Frustrated and angered at being bumped from the Indianapolis 500 pole and later having his own qualifying run disallowed Saturday, Arie Luyendyk came back Sunday and drove four laps for the history books.
The Flying Dutchman, 1990 winner and marquee name of the new Indy Racing League, blistered Indianapolis Motor Speedway's 2 1/2-mile rectangular oval at 237.498 mph for one lap and 236.986 for a four-lap qualifying average.
Only a few thousand spectators were present when Luyendyk rolled the No. 5 Ford Cosworth-powered Reynard onto the track at 12:10 p.m. It was the same car in which he had run 239 mph--the fastest unofficial lap in Indy history--on Friday, but not the one which he qualified Saturday only to find it was illegally seven pounds too light.
"It was bittersweet, but at least we came away with a great deal of satisfaction in getting the records," Luyendyk said. "This car was the one we wanted to run Saturday but weren't able to. Sunday, it was just sitting there, ready to run, so I said let's go get it."
Luyendyk's run broke the day-old standards of 233.851 mph for one lap and 233.718 mph for four laps set by pole-sitter Scott Brayton in a Menard-powered Lola.
The No. 5 car was not able to be qualified Saturday because it developed a "major vapor lock" that caused the engine "to overcook itself and a matter of a lap." Obviously, the problem was fixed by Sunday morning.
However, Luyendyk will start 21st because his qualifying run came on the second day of the four-day time trials. His disallowed speed Saturday was 233.390 mph.
"The middle of the pack in the early laps at Indy is not the place to be, but I've been there before," he said. "I started 14th [in 1991] and was up to fifth in the first lap. The openings were just there, but it doesn't always work that way. With all the turbulence and inexperienced drivers to be concerned about, it's not a friendly place."
Sunday's records may last for years to come as 1997 IRL rules calling for normally aspirated engines are expected to reduce speeds from 15 to 20 mph.
"I didn't get much sleep last night after all the turmoil we went through yesterday but when we got to the track today we knew conditions were better for the record than the day before. And there was no pressure at all, the pole was gone. We were going for No. 21 in the field, so it was a relaxing morning."
The front row of Brayton, rookie Tony Stewart and Davy Jones is the fastest in 500 history with a three-car average of 233.233 mph. The previous best was 231.131 mph last year.
Luyendyk said two factors contributed to the increased speed this year.
"The track was so smooth after being resurfaced and the tire war between Goodyear and Firestone that led to better grip probably made the cars six miles [per hour] quicker," he said. "Today the air was not nearly as heavy as it was yesterday, and that helped too. The main goal is still ahead. There is only one real goal during the month of May and this year it's May 26. Poles and records are fine, but the race is still the reason we're here."
One of the first questions asked Luyendyk and car owner Fred Treadway after his run was if the car weighed enough.
"It was five pounds over the limit," Treadway said dryly.
Four-time winner A. J. Foyt put Scott Sharp and Brazilian Marco Greco into the field. Sharp, with a 231.201-mph effort, was the second fastest Sunday. Marco qualified at 228.840 mph, joining supermodified champion Davey Hamilton (228.887 mph Saturday) on Foyt's three-car entry.
Three others qualified Sunday, bringing to 26 the number of qualified cars, including 12 rookies. More trials are scheduled next weekend to fill the 33-car field.
(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)
U.S. 500 Lineup
The for the U.S. 500 on May 26 at Brooklyn, Mich., with driver, hometown or country, car number, chassis-engine, and qualification speed in mph. All cars 1996 models unless noted otherwise.
1. Jimmy Vasser, San Francisco, No. 12, Reynard-Honda, 232.025.
2. Adrian Fernandez, Mexico, No. 32, Lola-Honda, 231.108.
3. Bryan Herta, Dublin, Ohio, No. 28, Reynard-Mercedes, 230.774.
4. r-Alex Zanardi, Italy, No. 4X, Reynard-Honda, 230.751.
5. Al Unser Jr., Albuquerque, N.M., No. 2, Penske-Mercedes, 230.213.
6. Andre Ribeiro, Brazil, No. 31, Lola-Honda, 229.710.
7. Paul Tracy, Canada, No. 3, Penske-Mercedes, 228.980.
8. Emerson Fittipaldi, Brazil, No. 9, Penske-Mercedes, 227.816.
9. Scott Pruett, Crystal Bay, Nev., No. 20X, Lola-Ford Cosworth, 227.718.
10. Raul Boesel, Brazil, No. 1, Reynard-Ford Cosworth, 227.561
11. Michael Andretti, Nazareth, Pa., No. 6X, Lola-Ford Cosworth, 226.602.
12. Christian Fittipaldi, Brazil, No. 11, Lola-Ford Cosworth, 226.246.
13. Gil de Ferran, Brazil, No. 8X, Reynard-Honda, 225.957.
14. Mauricio Gugelmin, Brazil, No. 17, Reynard-Ford Cosworth, 225.625.
15. Bobby Rahal, New Albany, Ohio, No. 18, Reynard-Mercedes, 225.464.
16. Parker Johnstone, Redmond, Ore., No. 49, Reynard-Honda, 224.372.
17. r-Greg Moore, Canada, No. 99, Reynard-Mercedes, 224.025.
18. r-Eddie Lawson, Lake Havasu City, Ariz., No. 10, Lola-Mercedes, 221.618.
19. r-Mark Blundell, England, No. 21, Reynard-Ford Cosworth, 221.487.
20. Roberto Moreno, Brazil, No. 34, Lola-Ford Cosworth, 221.447.
21. Robby Gordon, Orange, Calif., No. 5, Reynard-Ford Cosworth, 220.877.
22. Stefan Johansson, Sweden, No. 16X, Reynard-Mercedes, 219.081.
23. Fredrik Ekblom, Sweden, No. 15, Reynard-Ford Cosworth, 218.501.
24. r-Jeff Krosnoff, La Canada, Calif., No. 25, Reynard-Toyota, 217.341.
25. Hiro Matsushita, Japan, No. 19, Lola-Ford Cosworth, 216.048.
26. Juan Manuel Fangio II, Argentina, No. 36, Eagle-Toyota, 209.476.
r-rookie; X-backup car
Partial Indy 500 Lineup
Tentative partial lineup for the Indianapolis 500 on May 26, with driver, hometown or country, car number, chassis-engine, and four-lap qualification average speed in mph. All cars 1995 models unless noted otherwise. More qualifications on Saturday and Sunday:
1. Scott Brayton, Coldwater, Mich., No. 32, Lola-Menard, 233.718.
2. r-Tony Stewart, Rushville, Ind., No. 20, Lola-Menard, 233.100.
3. Davy Jones, Lake Tahoe, Nev., No. 70, Lola-Mercedes, 232.882.
4. Eliseo Salazar, Chile, No. 7, Lola-Ford, 232.684.
5. Eddie Cheever, Aspen, Colo., No. 3, Lola-Menard, 231.781.
6. Buddy Lazier, Vail, Colo., No. 91, Reynard-Ford, 231.468.
7. Roberto Guerrero, San Juan Capistrano, No. 21, Reynard-Ford, 231.373.
8. Alessandro Zampedri, Italy, No. 8, Lola-Ford, 229.595.
9. r-Michel Jourdain Jr., Mexico, No. 22, Lola-Ford, 229.380.
10. r-Buzz Calkins, Denver, No. 12, Reynard-Ford, 229.013.
11. r-Davey Hamilton, Boise, Idaho, No. 14, Lola-Ford, 228.887.
12. Mike Groff, Palm Desert, No. 60, Reynard-Ford, 228.704.
13. r-Michele Alboreto, Italy, No. 33, Reynard-Ford, 228.229.
14. Stephan Gregoire, France, No. 9, Reynard-Ford, 227.556.
15. r-Mark Dismore, Greenfield, Ind., No. 30, Lola-Menard, 227.260.
16. r-Richie Hearn, Canyon Country, No. 4, Reynard-Ford, 226.521.
17. r-Johnny Unser, Sun Valley, Idaho, No. 64, Reynard-Ford, 226.115.
18. John Paul Jr., West Palm Beach, Fla., No. 18, 1993 Lola-Menard, 224.757.
19. Lyn St. James, Daytona Beach, Fla., No. 45, 1994 Lola-Ford, 224.594.
20. r-Jim Guthrie, Albuquerque, N.M., No. 27, 1993 Lola-Menard, 222.394.
21. Arie Luyendyk, Netherlands, No. 5, Reynard-Ford, 236.986.
22. Scott Sharp, Danville, No. 11, Lola-Ford, 231.201.
23. Marco Greco, Brazil, No. 41, 1994 Lola-Ford, 228.840.
24. r-Robbie Buhl, Grosse Pointe, Mich., No. 54, 1994 Lola-Ford, 226.217.
25. r-Paul Durant, Manteca, No. 96, 1992 Lola-Buick, 225.404.
26. r-Racin Gardner, Buellton, No. 90, 1994 Lola-Ford, 224.453.
Field average--228.916 mph. Record field average--226.912 mph, 1995.