At the half-way mark of the Sunday afternoon six-hour second-day Indianapolis 500 qualifying at The Brickyard, RAFAEL MATOS/No.2 Luczo Dragon Racing is the fastest driver at 223.429 mph. Had the Rookie gone that fast on Pole Day, he’d be starting seventh instead of twelfth.
The field is full at 22 cars, and there are still drivers waiting to attempt, or retry after withdrawing previous runs. At this point MILKA DUNO/No.23 Dreyer & Reinbold is in P22, on the bubble as it were. Both PAUL TRACY/No.15 KV Racing Technology and SARAH FISHER/No.67 Sarah Fisher Racing had withdrawn previous times. Tracy re-qualified in thirteenth place, but Fisher hasn’t yet gone back out. After her first run – P15, she said she “was lucky, very lucky. We’re a small team.”
The weather had clouded over, after a bright sunny morning. Firestone engineers clocked the temps at 2:15 PM EDT: Ambient 66 degrees F/19C; and track temperature 97F/36C. There wasn’t much wind.
The time set by VITOR MEIRA/No.14 A.J. Foyt Enterprises in the first hour was disallowed as the car failed Tech – too narrow? Team Owner A.J. FOYT was not happy.
Update on driver MIKE CONWAY/No.24 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing. After crashing hard into the Turn One SAFER wall on his third practice lap Sunday morning, he was transported to Methodist Hospital where he has been admitted overnight for observation. He has a bruised lung, but is awake and alert.
Sunday morning, Pole sitter HELIO CASTRONEVES/No.3 Team Penske took credit for the beautiful day Sunday – “It’s my birthday!” His more grounded teammate, RYAN BRISCOE/No.6 reminded him that it was also Mother’s Day. Castroneves rejoinder – “Good job, Ryan. He’s always covering me.”
Saturday GRAHAM RAHAL/No.02 Newman Haas Lanigan Racing said he’d rather start on the inside of Row Two than on the outside of Row One. DARIO FRANCHITTI/No.10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing was asked how he felt about that, and he laughed. “This will be the third time I started outside Row One, and it’s worked out pretty well every time. So yeah, I’m quite happy, thank you very much. As long as Graham is happy in fourth, I’m pretty happy in third than fourth.”
Although TONY KANAAN/No.11 Andretti Green Racing had expressed hope that his cobbled together composite race car (mixture of his car and that of his AGR teammate, HIDEKI MUTOH/No.27 AGR) would be painted overnight, it didn’t happen. Kanaan said “I’m looking to have a car with one solid color.” His old buddy, Franchitti, had called the car ‘Frankenstein.’
The AGR crew said the car would be painted in the downtime between Sunday and next Wednesday.