[Editor's Note: See Home Page for Sunday Update 1]
"Where's Mark?" obviously referring to AR1.com President Mark Cipolloni. That's Paul Tracy's question for AR1 after Tracy's second press conference this afternoon.
Paul Tracy requalified his car for the 2009 Indy 500, giving him a slightly better starting spot with an average of 4/10 mph faster. In this press conference, he (like Tony Kanaan) talked about removing downforce from the cars to gain speed. "You're dancing with the devil... taking your chances. You have to take it all off here."
Also qualifying today -- thus creating a bump situation for positions 12-22 -- was Ed Carpenter. "As upset as I was (Saturday), I'm that happy today. Today is a whole lot faster, the track is better, and we made the car better, too. I'm not sure what other people are going to do, but we're done qualifying. I'm happy to be in the race. We changed a little bit, but not much. Yesterday we were to the point that we were going to go out again at the end of the day, but we wondered was it worth the risk to go out there just to start 11th. We weren't even sure we could do that. It was coming down to the fact that we were just using up tires." Ed qualified at qualified at 222.780. It was Ed's speed that gave Tracy's crew the idea that track conditions had improved, prompting them to make their second run.
In other news:
- Mike Conway's injuries has given rise to a search for another driver for the 24 car, at least as a backup driver. Dreyer and Reinbold spokespersons were unable to comment, perhaps because the team is still looking for answers. The crash, while not as spectacular as Phil Geibler's crash last year, was basically the same -- a back-in to the north short cute wall. Conway's injuries are the same as well, suffering with bruised lungs. In fact, the crash was hard enough to "really mess up" the motor.
- Alex Tagliani’s car will likely see track time by the end of the day today, but won't make a qualification run until next week.
- Reporters complimented Paul Tracy for his willingness to put a picture of Dan Wheldon on Paul's uniform. Of course, the joke is that the GEICO gecko is on Paul's uniform, and Wheldon is dressed in his green driving uniform. Paul was speechless as members of the press laughed.
- Tracy also confirmed that he hit speeds of 247+ mph at Michigan International Speedway before the Hanford device was mandated, and de Ferran hit 250+ at California WITH the Hanford device. Tim Wohlford reporting from Indy
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