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INDY 500: Memo Gidley crashes during Indy qualifying attempt

20 May 2000

By Terry Callahan
Motorsports Editor, The Auto Channel

INDIANAPOLIS: Memo Gidley, a rookie driver at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, lost control of his number 82 Dallara Oldsmobile just after taking the green flag during qualifying for the 84th Indianapolis 500.

The rear of Gidley's car began to go loose. Gidley made a correction in an attempt to save the car. He over-corrected and nipped the turn one infield grass sending his car into a spin. He hit the outside wall between turns one and two at the famed Speedway.

Gidley climbed from the car. He was quickly checked at the infield medical center by Dr. Henry Bock. He was cleared to drive. Gidley does not have a backup car at this time. The damage to his primary car was extensive.

It was questionable whether Gidley should have been making a qualifying attempt. Gidley's fastest speed of the month so far was only 213 mph. There have been 13 qualifiers in the early action Saturday. The slowest car in the field currently is seven mph faster than Gidley. Rookie Sarah Fisher has the slowest speed at 220.237 mph.

Another rookie, CART champion Juan Montoya, currently has the pole with a smooth four lap average of 223.372 mph.

Qualifying for the 84th Indy 500 continues until 6:00 p.m. local time Saturday. The final day of qualifying is set for Sunday, May 21.

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