Boesel Boat Lead Indy Practice
May 19, 2001 | 9:00 P.M. EST
Boat was second fastest in practice for the Indianapolis 500 on Saturday, the last day of practice before Bump Day Sunday. Boat, who won the pole for the 1998 Indy 500, has yet to qualify for the May 27 race. His 222.177 mph speed would most likely make the field.
"I think the biggest thing the team found is that we had some discrepancies when we were setting up our race car, actually on our setup pad itself,” Boat said. “Once we discovered that, we seemed to have made the car more consistent, a much happier race car to drive. Now we can actually put together those laps we need to qualify, which is something we've been lacking over the last week and a half.”
Raul Boesel, who led Saturday’s practice at 222.547 mph, may not attempt to qualify with Treadway-Hubbard Racing, a team spokesman said. Boesel, who is a 12-time Indy 500 veteran, only started turning laps with the team in Arie Luyendyk's No. 5T backup car Thursday.
"The Treadway-Hubbard team does a great job, and it's great to be working with them again," Boesel said. "I know I have the speed, and I know the team has great cars, especially here at Indy. The weather will play a big part in the speeds tomorrow. So we'll see what tomorrow brings."
Boat was second at 222.177 in the No. 98 CURB Records Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone. It was the second fastest speed of the month for Boat, whose top lap was 222.261 on May 12.
Bump Day qualifications - the final day of qualifying - start at noon (EST) Sunday. Boat hopes to make his attempt early, hoping to avoid the drama of last year. He was the last driver to make the field, starting his run with less than one minute remaining in qualifying.
"I would anticipate that we're going to be one of the first cars on the racetrack in the qualifying line, so right now we're planning to get out there right away before the track and air temperatures heat up," Boat said.
MBNA Pole winner Scott Sharp was third fastest today at 221.218 mph in the No. 8T Delphi Automotive Systems Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone in his first laps since winning the pole. Indy Racing Northern Light Series points leader Sam Hornish Jr. was fourth at 221.059 in the No. 4T Pennzoil Panther Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone.
Donnie Beechler was fifth at 221.032 in the No. 14T Harrah's A.J. Foyt Racing Dallara/Oldsmobile. Like Boesel, it's uncertain whether Beechler will make a qualifying attempt Sunday. Team owner A.J. Foyt has specified that the team must put its full-time driver, Eliseo Salazar, into the field before Beechler will get a qualification attempt.
Salazar was sixth overall Saturday at 220.410 in the No. 14 Harrah's A.J. Foyt Racing Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone.
Thirty-five drivers in 37 cars turned a total of 1,724 laps today. There were two incidents.
Tyce Carlson was released from Methodist Hospital in good condition with a back strain after crashing in the No. 60T Tri Star Motorsports Inc./Immke Racing Dallara/Oldsmobile while exiting Turn 4. He was not cleared to drive.
Jim Guthrie was unhurt when his No. 27 Blueprint Racing Special G Force/Oldsmobile.