May 19 - Bump Day
INDIANAPOLIS May 19, 2013— This past week IndyCar rookie Conor Daly experienced many of the highs and lows that the Indianapolis Motor Speedway offers. After a wreck in practice earlier in the week, and exhaust header problems in a qualifying attempt on Pole Day, Daly could have been expected to be bumpy on Bump Day today.
However, the 21-year-old Indiana native kept his cool and his smile and qualified the No. 41 ABC Supply Honda for the Indianapolis 500. Daly posted four laps in the 223 mph range for a combined average speed of 223.582 mph. He will start 31st, on the inside of row 11 alongside 1996 Indy 500 winner Buddy Lazier who is the oldest driver in the starting field at age 45. Katherine Legge is the final qualifier who will start 33rd.
“I’m very excited to get into the race,” Daly said. “The guys worked awful hard and did an awesome job getting everything put together for today. It’s an amazing feeling for me because I grew up here and I always watched this race. I was here at 5:30 every Race morning except last year because I was racing in Europe. But now I’m going to be here getting suited up and ready to drive. It’s very, very, very cool.”
Teammate Takuma Sato spent the day pounding around the track logging miles in the No. 14 ABC Supply Honda as the engineers worked on the race setup.“I think it was a very good day to finish the first part of the Indy 500,” Sato said. “The last seven days the boys have been working really hard and the team did a great job. Obviously we were a little disappointed with qualifying yesterday but we really focused today on the race setup and we were able to run a lot in heavy traffic which we really needed.
“The car was getting better when we were running alone the last few days but then we found another area that we need to explore so we can make good progress,” Sato continued. “In the traffic you find a lot of things you can’t find when running by yourself. We made some progress but the car isn’t where it needs to be yet-- but we’re getting close.
“I was happy today that we finished off with a lot of mileage in the pocket,” Sato said. For the next couple of days, I am going to commit to the media events now that we have what the engineers need to analyze all the data. Hopefully we have everything lined out on Carb Day and we can improve the car even more for the race.”
Sato lines up 18th on the outside of row six which he shares with Scott Dixon (16th) and Dario Franchitti (17th).
The teams have one more hour-long practice before the Indy 500 --on Carb Day, Friday May 24th. The race will be televised by ABC on Sunday May 26th. Please check the local listings for exact times.