Oak Park Journal Sports

Dan Peters Sports Editor
Oak Park Journal

Dan Peters Sports Editor
Oak Park Journal

Buddy Rice, last year's Indy 500 Winner takes time to slow
down and take a photo with a fan.  Buddy was injured in a
crash this year and will be watching on race day.
© Oak Park Journal by Dan Peters

Aire Luyendyk Jr & Aire Luyendyk  Plan their day
© Oak Park Journal by Dan Peters

Armed Forces Day at the Brickyard, May 22nd, 2005
© Oak Park Journal by Dan Peters

Giofonne Gets The Call... Bumps Aire Luyendyk Jr From The 500 Field
by Dan Peters
Sunday Afternoon was just another day at the mall For IRL driver Felipe Giofonne and his wife. Shopping for baby clothes at a local Indianpolis Mall, his phone rang at approximately 2pm. It was none other then AJ Foyts race team. They asked the four time Indy starter if he would like
to come to the Brickyard and try and qualify one of their race cars. Needless to say, he immediately went as fast as he could to the race
track. 49 practice laps and a four-lap qualifying  average speed of 
217.645 miles per hour made him the 33rd and final driver to make
the 89th Indy 500.
“It was a weird day. As far as two hours ago, I had no hard card. I
 wasn’t cleared to drive, and I was just packing and shopping and getting ready to go home tomorrow, and I got a call and said that there was a chance that I could drive. I mean, I was shopping on 86th Street.  I’m like
a half hour from there, I don’t have my hard card or passes to get into
the track. So I called Susan, from Brian Barnhart’s office and asked her what to do to get in the track. She goes, ‘Well, I don’t know, maybe stop
by and …’ It would’ve taken too long to get into the track. So I told my wife, ‘Let’s just try to sneak in.’ So I got my 2004 IRL hard card and
kept showing it to all the guys, you know, ‘Thank you, thank you, thank you.’ And we just kept driving. A guy was coming this way and said,
‘Hey, hey, hey, stop!’ I said, ‘Thank you,’ and just kept going. I parked
my car and got out of the car and went in. Everything happened in about
a half an hour, I had my physicals and I had my hard card, and I have to say thanks to Brian (Barnhart) because it usually takes a really long
time to get all that. I went through all my exams and everything, but
they made my life very easy and very fast, you know.

Thanks to A.J. (Foyt) for remembering me, as well. I’m going to have
to go to sleep to realize what really happened today, tomorrow.  I was
really excited considering that I’m at Indy, you know. I was very nervous the first two laps because I had to kind of erase what I had in my mind
for the past two days because I wasn’t driving. When you’re going to
drive the next day, you have to sleep a certain way, go through certain steps, you know, to kind of concentrate for the next day, and I think that was the toughest part. I just had to try to calm down and say: ‘Hey,
they get this job done. They gave me this opportunity"
On his 4-Lap qualifying run.....

“I was trying to change my line because the wind was blowing a little bit toward Turn 2, and once I got a little bit of push coming in and then the steering got a little loose coming out, so it’s just working with my line because usually I have so much time, so I was just trying to forget the
lap time for that one and just work with my line to pick the best one for qualifying,” he said. “What I knew should be OK for qualifying and
finally, for qualifying was the first time I was flat all the way around.”
Luyendyk, who completed the Rookie Orientation Program on May 21, became the 33rd qualifier with an average speed of 215.039 mph in the Beck  Motorsports-prepared No. 98 Fat Wallet.com/CURB Records
Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone. His attempt to bump Giaffone was unsuccessful. He barely beat the 6 pm final gun to make his final
chance to get in the field. His top lap speed of 214.123 on the way to
a four lap average of 210.351 was not even close.

“I’m just really disappointed, obviously,” said Luyendyk, the son of two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Arie Luyendyk. “After feeling like
you are in the field, and then being bumped out, it’s probably the
hardest way to go. I am happy with what I did. I tried to give it
everything that I got, and that’s only going to walk away with this
 feeling because I tried as hard as I could.” Saturday, May 21, 2005 – Third Day Qualifying was a homecoming for the 1999 Indianapolis 500 winner Kenny Brack – and a shot across the bow of the 32 other
drivers in the May 29 classic.

Nineteen months after a racing accident that left him with several
serious injuries, Brack answered team co-owner Bobby Rahal’s call
and returned to the Speedway May 18 as the substitute driver for
 injured reigning race champion Buddy Rice.

Three days and 13 hours of available practice time later, Brack had the fastest qualifying speed in the 33-car field. Brack recorded a four-lap average speed of 227.598 mph, which was faster than the pole-winning speed of Tony Kanaan (227.566) recorded May 15. But Brack, because
of the qualifying procedure, will start 23rd. The last time a second-day qualifier ran faster than the pole speed was in 1996 (Arie Luyendyk).

AJ Gives his Grandson a few last pointers before his run
© Oak Park Journal by Dan Peters

Thiago Medeiros Ponders... Wait Til Next Year
© Oak Park Journal by Dan Peters

© Oak Park Journal by Dan Peters

In all, 10 spots were filled for the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”

Starting lineup for the 89th Indianapolis 500 IRL IndyCar Series event on the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway, with starting position, car number in parentheses, driver, chassis-engine and speed:

1. (11) Tony Kanaan, Dallara-Honda, 227.566

2. (6) Sam Hornish Jr., Dallara-Toyota, 227.273

3. (8) Scott Sharp, Panoz-Honda, 227.126

4. (16) Danica Patrick, Panoz-Honda, 227.004

5. (3) Helio Castroneves, Dallara-Toyota, 226.927

6. (27) Dario Franchitti, Dallara-Honda, 226.873

7. (17) Vitor Meira, Panoz-Honda, 226.848

8. (55) Kosuke Matsuura, Panoz-Honda, 226.397

9. (95) Buddy Lazier, Dallara-Chevrolet, 226.353

10. (2) Tomas Enge, Dallara-Chevrolet, 226.107

11. (4) Tomas Scheckter, Dallara-Chevrolet, 226.031

12. (36) Bruno Junqueira, Panoz-Honda, 225.704

13. (9T) Scott Dixon, Panoz-Toyota, 225.215

14. (5) Adrian Fernandez, Panoz-Honda, 225.120

15. (37) Sebastien Bourdais, Panoz-Honda, 224.955

16. (26) Dan Wheldon, Dallara-Honda, 224.308

17. (24) Roger Yasukawa, Dallara-Honda, 224.131

18. (7) Bryan Herta, Dallara-Honda, 223.972

19. (10) Darren Manning, Panoz-Toyota, 223.943

20. (70) Richie Hearn, Panoz-Chevrolet, 222.707

21. (44) Jeff Bucknum, Dallara-Honda, 221.521

22. (51) Alex Barron, Dallara-Toyota, 221.053

23. (15) Kenny Brack, Panoz-Honda, 227.598

24. (33T) Ryan Briscoe, Panoz-Toyota, 224.080

25. (83) Patrick Carpentier, Dallara-Toyota, 222.803

26. (20) Ed Carpenter, Dallara-Toyota, 221.439

27. (21) Jaques Lazier, Panoz-Toyota, 221.228

28. (14) A.J. Foyt IV, Dallara-Toyota, 220.442

29. (25) Marty Roth, Dallara-Chevrolet, 219.497

30. (41) Larry Foyt, Dallara-Toyota, 219.396

31. (22) Jeff Ward, Dallara-Toyota, 218.714

32. (91) Jimmy Kite, Dallara-Toyota, 218.565

33. (48) Felipe Giaffone, Panoz-Toyota, 217.645


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