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Daily Trackside Report - Sunday, May 15


TODAY’S SCHEDULE (all times local):



8:00 AM Garages Open
12:00 - 6:00 PM Indianapolis 500 Practice


Light rain was falling all morning at the Speedway, delaying the scheduled noon start of practice.

Practice was canceled at 1:08 p.m., with no laps turned today. The last time an entire Indianapolis 500 practice day was canceled due to rain was Monday, May 17, 2010. This is just the third complete washout in the last four years, as the other date was Thursday, May 8, 2008.

U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts visited the track today.

Four-time Indianapolis 500 winner A.J. Foyt and 1963 Indianapolis 500 winner Parnelli Jones talked about their memories of "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” today. This is the 50th anniversary of Foyt’s first victory, in 1961.

A.J. FOYT: (On the Indianapolis 500): “I always say, to win this race you have to have everything go your way. I don’t care who you are or anything. Everything’s just got to fall in line. If it doesn’t, then you’re not going to win.” (About Tony Hulman and family): “Well, the way I look at Mr. Hulman is it wasn’t just what he did for here. It was what he did for everybody. I’m talking about drivers and fans and everything. He just could not do enough for the race drivers. He made it safer than you possibly could do. The Hulman-George’s have been great here. Tony George and them came up with the (SAFER) walls. So, just like Ray Harroun with the rear-view mirror, so much stuff has happened here before it really came out on the market. You know, Tony and Mr. Joe Cloutier, they just couldn’t do enough for the fans and all that. You couldn’t have met finer people than the Hulmans and Georges.” (Comparing competition from his 1961 ‘500’ victory to today): “Back then you come to the race and you had 80 to 100 cars and you had your chief mechanic. You didn’t have all the factories in it. It was just a different kind of combination than it is today. I mean, it was a hard combination. It was very competitive. You had to build and make everything yourself. Most of the mechanics today are just ‘R and R,’ remove and replace. Back then, you designed it, built it and then you tried it.” (On driving the Pace Car and possibly staying out on the track to break Mario Andretti’s record of most laps led): “Hell, yeah. Records are made to be broken. That’s the reason they set records.”

PARNELLI JONES: (On Tony Hulman): “He was a perfect gentleman. I can remember him picking up A.J. and I and making us go out and do some promotional work for the races. He was that kind of guy. He was just very pleasant to be around, and he certainly played a great part in developing the Speedway. If it wasn’t for him, the Speedway might not even be here. He was really one of my past heroes.” (On the future of the Indianapolis 500): “I was looking at these new cars over here, and I can see it’s definitely going somewhere. You know, aerodynamics and electronics on all the new cars have changed a whole lot in racing. It’s not the same. It’s not going back. So where are they going from here? It’s beyond me. That’s like saying, where are we going with aerodynamics or anything like that? They’re reaching for maximums. These cars probably have so much downforce, they could run upside down at 150 miles per hour.” (About Foyt driving the Pace Car this year): “He can handle it, I think. I’m sure he’s going to want to stay out there.”

Dragon Racing drivers Scott Speed and Ho-Pin Tung passed the time today during the rain delay by having their faces painted with the team’s logo during a visit to the Indy 500 Kids Club in the Gasoline Alley Suites.

2008 Indianapolis 500 winner Scott Dixon talked about his memories of racing in the Indianapolis 500 for the first time, in 2003. Dixon is from Auckland, New Zealand.

SCOTT DIXON: “Coming from New Zealand, we are a long ways away and probably more European-orientated as far as Formula One. For everybody around the world, everybody knows there is one major race – the Indianapolis 500. Growing up as a kid, I always watched the race on TV, even in little New Zealand. In the early days, I hoped to be able to grow up and maybe being able to compete in some of these races. But the whole reality of achieving that was probably next to nil. I had been living here (United States) since 1999, and to actually come here in 2002 with Ganassi to watch Kenny (Brack) and Bruno (Junqueira), to see the spectacle itself as far as how many people come to the event, how massive it is, how the city changes; that’s when you get the realistic side of the race. The speed of the cars, just hearing the crowd roar, is pretty special. To be able to come here and be lucky enough to compete in 2003 was definitely a dream come true. It’s obviously kind of mind-boggling to look back and remember that I had watched these races on TV in New Zealand, so far away, and then to actually be competing in it. And that year we actually led laps. It was pretty cool. It’s a special place that demands a lot of respect from drivers. You’re always on edge as a driver, and it can bite you pretty quick. When you do well here, it rewards you tremendously. The coolest thing about this place is the history. Obviously celebrating the Centennial year, to know people have been doing this for 100 years, is the greatest thing in sporting history. To be one of 67 drivers who have won this race is a very proud moment.”

Conquest Racing rookie Pippa Mann talked today about her impressions of the Indianapolis 500 and driving an IZOD IndyCar Series car. Mann is from Ipswich, England.

PIPPA MANN: “In England, nearly everybody has heard of the Indy 500, but strangely enough the race isn’t that big of a deal to everyone in England. It’s on a par to the Formula One race in Monaco, the most prestigious race of the year. It’s viewed in the UK as just a big race. Until I actually came here and saw IMS for the first time, I didn’t quite get it. Only when I ran on it for the first time in an Indy Lights car did I understand what this place was all about. I think Indianapolis was how I imagined an oval would look like. It’s pretty much a flat oval and very interesting to drive. While the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is the biggest and fastest speedway we go to, it takes so many things from oval racing and from road racing, so it’s very interesting. It is a track that takes from both disciplines, and that’s why you have drivers who are the best at both disciplines who excel at this track.” (About driving an IZOD IndyCar Series car): “The Indy car feels like a bigger version of the Indy Lights car. At the moment, we are f

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