IRL, Indy 500: Stewart Tops Speed Charts at 226 MPH, Fastest of Event
20 May 1999INDIANAPOLIS- Former Pep Boys Indy Racing League champion Tony Stewart led the speed charts at 226.683 mph - the fastest lap of the event -- in The Home Depot Dallara/Aurora/Goodyear during practice for the Indianapolis 500 on Wednesday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Stewart, from Indianapolis, ran only 21 laps during practice Wednesday. Stewart, the 1996-97 series champion, posted his fastest lap with just 30 minutes remaining in the session. Stewart jumped 4.2 mph from his previous best of 222.480 on Tuesday.
"We stuck to our guns with our race setup," Stewart said. "We didn't anticipate that our race setup would run this fast. We've got a great powerplant with the Brayton engine and are looking forward to Race Day."
Greg Ray was second fastest at 226.085 in the #32 Glidden-Menards Dallara/Aurora/Firestone. Ray stayed in the top five for the fifth consecutive day. Two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Arie Luyendyk, in his final "500," was third fastest at 225.096 in the Sprint PCS-Meijer G Force/Aurora/Firestone.
1998 Pep Boys Indy Racing League champion Kenny Brack was fourth, posting his fastest lap of the event, 224.411, in the backup A.J. Foyt PowerTeam Racing Dallara/Aurora/Goodyear. Stephan Gregoire was fifth fastest at 224.193 in the #7 Mexmil-Tokheim G Force/Aurora/Firestone.
Series points leader Scott Goodyear, fastest Tuesday, was 13th fastest Wednesday at 222.976 in the backup Pennzoil Panther G Force/Aurora/Goodyear.
Practice resumes from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Thursday. Pole Day is May 22; Race Day May 30.
Rookie Dave Steele suffered a mild concussion and back strain when he crashed in Turn 1 in the Pennzoil Panther G Force/Aurora/Goodyear. Tyce Carlson and Mark Dismore were unhurt in separate accidents.
Defending race champion Eddie Cheever Jr. ran 222.883 in the backup Team Cheever-The Children's Beverage Group Dallara/Infiniti/Goodyear, 14th fa stest for the day.
Forty-one drivers in 46 cars combined to complete 1,553 laps.