AS ALL THREE DRIVERS WORK ON RACE SETUP AT INDY
The Weather Finally Cooperates For The Crews And Drivers At IMS INDIANAPOLIS
The legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway finally had plenty of Indy car action Thursday with a host of laps turned by 35 drivers. The weather, despite overcast skies and thunderstorms around the area, never saw rain hit the racing sur- face Thursday until 5:45 p.m. The conditions were windy and tricky for the drivers and their machines though.The Dreyer & Reinbold Racing team enjoyed a very productive day with drivers Buddy Rice, Townsend Bell and Milka Duno all working on their respective race day chassis setups.
Crews also performed pit stop prac- tice Thursday as they prepare for the 92nd running of the Indy 500 on Sunday, May 25. Rice, the 2004 Indy 500 champion, drove the No. 15 Dreyer & Reinbold Honda Dallara to 65 laps on the 2.5-mile famed oval track. The Phoenix veteran clicked the timing lights with a best of 222.252 miles per hour for the 11th fastest speed of the day. Rice will be attempting to qualify for his fifth Indy 500 this Saturday when qualifications begin at noon. Bell, seeking his second Indy 500 start, was the busiest DRR driver Thursday by driving his No. 99 William Rast Honda Dallara to 89 laps. The Californian recorded a top speed of 220.855 m.p.h. while working in race traffic conditions. The No. 99 mount, with associate sponsors EMU Australia and Herbalife on board, gave Bell some solid readings for the event on May 25 at 1 p.m. EDT. Duno, always a favorite with fans, was active on and off the track Thursday. The Venezuelan beauty conducted many media interviews as well as sign- ing autographs and posing with fans for photos. Duno was featured in a story this year in USA Today. On the track, Milka took her No. 23 CITGO Honda Dallara to 72 laps with a top speed of 220.416 m.p.h. All three Dreyer & Reinbold drivers will attempt to qualifying this Saturday, weather permitting. DRIVER QUOTES:
BUDDY RICE (No. 15 Dreyer & Reinbold Honda Dallara): ”We are happy to run a lot of laps today. We just ran race setup and put the car in the top ten for most of the day. Plus we got to work on pit stop practice with the crew. Pit stops are very impor- tant here at Indy. I think that helped win the race for me in 2004. We’ll keep working on the race trim for another day on Friday. Then we’ll throw the qualifying setup on it for Saturday and put the car in the show. We definitely want the best race setup we can get.”
TOWNSEND BELL (No. 99 William Rast Honda Dallara): “It was very good to run in this conditions today. The wind moved the car around and running with other cars wasn’t real easy. It was especially tougher in the later stages of the tire wear. The William Rast car wanted to move around a little more. But overall, it was good day for all of the Dreyer & Reinbold team. We were able to run deep into the tire life. So as we get ready for the race, it was great to get a lot of laps. We’re in the window with the other teams with race setup. Buddy had a good day too. We feel confident since we have had very little running this month with all of the rain. We have a good car.” MILKA DUNO (No. 23 CITGO Honda Dallara): “It was a very busy day for me. But I am happy that we were on the track more today. It has been frustrating to sit around the garage and wait for the rain to go away. I feel that we are getting the car better each day that we run. It was pretty windy out there today. But we were able to do a lot of work with the car. I am looking forward to getting in more laps on Friday.”