Brack Fastest On Carb Day
May 22, 2003 | 12:14 P.M. EST
1998 IRL IndyCarTM Series champion Brack turned a top lap of 39.3516 seconds, 228.707 mph in the No. 15 Rahal/Letterman/Miller Lite/Pioneer Dallara/Honda/Firestone.
“It’s been a fantastic day for us and Team Rahal today,” Brack said. “It’s race preparation, so we’ve done a lot of stuff in the few laps that we’ve been able to run, and the car seems to run fine. So let’s hope it stays the same until Sunday.”
The 87th Indianapolis 500 starts at noon (EDT) Sunday and will be televised live on ABC. Brack will start sixth in the 33-car field.
“I think it’s going to be a very tough race,” Brack said. “There’s a lot of cars that are very closely matched. From what I’ve seen so far, there are a lot of cars that are very similar in speed, and it’s going to be a tough race to win.”
Juan Pablo Montoya was the last driver to lead Carb Day practice and win the race in the same year, in 2000.
Robby Gordon was second in practice today at 39.4997, 227.850 in the No. 27 Archipelago/Motorola Dallara/Honda/Firestone. Gordon will attempt to complete the Indy 500-NASCAR Coca-Cola 600 “daily double” Sunday, racing in the early afternoon in Indianapolis and in the evening at Charlotte, N.C.
Gil de Ferran was third at 39.5062, 227.812 in the No. 6 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Toyota/Firestone. 1999 IndyCar Series champion Greg Ray was fourth at 39.5100, 227.790 in the No. 13 TrimSpa Special Panoz G Force/Honda/Firestone.
Scott Dixon rounded out the top five at 39.5233, 227.714 in the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Panoz G Force/Toyota/Firestone. Dixon is the top rookie qualifier, starting fourth.
De Ferran’s teammate, MBNA Pole winner Helio Castroneves, was sixth at 39.6488, 226.993 in the No. 6 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Toyota/Firestone. Castroneves will attempt to win an unprecedented third straight Indianapolis 500 on Sunday.
“We ran just enough laps today to make sure everything is OK for Sunday,” Castroneves said. “I’m very happy with the Marlboro Team Penske car. It’s handling well, and I think we are in good shape for the race.”
A limited number of reserved-seat Race Day tickets for the Indianapolis 500 remain available. General admission and reserved tickets for practice, qualifications and Race Day can be purchased on the World Wide Web via www.imstix.com or by calling the IMS Ticket Office at (800) 822-INDY or (317) 492-6700