Scott Speed done at Indy? UPDATE #2 This rumor is downgraded to 'false.' Scott Speed was quick to dispel internet rumors he walked away from his IndyCar Series team hours before qualifying for the Indianapolis 500.
“I have no idea honestly how those rumors were started,” the former Formula One and NASCAR racer told FOXSports.com. "I read it on Twitter and just laughed. It was pretty funny.”
Friday afternoon, rumors began swirling around Indianapolis Motor Speedway that Speed walked away from Dragon Racing, an outfit owned by Jay Penske.
Speed admits that he’s struggled early on with the new team. The deal was announced May 3 and Speed’s team has played catch up ever since. After seven practice sessions, Speed was 46th on the speed chart with a lap of 222.546 -- over six miles per hour behind Helio Castroneves who posted the fastest time at Indy.
“We‘re starting way behind the 8-ball, that‘s true,” Speed said. “We have two cars -- Ho-Pin (Tung, teammate) and I -- and they handle completely differently. The whole thing came together totally at the last minute. Ho-Pin‘s car is running real similar to last year, but my car is really loose. We haven’t been able to hone in on anything yet and I‘ve been trying to be really careful not to wreck the car because I think we have just one back up car between us.
“We’re trying to do what we can with the situation we have. We’ve scratched our initial game plan and starting over. We still have practice in the morning to get the car dialed in. We think we’ll be alright.” FOX Sports05/20/11 Rumors of Scott Speed's imminent departure from Dragon Racing began to gain momentum late on Friday, with more than one source telling SPEED.com the former F1 and NASCAR Sprint Cup driver had walked away from his No. 20 Fuzzy's Vodka Dragon Racing entry for the Indy 500.
A representative for the parties involved told SPEED.com: "I cannot confirm or deny Scott's place in the team going forward," but the tone of the conversation hinted at a pending split between the American driver and the team owned by Jay Penske, son of Indy car legend Roger Penske.
A reconciliation of some sorts was made after the day's running had been completed, with Speed telling SPEED Center he will be back in the car for the 8 a.m. practice session that precedes Pole Day activities. 05/20/11 Word from Indy is that Scott Speed got out of his car this afternoon and laid into the crew for giving him an extremely loose race car. He did not mince words. A meeting is underway in the hauler to determine whether he will be back in the Dragon Racing Fuzzy’s Vodka machine for qualifying tomorrow. There are a number of drivers carrying helmets around the paddock who would love to jump into that seat.