Dismore Fastest So Far
May 8, 2001 | 3:00 P.M. EST
Dismore’s speed was the fastest recorded at the Speedway this month. Greg Ray, who was the fastest driver both Sunday and Monday, set the previously highest mark of 224.301 mph on Sunday.
While Dismore and ray are both happy with their speeds so far this month, Ray said the pole will be set at around 226 mph, leaving both drivers with more room for improvement.
"I'll buy that, but to do it for four laps consecutively and keep the car under you, I'm not sure about that,” Dismore said. “You will probably have to have one or two laps that fast. You have to try to make the car do the same thing in all four corners."
Dismore finished 11th in last year’s Indy 500, his highest career finish. He has never started the Indy 500 higher than fifth, which he accomplished in 1999. But Dismore’s bad luck at Indy doesn’t scare him this year.
"My luck hasn't been that great anywhere,” Dismore said. “We are so far ahead of where we have ever been, and I'm really excited. Tim Bumps oversees the day-to-day business of running the race team. The racing business is tough because you have guys working elbow-to-elbow seven days a week and eight to 20 hours a day."
Arie Luyendyk was second fastest overall Tuesday at 223.986 mph with Jeff Ward third at 223.716. Buddy Lazier and Eddie Cheever Jr. were fourth and fifth fastest respectively.
In the only major incident of the day, Galles Racing rookie Casey Mears was transported to Methodist Hospital after he spun and destroyed his car on Turn 1. According to reports from the track he is awake and alert. Luyendyk’s car was also involved in the accident.
"I was heading into Turn 1 and saw the smoke,” Luyendyk said. “I knew that wasn't a good sign. I had to decide where to go. I didn't want to go high and get into the debris, so I turned just a little bit left. That was enough to make my car spin. I put my head back and waited for the hit that never happened. I was lucky but also smart to keep the wheel as straight as I could."
Tuesday was the fastest day of practice so far this month, as twenty-one cars exceeded 220 mph, three times as many as Monday.
“The thing that's interesting this year compared to previous years is that guys in the top 15 are within 2 mph of one another,” said Tony Stewart. “It's pretty impressive to see how good everyone is and how even the series is this year. It's going to force us to get every little bit that we can get out of it now. This is the most competitive I've ever seen this series.”
CART FedEx Series drivers Helio Castroneves and Jimmy Vasser were sixth and seventh fastest, respectively. Ray was eighth fastest Tuesday, topping out at 222.467, and Eliseo Salazar was ninth fastest. Scott Goodyear was tenth fastest, followed by Stewart, who hit 221.810 in his Target Chip Ganassi Racing G Force-Aurora.
"We ran the car that we ran all day yesterday and got it up to 220 (mph) today, but it's a little different configuration than the second car we're running,” Stewart said. “It looks like we'll probably stick with that car again tomorrow and roll it out and see if we can't get a little bit more speed out of it. It's pretty good.”
CART regulars Michael Andretti and Gil de Ferran struggled Tuesday. De Ferran was 22nd fastest at 219.844 mph and Andretti was 25th fastest at 219.725 mph.