Giaffone Bumps In

While rookie Arie Luyendyk Jr. was preparing to qualifying for the lone remaining position for the Indianapolis 500 in Bump Day qualifying Sunday, Felipe Giaffone was shopping with his wife at the mall, preparing to return to his native Brazil on Monday.

Giaffone's plans quickly changed when he got a call from A.J. Foyt to report to the Speedway. With his son Larry and grandson A.J. IV already in the field, the four-time winner thought about running a third car in the 89th running of the classic May 29.

Luyendyk, whose ride came together in the middle of last week and his preparation hampered by rain, qualified the No. 98 Agajanian-Beck Chevrolet Dallara at 3:30 p.m., when the son of the two-time Indy 500 runner nailed down the final slot with a four-lap average speed of 215.039 mph.

Moments after looking for a play pen at Babys R Us, Giaffone was getting his IRL credential and fitted for the seat in Foyt’s No. 48 Toyota Panoz.

“I didn’t plan to come,” Giaffone said. “It feelts bad to see the other guys run. I was prepared to go home to Brazil on Monday.”

With less than half an hour remaining in qualifying, Giaffone ran four consistent laps to bump Luyendyk, averaging 217.645 mph.

Unlike past years, when bumping literally eliminated a car, Luyendyk ran two quick practice runs, then reported to the pits for four sticker Firestone tires. He was waved out on the track only 20 seconds before the closing gun. His last-ditch effort came up short, though. He ran 214.123 mph on his first lap, then faded to an average of 210.351 mph.

For Giaffone, it will be his fifth consecutive Indy 500, with his best finish fourth in 2002.

Final practice will be Friday’s Carburetion Day, with the 33-car field taking the green flag at noon (CDT) Sunday.

Race Center

Auto Club 500

@ Auto Club Speedway
Saturday, October 19, 2013
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