For the second time in two years, a qualified driver has been bumped from Sunday's Indy 500 to make room for non-qualified Scott Goodyear.
Davy Jones, who had put one of car owner Kenny Bernstein's Lola-Ford Cosworths in the field with a 223.817-m.p.h. run last Saturday, was withdrawn in favor of Goodyear, Bernstein's team driver. "No matter how you cut it, we're forced to make a very tough and complicated decision" Bernstein said. "We have two excellent drivers, but just one car in the field."
Goodyear was the last driver bumped Sunday when his 220.737 qualifying speed was bettered by rookie Marco Greco. Because of the driver change, Goodyear will start 33rd.
Two years ago, Goodyear replaced Mike Groff as the driver of Derrick Walker's car under similar circumstances. He started 33rd and finished second behind Al Unser Jr. in the closest 500 in history.
The Rahal-Hogan cars of Bobby Rahal and Groff will return to Indianapolis Motor Speedway today with a new look.
Both cars, leased from Roger Penske, were red and white when Rahal and Groff qualified them last Saturday. They were taken from the track Sunday to be repainted in their new colors.
Five painters worked around the clock to convert Rahal's car to his black and yellow colors and Groff's to white, blue and red.
It cost $4,000 a car to repaint them and put on new decals in time for a photo session on Thursday.
Tom Sneva, the 1983 Indy winner, was wandering through Gasoline Alley when someone asked him if he planned a retirement announcement along the lines of Johnny Rutherford, who drove A.J. Foyt's car for a ceremonial lap. "If I did, it wouldn't be in A.J.'s car," said Sneva, a bit of a maverick. "It would more likely be on a Harley roaring through Gasoline Alley."
Leo Mehl, director of racing for the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., said that 10,000 tires will be used at Indy before the race ends Sunday. The average team uses 25 sets.