The Callahan Report from Indianapolis, May 5
5 May 1997It was windy enough to blow the black squares off a checkered flag at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway today. Race fans saw hot dog wrappers going faster than most of the racing cars. Yellow lights due to debris blowing onto the track was the theme of the day. In the early hours however, rookie driver Kenny Brack found some speed in spite of the windy conditions. Brack, of Karlstad Sweden, turned a lap of 205.597 just before noon. Brack ran a total of 23 laps in the Monsoon/G Force Aurora. He completed the initial four phases of his rookie test yesterday. He will be observed by veteran drivers later in the week prior to being allowed to run at speed in preparation for this weekend's run for the pole.
Brack began his racing career in 1988 running go karts and Formula Ford in Sweden. He won the Zerex Barber Saab series championship in 1993. He was named to drive the Galles International car in February at Phoenix as a replacement for the injured Davy Jones.
Rookie Sam Schmidt was also on the track completing the first two phases of his rookie test. Schmidt ran a total of 43 laps with a top speed of 198.325. The windy conditions hampered the progress of the young driver from Las Vegas. Schmidt is driving the Blueprint Racing/Dallara/Aurora V8. Schmidt is teamed with the Phoenix winner, Jim Guthrie.
Greg Ray was also on the track shaking down his Tobacco Free Kids Dallara/Aurora. Ray ran only 12 laps with a top speed of 185 mph.
At 1:40 PM the track was closed as a result of the dangerous winds. It remained closed until just before 4:00 PM. The track went green briefly and then the rains came. The track was officially closed at 4:30 PM.
Due to the weather conditions today, the rookie orientation program will be extended. The track will be open at 9:00 AM on Tuesday for the new drivers. They will be allowed to run until 11:00 AM. Veterans will make their first appearance on the oval tomorrow at 11:30 as rookie orientation winds down. Weather is expected to be suitable for speed with sunshine and temperatures in the low 60s.
Terry Callahan -- The Auto Channel