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Daily Trackside Report - Friday, May 19

DAY 6 – THURSDAY, MAY 19, 2011

TODAY’S SCHEDULE (all times local):
8 a.m. Garages open
Noon-6 p.m. Indianapolis 500 practice



Three Indianapolis 500 teams earned the final three spots in the IZOD Indy 500 Pit Stop Challenge during time trials this morning. Teams changed four tires and performed a simulated fueling hookup.

The three qualifiers:
1. #82 Tony Kanaan KV Racing Technology-Lotus 7.895 seconds
2. #27 Mike Conway Andretti Autosport 8.634
3. #3 Helio Castroneves Team Penske 9.097

#28 Ryan Hunter-Reay was fourth, 9.134. Twelve teams will compete in the IZOD Indy 500 Pit Stop Challenge on Miller Lite Carb Day, Friday, May 27. These nine teams previously qualified based on pit performance between the 2010 Indianapolis 500 and the Itaipava Sao Paulo Indy 300 presented by Nestle earlier this month:

KV Racing Technology-Lotus (#5 Sato), Team Penske (#6 Briscoe), Target Chip Ganassi Racing (#9 Dixon), Target Chip Ganassi Racing (#10 Franchitti), Team Penske (#12 Power), Dreyer & Reinbold Racing (#22 Wilson), Andretti Autosport (#26 M. Andretti), Newman/Haas Racing (#06 Hinchcliffe), Dale Coyne Racing (TBD).


At noon, the ambient temperature was 66 degrees with a relative humidity of 68 percent and winds from the west at 10 mph. Skies were cloudy. The track temperature was 92 degrees, according to Firestone engineers.

Noon – GREEN. #27 Conway first on track.

12:10 p.m. -- #67 Carpenter fastest at 224.134.

12:25 p.m. – YELLOW. Sparks shower from bottom of #78 De Silvestro’s car entering Turn 3. Car hits outside retaining wall between Turns 3 and 4. Car jumps, spins and rides wall backward, making secondary contact with catch fence in entrance of Turn 4. Car stops upside down on fire in apron in Turn 4. Fire extinguished, De Silvestro climbs from car with assistance from Holmatro Safety Team.


Senators Dick Lugar and Dan Coats are proud to announce the passage of a U.S. Senate Resolution recognizing the 100th Anniversary of the Indianapolis 500. The resolution passed the Senate through unanimous consent May 18. The full text of the resolution is available here.

DICK LUGAR (U.S. Senator, R-Ind.): “The Indy 500 is a proud Hoosier tradition. Each May, the Indy 500 brings hundreds of thousands of spectators to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and we are pleased to showcase Indiana to so many wonderful visitors. The Indy 500 serves as a demonstration of Indiana’s proud automotive heritage. I am pleased to join with Senator Coats and the rest of the United States Senate in recognizing the 100th anniversary of the race and look forward to many more years of this Hoosier institution.”

DAN COATS (U.S. Senator, R-Ind.): “The Indianapolis 500 is the world’s most famous and prestigious automobile race. The 500 holds a special place in the history of the automobile and Indiana. This May, Hoosiers celebrate the 100th anniversary of this great tradition and look forward to another exciting race and century of Indianapolis motorsports.”


Amos Brown, Indianapolis AM 1310 The Light radio talk show host, was the honorary starter today. Brown also rode in the Indy Racing Experience two-seater car this morning.

AMOS BROWN: (About his ride in the two-seater Indycar): “It was a great experience. First of all, having the honor to be driven around by Johnny Rutherford was a great experience. And it’s something that I will remember when my granddaughter is trying to drive. I won’t be as nervous with her as I was when I was in the car with JR. I didn’t realize all of the g-forces that the drivers deal with. I felt like I was getting pressed down. It gave me a better understanding of what these men and women go through to do their jobs.” (On waving the green flag to start practice for the Indianapolis 500): “That was fun. I think once I got used to the cars going by, it felt no different than if I was on the other side of the catch fence. It was a thrill to be that close to the action. That’s when I realized that: ‘Oh, OK. This is pretty fun.’ I also realized that these guys have a job to do, and there are lot of them that are trying to make the race. I never want to be in the way of people doing their job. I’m just in awe of what they are doing. I’m glad that I brought, hopefully, good weather and full day of practice so they can get ready for Saturday.”


Medical update from Dr. Michael Olinger, INDYCAR medical director: Simona de Silvestro is awake and alert and being transported via ground to Methodist Hospital for further evaluation of second-degree burns to her right hand and superficial burns to her left hand.


Today is the 38th birthday of two-time and defending Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti.


ESPN Classic will present a week-long tribute in honor of the 100th anniversary of the Indianapolis 500. The 2011 edition of “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” airs Sunday, May 29 on ABC, with pre-race at 11 a.m. (ET).

All week long beginning Monday, May 23, ESPN Classic will air classic Indy 500 races and ”SportsCentury” programming. On the actual 100th anniversary, May 30, ESPN Classic will present a 27-hour marathon anchored by a re-air of the 2011 race.


Jenna Wolfe, the Sunday co-anchor of “Weekend TODAY” and a correspondent for “TODAY” on NBC, visited the track today to film an upcoming segment on the 100th Anniversary Indianapolis 500 for “Weekend Today.”

Wolfe rode in the Indy Racing Experience two-seat car with Mario Andretti driving and interviewed 2010 Indianapolis 500 Chase Rookie of the Year Simona De Silvestro, IMS Historian Donald Davidson and IMS Director of Photography Ron McQueeney.


The Indiana Section of SAE International will announce the winner of the 45th annual Louis Schwitzer Award sponsored by BorgWarner at 11 a.m. Friday, May 20 in the Economaki Press Conference Room.

The Louis Schwitzer Award, presented by engineers to engineers, recognizes individuals with the courage and conviction to explore and develop new concepts in motorsports technology for use in the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race. The award has been presented annually since 1967 by the Indiana Section of SAE International in honor of early racing pioneer and past Indiana Section Chairman Louis Schwitzer.

Award sponsor BorgWarner provides a $10,000 cash prize to the winner. SAE International also provides a $1,000 scholarship to the engineering school of the winner’s choice and doubles the

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