing entry.
ORIOL SERVIA: (We are curious if you have anything going?): “I am curious, too! Actually, I been very, very close to something that would be really good. We were supposed to have an answer last week, then Friday, then Monday, then today, but I am still waiting. But you know how these things go. It is all about getting contracts signed and money being sent. I hope it happens. There is no other place I would rather be racing you know than this race.” (Are you working with a particular team?): “Yes, but who knows what will happen in the end? I have to get the money first.” (Do you think your chances are good?): “I don’t know, man. Last week I thought they were and I thought I would be driving today, so I don’t know what to tell you. I think there is a good chance, and if it happens it will happen with a car that we can go for the win. But it’s not there yet, and we will have to wait and see.”
Medical update from Dr. Geoffrey Billows, Indianapolis Motor Speedway director of medical services: #8 E.J. Viso is awake and alert and being transported via ground to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis after complaining of back pain. A further update will be provided when available.
A total of 44 cars are currently at the Speedway, and 44 have passed technical inspection. Thirty-six drivers have been on the track to date and turned 1,590 laps today and 3,562 laps this month. Alex Lloyd turned 81 laps today, more than any other driver. There were six cautions for a total of 42 minutes.
The IZOD IndyCar Series has enhanced its official website, www.indycar.com, through partnerships that will help tech-savvy race fans follow the series even better.
The IZOD IndyCar Series is using free fan tool nomee to integrate all social media streams so followers can keep up with their favorite IZOD IndyCar Series drivers through Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr and top racing blogs, along with the latest news from ESPN, VERSUS and Google.
IZOD IndyCar Series fans simply download the free nomee application from the IZOD IndyCar Series drivers’ pages at www.indycar.com or go to www.nomee.com. The app instantly fills with all of the IZOD IndyCar Series’ latest news and driver posts.
Fans who don’t use nomee but who still use social networking sites such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter can visit http://www.indycar.com/followus/ to find direct links to the IZOD IndyCar Series’ official accounts and gain access to the series’ presence on YouTube, Facebook and Flickr.
Finally, fans can stay connected to with the IZOD IndyCar Series and download a specially-themed browser from browserNation.com.
The browser, which works like a typical Web browser, connects users to the exciting digital content such as videos, photos and the latest news from the track. Fans using the IZOD IndyCar Series browserNation browser are eligible for discounted items and great competition prizes.
INDIANAPOLIS 500 PRACTICE QUOTES:
RAPHAEL MATOS (No. 2 HP de Ferran Dragon Racing): “It was an interesting day. We faced a couple different conditions throughout the day. The track lost 1½ miles an hour at the end of the day because of the cold and heavy air. But we were able to run both cars very closely on setup and lap times, and we ran consistent. We are much closer to our race car setup than our qualifying setup. Now we will carry everything we learned today over to tomorrow and keep making progress.”
HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Team Penske): “It was a good day of running for us. Unfortunately, the weather was a little colder than we would have liked, though it was good to have a dry day. We were able to do some full-tank running in traffic to work on our race setup. Overall, we are pretty happy with the Team Penske car, but we are continuing to work on our race setup.”
RYAN BRISCOE (No. 6 Team Penske): “Today was pretty good. We were able to run lots of laps. We did some runs with Will, getting a feel for how the car behaves in traffic. We were really pleased that the rain stayed away. Today was a productive day for us; we are working through our check list. I am looking forward to getting back out there tomorrow.”
WILL POWER (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske): “Today was a very productive day. We completed a lot of laps. We practiced our pit stops and worked on our race setup. It’s great to have teammates to work with on track in the draft, as well as in the garage during debrief. Between the three of us, we’re definitely narrowing in on what works. I’m looking forward to getting back on track tomorrow afternoon in the Verizon car and making even more progress on our setups. Hopefully there will be a bit of sun to help warm things up, as well.”
VITOR MEIRA (No. 14 ABC Supply Co./A.J. Foyt Racing): “It was good. We worked on mainly race setup for the ABC car. My mindset was always race setup, maybe a light-downforce race setup, but it’s good to see what the car does mechanically. We thought we weren’t going to run very much because of weather, but we got in 50-plus laps. We ran in traffic a little. It was a good day. We learned a lot.”
DAVEY HAMILTON (No. 21 HP de Ferran Dragon Racing): “It was definitely nice to get on track today. We finally got lucky with the weather. I’ve been able to get some laps in and have confidence in the car now. It’s comfortable and feels good. We’ll be ready to start trimming it out for qualifying tomorrow.”
GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 30 The Quick Trim/RLR Special): “The car feels good. It’s very consistent, and it feels really good in traffic, so far. We did our fast lap early in the day, and then we just went to work on trying some changes and tweaking little things to fine-tune the car. I think we showed up and the car was already pretty close to where we wanted to be so now we are just trying to perfect a few things. We have done a great job in taking our time, so far, and making sure we are doing things the right way. We are still being pretty conservative on the downforce and the aero settings, probably more than most teams out here. The Firestone Firehawks have held up great for us, which has allowed us to conserve tires for the week, as well. You can burn through tires pretty quick here if you’re spending a lot of time on track running in the draft. We have done a great job trying to stay ahead of that.”
MARIO ROMANCINI (No. 34 Conquest Racing): “I am very happy with the way that we progressed throughout the day. We weren’t worried about lap times, which is why I didn’t run with traffic. Our goal was to turn as many laps as possible and work on the race setup. We were able to try some different things on the car that we wanted, and now we will come back tomorrow to see how it runs in traffic.”
BERTRAND BAGUETTE (No. 36 Conquest Racing RACB): “Today was definitely better than yesterday. We were able to record quite a good lap time and were quick even when we ran alone, so we are obviously moving in the right direction. I am happy with the direction are taking, and am looking forward to running again tomorrow.”
A.J. FOYT IV (No. 41 ABC Supply Co./A.J. Foyt Racing): “It went well today. We went out this morning and picked up where we left off yesterday and ran a little bit quicker. Our fast time was in a draft, but we showed some good speed by ourselves, also. The ABC car’s still solid, so we’ll keep on making minor adjustments. We were kind of in between qualifying and race because we’re not trimmed out for qualifying but not a lot of downforce for the race – kind of in the middle.”
JAY HOWARD (No. 66 Service Central/Sarah Fisher Racing): “Overall, today was another good day for the SFR Service Central team. The rain held off, and we were able to get in a good amount of laps. We learn something new every time we go out there, and I’m confident that we’re going to keep progressing.”
SARAH FISHER (No. 67 Dollar General/Sarah Fisher Racing): “For having the least amount of laps of anyone on track today, the Dollar General car got through a couple of changes that needed to be done for race mode, and we’re already finding that having a teammate is invaluable. It’s all tire strategy from here.”
TOWNSEND BELL (No. 99 Herbalife Ganassi/Schmidt Racing): “Today the conditions are so cold compared to what the forecast is for the rest of the week, we didn’t really feel we could learn a whole lot that’s going to be relevant for later. The car feels really solid, and we got a couple of key things checked off the list and learned a lot. We didn’t get the chance to run in traffic at all. When we wanted to, nobody was around to do it. Everything is running smoothly, and we expect the weather to improve as the week goes on and the temperatures to rise. By the weekend, it looks to be pretty warm. Right now, you just want to make sure you’re on the same page with the engineers. I’ve told them, ‘I don’t need to be out just driving to drive.’ I’m feeling good in the car. So we only want to be out there if we’re learning something.”
HIDEKI MUTOH (No. 06 Panasonic Formula Dream): “It was the first time for us to run the primary car here at Indy, and I didn’t feel any difference between the two. Both cars are the same, but we are working on race simulations today, and we worked mostly worked on qualifying simulation in the backup car. It’s a different scenario, but we will see tomorrow how close they are in qualifying setup. We didn’t do a qualifying simulation at all today; we worked on race setup. At the beginning, I didn’t struggle, but the car improved a lot after we came into the pits for some changes. It made a huge difference, especially in traffic. I wasn’t in a lot of traffic – just two Penske cars – and I was able to be flat (on the pedal) all the way around and was catching them, so I’m happy with the car so far. The Formula Dream/Panasonic team is making progress each time we get on track.”
ALEX TAGLIANI (No. 77 FAZZT Race Team): “After the first day of running, we felt very confident, and we evaluated the car and it was very good. Today we were able to put a good speed on the board, and we are very pleased with the performance of the car. We’re going to keep our heads down and stay focused and continue to do what we are doing for the rest of the week. So far, it’s been very positive. We just have to make sure we stay out of trouble and that we protect our baby. The car is running fast, and the boys are doing a great job. Our speeds and our potential are all attributed to the meticulous preparation of the B & W car that the guys have done and the hard work of the engineers. We’re very pleased where we are, and I think we’re going to have a good night’s sleep after today’s run. We want to make sure we have a fast car so we can try to make the Fast 9 for Saturday. So our plan for the rest of the week will depend on the track and the temperatures and how similar it will be to Saturday. If it’s close, we’ll take that advantage and go out and continue to prepare for Saturday’s qualifying. If it’s very different, then we will change the configuration of the car and go out in race mode and pound out some laps. But we’ll still have Carb Day to run in race mode, so right now we need to keep our heads in qualifying mode when the track is right.”
DAN WHELDON (No. 4 National Guard Panther Racing): “It actually helped the National Guard Panther Racing team that there wasn’t any track activity yesterday because it gave the boys an extra day to really take their time and put the No. 4 car back together. They did a great job working on it the last couple days. They rolled it out at the start of the day, and I think my fourth lap we were quickest we’ve been all month and I was (third on the speed chart). We have a lot of momentum on the team, and I’m not at all surprised we were able to come out of the gate so quickly today.”
TAKUMA SATO (No. 5 Lotus-KV Racing Technology): “It was good the weather finally improved and the Lotus – KV Racing Technology team were able to get out and go testing. We were able to try a number of different things, which was good for me as I got a better understanding of how the car reacts when things change. I was also able to experience driving in traffic, which felt like a completely new world to me. Overall I had a good day. We made steady progress, which is important, and I feel comfortable with the car.”
PAUL TRACY (No. 15 GEICO – KV Racing Technology): “We had a pretty good day for the GEICO KVRT car. We stuck to our plan of working on race setup. We were able to evaluate some changes as we steadily get the car working better and better. It was getting a lot cooler in the afternoon, so decided not to go back out and burn up a set of tires. The weather is scheduled to be much warmer on Wednesday. We are going to continue our progress with the race setup on Wednesday. It is difficult to feel the changes in the car when it is cold. We will be able to make more adjustments with the hotter conditions. So we are sticking to our plan of making the best race car we can.”
ED CARPENTER (No. 20 Panther/Vision/Fuzzy’s Vodka): “We didn’t quite get all the things done that we wanted to today. We found out we have a lot less tires available to us than we thought we were going to be allotted for the month, so we only used one set of tires today. We tested a couple of things, but I really would have liked to have run a lot more. I’m happy with the progress we are making. We started off we a really good car overall, and that helps since we have such limited amount of running time. We’d be in a lot worse position if we had any problems to sort out, but we haven’t. I feel good about where we are right now. I think today was a frustrating day because I finally realized that I really don’t like this new two-week format. I prefer having a week to work on qualifying and a week to work on the race setup. That’s what Indy is all about. Brian Barnhart always says there are two races at Indy, one for the pole and one for the race. It just feels weird this year. I think I’ve made up my mind that I am not a fan of this shortened format for May.”
JOHN ANDRETTI (No. 43 Team Window World): “After a day off because of rain, it was good to be back on the racetrack. The low wind and cool temperatures provided for a lot of grip. We saw a lot of people running in traffic. We did the same thing. I feel like the Window World Dallara keeps improving. We have four teammates to talk to at the end of the day, which helps. It’s easier to go backward than it is to go forward, so hopefully we keep going forward and we can learn some things moving ahead.”
TONY KANAAN (No. 11 Team 7-Eleven): “I think everyone gets very anxious when you have a day off because of rain, so from that perspective, today was good. It was good to get back to work. But beyond that, I don’t think anyone could really learn much today because of the weather. I do not expect that we will see conditions like this the rest of the month, really – at least not on Pole Day and not on Race Day. So we didn’t really learn a lot that we can take with us. Hopefully, tomorrow will be more what we need.”
RYAN HUNTER-REAY (No. 37 Team IZOD): “We’re still searching for something with the IZOD car. We threw a lot at it today, and we got some things out of our head, but we’re still not there yet. This is when it will pay big dividends to have four great teammates. We will draw on some of the things they’ve learned and add it to what we’ve learned. We’re going to try a bunch of different things tomorrow and see where that takes us.”
MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 26 Team Venom Energy): “Right now, we’re working on getting as much mechanical grip as possible because we know that these days are cold, but they’re grippy, as well. So, we know that it’s not going to be this easy in the coming week or two. I’m just happy it was dry today and that we got some laps. I think it’s the same for everybody. You just need to get it right.” (On the tow drivers have been getting during practice): “Well, there’s more cars out there, so it’s easier to find one. When you’re doing qualifying trims, it’s almost like you have to find clear track to run in. I think that the top 10 were all in tows, but I think it’s all about getting your car to go as quick as it can go on your own and it’s got to last four laps, as well. The average and the dropoff are where it makes a lot of difference. It’s not always about your ultimate lap. It’s about the degradation of the tires.” (On the new Pole Day format): “It’s good. For me, in particular, I was one that really pushed the race setup. We’ve really got accelerate our program a bit because it’s condensed. I always just want to work on the race car and then stick it in line for qualifying and see what happens. Obviously, there’s points now, and we want to qualify twice. You never wanted to run twice before, but now there’s points and the track is always cleaner at the front.” (On being capable of winning); “Personally, I think I did my best job in 2008. We were able to outright lead that race and overtake Dixon and stuff like that. Unfortunately, there were some mistakes made, and that’s what makes this race this race. We’ve lost this race as a family in every way possible. You know, at least we’re competitive and we’re able to keep being there at the end of the races. I’ve been on the podium every time I’ve finished here, and that’s only 50 percent of the time. We just need to keep doing that and hopefully get a little Lady Luck on our side, and we’ll put it in Victory Circle.” (On having John Andretti with the team): “He definitely uses different terms in explaining the balances of the car. It does make us think a little bit outside of the box. You know, just in some of the ways that he interprets things, once we figure out what he’s saying it’s actually quite clever. So it’s helping.” (On making it to the Top Nine): “I think you’re going to see guys going out and qualifying three or four times. As far as I know, once you make it into the top nine, Firestone is going to keep giving you tires so you’ll have an unlimited amount. And you know, once you get in, then your time is going to stand and you can take a little more risks. I think those three rows are really going to be going for it. It will be interesting.”
DANICA PATRICK (No. 7 Team GoDaddy.com): “Surprisingly, we had a good practice session even though we were not very high on the charts. We tried a few different race setups, and a few worked and a few didn’t. And sometimes it is just as important to eliminate an idea as it is to agree with it. But the GoDaddy car is definitely headed in the right direction.”
MARIO MORAES (No. 32 KV Racing Technology): “It’s great to be back here at Indianapolis. I think it’s a great environment, and the two weeks that I’m here are always amazing. These two days of testing have been really good. We’ve just been getting back up to speed. The car feels really good. So far we’ve just worked on race setup, and I think tomorrow we will start working out our qualifying setup. I’ve been looking at the weather for the week, and it looks like the qualifying weekend is going to be hotter, so we’re waiting until we get closer to the weekend.” (On the things that he learned last year and how he can apply them to this year): “Last year the race didn’t end the way that we wanted. We had an accident on the first lap. I think there was some kind of problem with my spotter’s radio. So I have the same mentality. I think we really need to be there in the last 30 laps of the race. We need to get to that last stint and then really start to race.” (On the changes to the car after last year): “Well, for sure, I think we removed some of the aerodynamic downforce, and you can see that the speeds are really starting to come up.” (On the new Pole Day format): “I think the new format is great. I’m pretty confident that we have a car to get into the top nine. I’m pretty confident we can get into the field on the first day. I’m not sure if we have a car for the pole, but if we do then we will be fighting for that.”
WEDNESDAY’S SCHEDULE (all times local):
Indianapolis 500 practice
The 2010 IZOD IndyCar Series season continues May 30 with the 2010 Indianapolis 500 Mile Race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The race will be telecast live in High Definition at noon (ET) by ABC. The race will air live on the IMS Radio Network, XM channel 145 and Sirius channel 211. The race also will be carried on www.indycar.com. The 2010 Firestone Indy Lights season continues with the Firestone Freedom 100 on May 28 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway The race will air live on VERSUS.