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Daily Trackside Report - Saturday, May 15

Welcome to Indianapolis Star Opening Day for the 2010 Indianapolis 500, the sixth race of the 2010 IZOD IndyCar Series season. Amy Konrath, vice president of communications/public relations for the Indy Racing League, Mark Dill, vice president of marketing and public relations for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and their staffs are here to assist you. Please direct your questions and requests to anyone in the Media Center.

***

This is the 44th edition of the Indianapolis 500 Daily Trackside Report, which was first distributed at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 1967. As stated on the first page of the 1967 DTR: "This press information has been compiled as an added source of your information in your coverage of the '500.' It is our sincere wish that it will be of assistance in your assignment."

Notes and items of interest will appear on these pages during the month and will also be available on the official IZOD IndyCar Series Web site, www.indycar.com. Performance histories will be issued at the end of each day in the Media Center and on the IZOD IndyCar Series Web sites.

Live timing and scoring reports from the Indianapolis 500 will be available on the Internet at www.indycar.com. The live timing and scoring module provides statistical information, including track segment speeds, lap information and much more.

Feature stories, reports, driver quotes and notes, and photos will be posted on the site each day. More detailed information, including media advisories and VNF coordinates, is available at www.indycar.com/media.

***

TODAY’S SCHEDULE (all times local):


8 a.m.

Garages open

Noon-2 p.m.

Indianapolis 500 veteran practice

2-6 p.m.

Indianapolis 500 Rookie Orientation Program

***

All six Chevrolet Camaros that have served as Pace Cars for the Indianapolis 500 were lined up on pit road during opening ceremonies today for the 2010 Indianapolis 500: 1967, 1969, 1982, 1993, 2009 and 2010.

“Good Morning America” co-anchor Robin Roberts will drive the 2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS Pace Car to lead the field of 33 drivers to the start of the Indianapolis 500 on May 30.

***

A parade of 125 Chevrolet Camaros owned by Indiana residents kicked off Indianapolis Star Opening Day ceremonies this morning.

***

Seven drivers must complete the Rookie Orientation: #5 Takuma Sato (KV Racing Technology), #25 Ana Beatriz (Dreyer & Reinbold Racing), #29 Sebastian Saavedra (Bryan Herta Autosport), #34 Mario Romancini (Conquest Racing), #36 Bertrand Baguette (Conquest Racing), #66 Jay Howard (Sarah Fisher Racing), #78 Simona de Silvestro (HVM Racing).

The rookie drivers must complete four phases of ROP in order to be eligible for the Indianapolis 500. At least three of the phases must be completed during ROP today and Sunday. The fourth phase may be completed during practice later in the month.

The four phases of ROP include 10 laps at each of the following speeds:

200-205 mph

205-210 mph

210-215 mph

215+ mph

***


Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard was the honorary starter today, waving the green flag to start the first practice for the 2010 Indianapolis 500.

GREG BALLARD: “It is a great day. We have a beautiful day for the first day of practice, and for them to allow me once again to start practice by waving the green flag is really, really special. It is very important to the city. The name Indianapolis is known around the world. As many people know, I spent 23 years in the Marine Corps, soI have watched this race in different countries around the world and people ask me about it all the time, so it is very, very special. It brings a lot of attention to the name of Indianapolis around the world and obviously has a great economic impact.” (Do you feel any pressure when waving the green flag?): “Yes! When that car goes by the first time, they are flying about 200 mph and are not that far away from me, and I know it. So you get a little goose bumps, but I know they are under control. I’m always a little nervous because you know everybody is going to be taking pictures, so you want to have a good pose if you at all can.”

***

Indianapolis 500 veteran Jaques Lazier was in Gasoline Alley today, checking on the availability of rides for the 2010 Indianapolis 500.

JAQUES LAZIER: “It’s Indy; it's the month of May, so there are always opportunities, but I would think they are very far and few between. We were close to getting something done. Unfortunately that fell through. I think at the point more I'm going to be working the suite, trying to build my sponsors for some races this year and for a full-time situation next year. You come here, and you can't give up. I have been in the race seven times, and you never know what will happen. Someone could struggle and they need to put the car in the show and I'm here if they need it.” (Do you have your helmet?): “I have my American Express card. I never leave home without it.”

***
Andretti Autosport owner Michael Andretti talked about the challenge of fielding cars for five drivers this year for the Indianapolis 500 – John Andretti, Marco Andretti, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Tony Kanaan and Danica Patrick.

MICHAEL ANDRETTI: “We have the experience to do it. We did it twice when I was driving, so it shouldn’t be that bad. We ran two weeks ago with no problems. We think it brings value to the team, not taking from it.” (Do you need additional staff?): “No. We’re using some of our Indy Lights guys, and it has actually been quite refreshing to have John come in because he gives us a little different perspective on things.”

***

INDIANAPOLIS 500 VETERAN PRACTICE:

At 11:55 a.m, the ambient temperature was 66 degrees with a relative humidity of 51 percent and winds from the north-northeast at 2 mph. Skies were partly cloudy. The track temperature was 99 degrees, according to Firestone engineers.

Noon – GREEN. #3T Helio Castroneves is first car on track. Tony Kanaan is driving #7 car of Danica Patrick.

Drivers in backup cars: #3T Castroneves, #6T Briscoe, #9T Dixon, #10T Franchitti, #12T Power, #06T Mutoh.

12:01 p.m. – YELLOW. Debris.

12:06 p.m. – GREEN.

FIRST ON TRACK, 1984-2009

Year

Driver

Started

Finished

2009

Robert Doornbos

23rd

28th

2008

Will Power

23rd

13th

2007

Jaques Lazier

28th

27th

2006

Marco Andretti

9th

2nd

2005

Danica Patrick

4th

4th

2004

Sarah Fisher

19th

24th

2003

Felipe Giaffone

16th

33rd

2002

Billy Boat

23rd

18th

2001

Stephan Gregoire

29th

28th

2000

Stephan Gregoire

20th

7th

1999

Stephan Gregoire

Did Not Qualify

 

1998

Mike Groff

32nd

15th

1997

Dr. Jack Miller

17th

20th

1996

Michele Alboreto

12th

30th

1995

Eliseo Salazar

24th

4th

1994

Raul Boesel

2nd

21st

1993

Jimmy Vasser

19th

13th

1992

Scott Brayton

7th

22nd

1991

Scott Brayton

19th

17th

1990

Tero Palmroth

16th

12th

1989

Arie Luyendyk

15th

21st

1988

Raul Boesel

7th

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