Giebler honored as ’500’s’ Fastest Rookie In a matter of days, Phil Giebler (who comes from road racing and once again showed how a road racer can step into oval racing and do well.....something you won't see an Ed Carpenter do on a road course)) will have been toasted and roasted. Giebler, who qualified for the 91st Indianapolis 500 with a four-lap average of 219.637 mph in the No. 31 Ethos Fuel Reformulator Panoz/Honda/Firestone prepared by Playa Del Racing, was honored at the 33rd Fastest Rookie luncheon presented by the American Dairy Association of Indiana.
Later in the week, he will join Richie Hearn and Roberto Moreno at the Last Row Party, which humorously salutes the 31st, 32nd and 33rd drivers in the field for the May 27 race.
Giebler, of Oxnard, Calif., is just happy to be among the starters. During Third Day Qualifying, his car made contact with the outside and inside retaining walls on his fourth qualification lap. The team feverishly worked to restore the car for limited practice and a successful qualifying attempt on Bump Day.
"The team is capable of faster times, but all we had to do was get it in the field," said Giebler, who experienced more anxiety to start the day by locking the keys to his rental car in the trunk. "I was so happy for the guys, who worked so hard to repair the car. When I say the smiles on their faces, I was really happy."
The public events continue throughout the week for Giebler, who joined the 32 other starters for a photo opportunity in Times Square on May 21 followed by a media luncheon in midtown Manhattan.
"(The Month of May) is bigger than I could have imagined," he said. "There's a lot of stuff going on and it's great to be here. I'm trying to soak it all in and enjoy the whole week."
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