BUMP DAY DRAMA AT INDIANAPOLIS PUTS LEGGE IN INDY 500 FIELD
Story posted - May 19 2013 11:51 PM
BUMP DAY DRAMA AT INDIANAPOLIS PUTS LEGGE IN INDY 500 FIELD
INDIANAPOLIS (Sunday, May 19, 2013) - In a little more than a day, Katherine Legge went from Indianapolis 500 spectator to Indianapolis 500 qualifier.
The surprising turn of events Sunday propelled Legge, who logged her first track time in the morning practice session (24 laps), into her second Indianapolis 500. Less than 48 hours earlier, her Honda-powered car was a skeleton in the Gasoline Alley garage. Her deal with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports was announced on May 18.
Nearby, Michel Jourdain Jr. buried his head in the shoulder of wife, Nora, as the realization of not even presenting for a qualifying attempt for the 97th Indianapolis 500 Mile Race sunk in.
Legge sat in the No. 81 Angie's List Schmidt Peterson Pelfrey Honda to potentially bump her way back into the 33-car field for the May 26 race. On the bubble at 223.176 mph for her four-lap average speed set five hours earlier, she breathed easier when seeing crew members offering condolences to the veteran driver from Mexico.
By Jourdain's account, and supported by teammate Graham Rahal after turning five laps on the 2.5-mile oval late in the six-hour session, the car just wasn't comfortable to drive. The chassis is the same that Takuma Sato challenged for the lead on the final lap in last year's race and last driven by Mike Conway at Long Beach in mid-April.
Josef Newgarden (225.731 mph) was the fastest second-day qualifier in the No. 21 Century 21 Honda for Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing. Also qualifying were Rahal (225.007), Sebastian Saavedra (224.929), rookie Tristan Vautier (224.873), Ana Beatriz (224.184), Pippa Mann (224.005), rookie Conor Daly (223.582) and Buddy Lazier (223.442).
Lazier, 45, will make his 17th Indianapolis 500 start - the most in the field. The average speed of the field is 226.176 mph.
There are four first-year Indy 500 competitors and four females in the field.
BUMP DAY NOTEBOOK:
INDIANAPOLIS 500 PRACTICE:
At 9 a.m., the ambient temperature was 74 degrees with a relative humidity of 88 percent and calm winds. Skies were partly sunny. The track temperature was 77 degrees, according to Firestone engineers.
9 a.m. - GREEN. #9 Dixon first on track.
9:04 a.m. - #81 Legge on track for first time this month.
9:30 a.m. -- #15 Rahal fastest at 225.838.
9:50 a.m. -- #15 Rahal fastest at 226.564.
10 a.m. - CHECKERED. End of practice. #15 Rahal fastest at 226.564. Eleven cars participated in practice.
FASTEST TIMES/SPEEDS OF PRACTICE:
* -- Rookie
MORNING PRACTICE QUOTE:
KATHERINE LEGGE (No. 81 Angie's List Schmidt Peterson Pelfrey Honda): (About not getting in a car until Bump Day): "Yeah, no pressure. I'm just really fortunate I'm with such a good team. Simon (Pagenaud) and the engineers and Tristan (Vautier) have done a really good job of setting the car up so far. It's tight on time. I'm not going to lie; I was freaking out this morning. We just have to work through things in a very organized way. The team has just been incredible. So I'm relatively happy right now. I think I'll be happier at the end of the day when we've put her in the field. But it's a challenge." (What's the plan for today?): "The first chance we get before it gets too hot here we're going to try to stick her in the field. If we're safely in, then we can go practice and work on some other things, as well. We have to trim her out a bit. We changed the gear stack because we're on the (rev) limiter. But we're happy at the moment. I just have to kind of focus on what I have to do and make sure that I'm flawless. It's never easy around this place." (How long have you been working on this opportunity?): "Well, I've wanted to race for Sam (Schmidt) since 2011, so I guess it's been in the works for a long time. But no, I was wanting to do the '500,' well, ever since what happened at the beginning of the year happened. So it hasn't been long in the making, but I think I was persistent enough. I'm just massively grateful to Sam and to Ric (Peterson) for the opportunity."
ENTRY LIST UPDATE:
Name of #63 Dale Coyne Racing entry driven by Pippa Mann is Cyclops Gear.com.
All three front-row starters for the 97th Indianapolis 500 - Ed Carpenter, Carlos Munoz and Marco Andretti - are race winners in the Firestone Indy Lights series, the final rung on the Mazda Road to Indy ladder.
INDIANAPOLIS 500 BUMP DAY QUALIFYING CHRONOLOGY:
At 12:15 p.m., the ambient temperature was 79 degrees with a relative humidity of 58 percent and calm winds. Skies were partly cloudy. The track temperature was 109 degrees, according to Firestone engineers.
Each qualifying attempt will start on the second time past the flag stand.
BUDDY LAZIER/Vail, Colo.
1 - 40.2217 - 223.760
Q - 47
2 - 40.2733 - 223.473
3 - 40.2944 - 223.356
4 - 40.3264 - 223.179
T 2:41.1158 - 223.442
ANA BEATRIZ/Sao Paulo
1 - 40.1809 - 223.987
Q - 48
2 - 40.1732 - 224.030
3 - 40.0957 - 224.463
4 - 40.1325 - 224.257
T 2:40.5823 - 224.184
SEBASTIAN SAAVEDRA/Bogota, Colombia
1 - 40.0062 - 224.965
Q - 49
2 - 39.9574 - 225.240
3 - 40.0145 - 224.918
4 - 40.0722 - 224.595
T 2:40.0503 - 224.929
CONOR DALY/Noblesville, Ind.
ABC Supply Co./A.J. Foyt Racing
1 - 40.2326 - 223.699
Q - 50
2 - 40.2271 - 223.730
3 - 40.2748 - 223.465
4 - 40.2800 - 223.436
T 2:41.0145 - 223.582
GRAHAM RAHAL/New Albany, Ohio
Midas/Big O Tires
1 - 39.9699 - 225.169
Q - 51
2 - 39.9812 - 225.106
3 - 40.0092 - 224.948
4 - 40.0345 - 224.806
T 2:39.9948 - 225.007
TRISTAN VAUTIER/Corenc, France
Lucas Oil/Schmidt Peterson Motorsports
1 - 39.8124 - 226.060
Q - 52
2 - 40.0176 - 224.901
3 - 39.9094 - 225.511
4 - 40.3513 - 223.041
T 2:40.0907 - 224.873
PIPPA MANN/Ipswich, England
Dale Coyne Racing
1 - 40.0625 - 224.649
Q - 53
2 - 40.1559 - 224.126
3 - 40.1474 - 224.174
4 - 40.3451 - 223.075
T 2:40.7109 - 224.005
JOSEF NEWGARDEN/Hendersonville, Tenn.
Sarah Fisher Hartman/Century 21
1 - 39.8550 - 225.819
Q - 54
2 - 39.8554 - 225.816
3 - 39.8777 - 225.690
4 - 39.8935 - 225.601
T 2:39.4816 - 225.731
KATHERINE LEGGE/Guildford, England
Angie's List Schmidt Peterson Pelfrey
1 - 40.2957 - 223.349
Q - 55
2 - 40.3779 - 222.894
3 - 40.3157 - 223.238
4 - 40.3186 - 223.222
T 2:41.3079 - 223.176
1:07 p.m. - GREEN. Track open for practice.
1:54 p.m. - YELLOW. Track inspection.
2:05 p.m. - GREEN.
NBC Sports Network Formula One pit reporter Will Buxton is working at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the first time this weekend, reporting for the network's coverage of Pole Day and Bump Day qualifying. Buxton hails from Great Britain.
WILL BUXTON: (About visiting Sonoma, Calif., for the IZOD IndyCar Series race last year compared to his experience this weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway): "It's something else entirely. Sonoma was amazing as an introduction to INDYCAR, what a track. This is something different, though. I'm very lucky with Formula One that I get to go to some amazing race circuits that have very unique histories. But this is something very unique, the history of Indianapolis. The feeling you get when you come into the place, the only thing I could compare it to is Monza, when you enter the track at Monza and you see the banking and you drive in through the trees and you know the history of the place. It's very similar here. You get a real appreciation of how much it means to motor racing. To see all the fans here, as well; it's really an incredible place. I said yesterday when we opened the show that this place makes my soul sing. You've got to be pretty soulless if you can't come to Indianapolis and just fall in love with the place." (About what he likes the most about the IZOD IndyCar Series): "I like the openness, the accessibility. The fact that the fans here can turn up and pay 100 bucks and get paddock access every day, meet their heroes, walk around and see the cars; touch, feel, smell everything - that, for me, is unique. We don't get that in Formula One. I love that aspect of it. I love the raw speed of these cars, certainly here at Indianapolis. Seeing them so close to hitting 230 yesterday was just amazing. Watching the commitment that it takes to get these things turned in to keep it out of the wall; we've only had one crash all week. When you see the fact they're running millimeters from the wall, it's an astonishing feat to watch these guys at work. INDYCAR's a strong series. The Indy 500 stands alone as something very special, but INDYCAR itself, I think, is going through a really strong time. This is a great time for the sport, I think."
2:29 p.m. - Graham Rahal will turn laps in #17 of teammate Jourdain.
2:50 p.m. - YELLOW. Track inspection.
3:01 p.m. - GREEN.
3:07 p.m. - YELLOW. Debris.
3:10 p.m. - GREEN.
Indianapolis 500 veteran and ABC IZOD IndyCar Series analyst Scott Goodyear talked today about the storylines he's watching surrounding the 97th Indianapolis 500. Goodyear finished second in the "500" in 1992 and 1997.
SCOTT GOODYEAR: "The best storyline has to be the two drivers that have a shot at collecting their fourth Indy 500 win. Between Dario (Franchitti) and Helio (Castroneves) joining such an elite club - there is no doubt that is on everybody's mind. They are two drivers that know how to get it done and have won recently. That is the thing we are most looking at from our perspective. But there are such a great crop of rookies this year - fast rookies. You have to look at that with rookie Carlos Munoz on the front row. I think that is really terrific. He is driving for a great team at Andretti Autosport. But I think for a lot of fans here this year, and certainly I would like to see him win, it would be Marco Andretti. Finishing second - I have been there, done that. I know how that feels. Obviously, with Michael (Andretti), his dad, never winning here I think overall if an Andretti could be in Victory Circle, that would be terrific. I think he is the strongest out of the second-generation of drivers that has a shot of winning it this year." (Do you think teams and drivers are working harder this year with the constant change in weather conditions?) "The wind always plays a factor here, and this season seems to be a little windier than most. I don't think I can think of a day so far that we have not had at least some type of wind. That being said, it is the same for everybody. You are more thinking about what you need to do to make the car react well and still be secure. Everybody has to deal with the same thing. The engineers are working hard; the driver is working hard. You are very aware when you get on the track that you need to drive the car differently and take some precautions so the wind doesn't catch you out."
The United States Auto Club Hall of Fame 2013 induction ceremonies have been rescheduled to Thursday night, May 23 during pre-race festivities for the "Hoosier Hundred" Traxxas USAC Silver Crown Series race at the Indiana State Fairgrounds and Saturday night, May 25 during pre-race ceremonies for the "Night Before the 500" National Midget race at Lucas Oil Raceway.
Drivers Jack Hewitt, Tom Bigelow and Tony Bettenhausen, race organizer Earl Baltes and USAC official and driver Henry Banks will share the spotlight in pre-race ceremonies Thursday. Inductions will take place Saturday for drivers Pancho Carter, Don White and Johnny Rutherford, car builder and crew chief A.J. Watson and team owner Bob Wilke.
Details regarding 2013 induction ceremonies involving Al and Bobby Unser are pending and will be announced when finalized.
The extension of Indianapolis 500 qualifying and logistical problems forced the cancellation of the "Hall of Fame Classic" Traxxas Silver Crown Series race Saturday night, May 18 at Lucas Oil Raceway.
The C&R Racing "True Grit" Award will be presented at 6:45 p.m. tonight in Gasoline Alley outside of the C&R Accessory Room. The $5,000 award is given to a veteran INDYCAR team member who has achieved success, overcome adversity, excelled in preparation and has exemplified dedication to the highly skilled trade of building and maintaining IZOD IndyCar Series cars.
U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly (D-Indiana), U.S. Representative Susan Brooks (R-Indiana) and Indiana Representative Randy Frye (R-Greensburg) visited the Speedway today as guests during the annual military induction ceremonies on Old National Armed Forces Bump Day.
JOE DONNELLY (U.S. Senate, Indiana): "These are the young men and women who defend our country, who have provided us with the freedom so we can be here next Sunday to watch the race. They (recruits) are worthy, worthy successors to the people who have served before. It is incredibly inspiring to know you have the next generation just as good as the ones before to keep our nation safe and, especially in this place, the most American of all places, the Indianapolis 500. This (Indianapolis Motor Speedway) is the heart and soul of our state. When you look at American values and American traditions, the Indianapolis 500 is right there at the top. They asked me here where I'm going to sit on Race Day. I said I'm usually down on the turn with a hot dog and a Coke. Seeing the Unsers, the Andrettis, A.J. Foyt, the Penske team and all the incredible races, this is as good as it gets. It's more special because my family loves it here just as much as I do."
SUSAN BROOKS (U.S. House of Representatives, Indiana): "I am a new member of Congress and being here on Armed Forces Day just reminds me how incredibly important it is for the members of Congress to make sure they have what they need to keep themselves safe. I am a bit overwhelmed by the emotion of the day when I look out at these young men and women (recruits). I am so proud of their sacrifice and their bravery to step up and serve our country." (Recollections of Indianapolis 500): "Once I moved to Indianapolis in the mid-'80s, I have been here many, many times. It started in the infield as a young person and moved to the seats and have always enjoyed Race Day. When you travel around the country and around the world, this is what Indianapolis is known for. I love the speed and love the energy." (About the importance of the Speedway): "These are important jobs in this community and in this state. The motorsports industry keeps the economy growing. Today is a wonderful way to bring together the armed forces and such an important industry in the state."
RANDY FRYE (State House of Representatives, Indiana): "This is fabulous. As chairman of Veterans Affairs and Public Safety committee in the House, it's such an honor to be here at the swearing-in ceremonies for these young people. It is fabulous to see them (recruits) and the enthusiasm they have to serve and protect our country. I have been here for many races. I love the race, and I will be here at the race next Sunday. It's very exciting for everybody in the state. The Speedway means a lot of money in jobs throughout the automotive and motorsports industry and to tourism to the state. It has a tremendous impact."
Dozens of unique items will be on the auction block Wednesday, May 22 at the annual Racing to Recovery Gala in downtown Indianapolis.
This year's event starts at 6:30 p.m. at the Crane Bay in Indianapolis.
The Racing to Recovery Gala raises money to benefit the Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation (SSPF). Schmidt, a former IndyCar Series driver, founded the organization after sustaining a C-3/4/5 spinal cord injury during a racing accident in 2000.
Among the items to be auctioned include a Napa Valley wine tasting trip, a behind-the-scenes walrus tour at the Indianapolis Zoo, an Indiana Pacers basketball signed by ABA legends, including Mel Daniels, George McGinnis and Bobby "Slick" Leonard, a catamaran trip for two to an exotic destination, fashion items, wine tastings, a framed Sam Schmidt autographed team shirt and much more racing and sports memorabilia.
New this year is an online auction, now open, in which premium items are up for bid in advance of the Gala. Included in the online auction is a rare set of U.S. silver dollars signed and carried by 32 drivers in the 2005 Indianapolis 500. Coins signed by Danica Patrick, Helio Castroneves and Dan Wheldon are included in the set. Bids are being accepted at www.racing2recoveryauction.com.
Tickets are still available by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
3:29 p.m. - YELLOW. Debris.
3:39 p.m. - GREEN.
4:15 p.m. - YELLOW. Debris.
4:25 p.m. - GREEN.
5:27 p.m. - YELLOW. #12 Power white-walled SAFER Barrier exiting Turn 4, continued.
5:33 p.m. - GREEN. #17 Jourdain on track. Last lap was 214.421 mph before returning to pits.
5:41 p.m. - Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing crew changing springs in #17 Jourdain's car on pit lane.
5:44 p.m. - Michel Jourdain Jr. is in arms of his wife, Nora, head buried in her shoulder, as team decides not to make qualification attempt due to lack of speed.
5:49 p.m. - Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing tows #17 Office Depot Dallara/Honda/Firestone of Michel Jourdain Jr. back to pits.
6 p.m. - CHECKERED. End of practice and Bump Day qualifying. The starting field for the 97th Indianapolis 500 is set.
BUMP DAY QUICK QUOTES:
MICHEL JOURDAIN JR.: "It's so hard because the guys tried so hard, but we struggled a lot. And some days it was feeling a little better, but it was just never really there. You know, this morning we tried James Jakes' setup, and it was impossible to drive. And then we tried Graham's setup, but it felt exactly the same and we couldn't drive it. It felt exactly the same. We changed whatever we had time to, but it just felt the same, and we couldn't drive it."
KATHERINE LEGGE: "Relief. Obviously, it's not nice to do it in that manner; I feel bad for Michel. It's not nice for him to not have the opportunity. However, I am happy I am in the field. I'm not going to lie about that. I'm going to sleep tonight for the first time in a few days. I feel really bad for Michel. I can't even think what's going through his head. I'm gutted for him."
BUDDY LAZIER: "It's really about the team. They did a great job. Very small amount of time. A lot of hard work, a lot of heart. We were sweating today. Temperature was going up, everybody was struggling." (About driving in this generation of IZOD IndyCar Series car for first time this week): "It's a great car, but it's a huge learning curve. I just really enjoy being here. Big learning curve, but a lot of fun, too. We never were trying to qualify on the pole, so we've been doing a lot of three-quarter tank runs. We think we have a pretty good race car."
Today is the 40th birthday of three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti.
97th INDIANAPOLIS 500 FIELD NOTES:
There are four former Indianapolis 500 winners in the starting field: Helio Castroneves (2001, 2002, 2009), Scott Dixon (2008), Dario Franchitti (2007, 2010, 2012) and Buddy Lazier (1996). Between them they have eight victories. The record for most former winners in the field is 10, in 1992. The fewest, other than the inaugural race in 1911, is zero in 1912.
There are four rookies in the field. This year's rookies are AJ Allmendinger, Conor Daly, Carlos Munoz and Tristan Vautier. Last year there were eight rookies.
Buddy Lazier is the most experienced driver in the field, with 16 previous Indianapolis 500 starts. The record is 35, set in consecutive years from 1958-1992 by A.J. Foyt.
Seventeen different drivers in this year's field have led a total of 1,412 laps in previous Indianapolis 500 Mile Races.
Dario Franchitti has led 329 career laps in the Indianapolis 500, more than any other driver in this year's field. Other drivers in the field who have led more than 200 laps are Scott Dixon (346), Helio Castroneves (231) and Tony Kanaan (221).
There is a combined 144 previous Indianapolis 500 starts among the 33 drivers in this year's field. The record is 260 years of experience, set in 1987 and 1992. There were 103 years of combined experience in last year's field.
The oldest driver in the starting field is Buddy Lazier, 45. The youngest is Carlos Munoz, 21.
There are 18 veterans of the Firestone Indy Lights series among the 33 drivers in the field. The veterans: Marco Andretti, Ana Beatriz, Townsend Bell, Ed Carpenter, Helio Castroneves, Conor Daly, Scott Dixon, JR Hildebrand, James Hinchcliffe, Tony Kanaan, Charlie Kimball, Pippa Mann, Carlos Munoz, Josef Newgarden, Graham Rahal, Sebastian Saavedra, Oriol Servia and Tristan Vautier.
In addition to the four rookies in the race, there are two drivers - Buddy Lazier and Pippa Mann - who did not start in last year's race.
Four women will start in the Indianapolis 500 for just the second time. This year's female starters: Ana Beatriz, Simona De Silvestro, Katherine Legge and Pippa Mann. In 2011, Beatriz, De Silvestro, Mann and Danica Patrick started the race.
The average qualifying speed for the 33-car field is 226.176 mph. This is the fourth-fastest field in Indianapolis 500 history, exceeded only in 1995, 1996 and 2002. The 2002 field averaged 228.648 mph, the fastest in history.
1998 Indianapolis 500 winner Eddie Cheever talked about the storylines for the 97th Indianapolis 500 that he will follow as an analyst during the ABC broadcast of the race.
EDDIE CHEEVER: "We might be witnessing history. For only the fourth time in the history of the '500,' we might have a four-time winner, either with Helio Castroneves or Dario Franchitti. That's a big thing. We have a whole new generation of younger American drivers who are doing very, very well. One of them is on pole. It's the second year of this new equipment. Everybody is getting a better handle on it. And the field is incredibly competitive. Anybody out of that (Fast Nine) could have gotten pole yesterday. So you can just pick and choose whatever you want. It's going to be a great race. I suspect more passing than there was last year. I suspect there might be a few more accidents because the drivers are more confident than they were last year, so they're willing to risk more. It'll be full of surprises." (On rookie Carlos Munoz): "I would say the biggest surprise - and it's a pleasant surprise - is to see how well Andretti Autosport has done.