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Daily Trackside Report - Saturday, May 14

           Welcome to Indianapolis Star Opening Day/Celebration of Automobiles for the 100th Anniversary Indianapolis 500, the fifth race of the 2011 IZOD IndyCar Series season. Amy Konrath, vice president of public relations/communications for INDYCAR, 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 45th 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, 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 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
TODAY’S SCHEDULE (all times local):
8 a.m.
Garages open
Noon-6 p.m.
Indianapolis 500 practice
            Firestone Firehawk race tire facts for the 100th Anniversary Indianapolis 500:
•Firestone Racing returns to Indianapolis in 2011 with the same tire specification as 2010.
•A full-month entry receives 33 sets (132 tires), and a partial-month entry receives 26 sets (108 tires) for all of practice, qualifying and the race. Rookie Orientation Program participants receive an additional four sets (16 tires) for that session only; veteran refreshers receive two additional sets (eight tires) that must be returned before practice Monday, May 16. More than 5,000 tires in all are available.
Tire stagger: A single stagger of approximately .30 of an inch is available. Stagger, created by molding the right rear tire with a larger diameter than the left rear, helps race cars turn more naturally and smoothly on oval tracks.
AL SPEYER (Executive Director, Firestone Racing): "The Indianapolis 500 is the race we most eagerly await each season, but we are anticipating this year's even more with the centennial anniversary of this great event. We take immense pride in knowing that Firestone tires carried Ray Harroun to victory in the inaugural Indianapolis 500 a century ago, and that Firestone Racing still plays a pivotal role in the sport a hundred years later. Come May 29, we know that whoever takes the checkered flag first will do it on Firehawk tires and become Firestone's 62nd Indy 500 champion. It's a win total more than all other tire makers combined and powerful proof of the legacy that the Firestone brand has maintained through the years. For 'The Most Important Race in History,' we are supplying the identical Firestone tire specification that was used in 2010 and received such wide praise from teams and drivers last May. With the entire racing world watching on this historic occasion, we want to provide a proven tire that will do its part to help make this landmark Indianapolis 500 even more memorable. Firestone wishes the best to all of this year's competitors and congratulates Indianapolis Motor Speedway on its centennial milestone." 
            Six rookies assigned to cars for the 100th Anniversary Indianapolis 500 passed all four phases of the Rookie Orientation Program on Thursday, May 12: JR Hildebrand, James Hinchcliffe, Charlie Kimball, Pippa Mann, Scott Speed and Ho-Pin Tung.
            James Jakes completed three of the four phases and can finish the test during practice this week.
            Jay Howard only needs to
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