Rookie Robert Doornbos headed the final eleven qualifiers for the 93rd Indianapolis 500, but there are at least three drivers eager to break into the field on Bump Day.

The final third of the grid was filled on Saturday, with 13 drivers battling over the spots on the third and last day of qualifying. However, with only eleven spots on offer, some were destined to be disappointed, and veteran Bruno Junqueira will led the unlucky back into battle on the final day of pre-race competition Sunday.

After rain had delayed the session by more than three hours, Saturday packed plenty of punch as the final spots were filled, one driver was bumped from the field and another failed to qualify.

Dutchman Doornbos claimed the best spot available, taking 23rd overall with a four-lap qualifying average of 221.692mph, and will start in the middle of row eight.

"I can't say it's been a boring month," Doornbos said after finally making the field for Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing, "It started off good - and then I got going. I was really quick the first day, and the next day as well, but I think we got a little bit too excited, we took off too much downforce and we crashed.

"We had no spare parts, so I missed the first two qualifying days, and then there is a lot of pressure on these four laps to make the show. The race car is good but, if you're not in the show, you don't need the race car."

US veteran Townsend Bell will start on Doornbos' outside, while row nine will consist of Oriol Servia, Alex Tagliani and Tomas Scheckter, the South African defying the fact that his programme with Dale Coyne Racing only began on Thursday.

"I'm happy to be in the field," Scheckter admitted, "Just putting this together at the last minute has been absolutely crazy. We wanted to make a decent qualifying attempt. We had hoped for a little bit more speed, but it was a good run. We knew we weren't going to set the world on fire.

"It was extremely windy out there in turns three and four, and there was quite a bit of push off turn two. At this late stage, we weren't risking too much on the downforce - we just wanted to get in the show."

Behind Scheckter, Briton Mike Conway completed his recovery from hospitalisation by heading up row ten, ahead of EJ Viso and Ryan Hunter-Reay, both of whom overcame tough first weeks to make the field.

"I'm satisfied because we're in, but we need to be faster," Viso admitted, "This morning, I went a little bit faster, but we know we have a couple miles an hour more in the car. We went out with a very conservative set-up and a lot of downforce - and it was pretty windy. The wind was in another direction, so it was affecting us a little bit in the back straight, and the car was a little bit loose in corner one."

Hunter-Reay, meanwhile, admitted that he was more relieved than excited to have made the cut, claiming that there was still a lot of work needed on his Vision Racing entry.

"I just don't have any answers anymore," he sighed, "These guys work hard, and the car is super-slow. I feel bad for them. We're trimming to levels where we should be another two miles an hour quicker, and we're not. I appreciate this opportunity, but we just need to get a handle on things pretty quick."

John Andretti, Milka Duno and Nelson Phillipe, provisionally fill row eleven, but will have to be prepared to defend their positions on Sunday, as Buddy Lazier - who was bumped from the field with six minutes remaining - Stanton Barrett, who failed to qualify with the final attempt of the day, and Bruno Junqueira, who signed a last-minute deal with Conquest Racing, will each have three attempts to bump their way into the field.

"As of now, it doesn't give for a good night's sleep, for sure," Andretti confessed, "We'll have to come out in the morning and we'll have to look at it, see what kind of speed we have and see if we sit and wait or if we go."

While Junqueira, Barrett and Lazier will all hope to make the field, others continue to tour the paddock in the hope of landing a chance to join them. Several drivers were conspicuous on Saturday, but Sarah Fisher Racing will not be one of the teams offering to run them, after team manager Andy O'Gara confirmed that the squad would be focusing on wife and eponymous lead driver Fisher.

The team had apparently looked at a car owned by Sam Schmidt, but insists that it has no plans to purchase it. Indy favourites Jaques Lazier and Alex Barron are both reported to have enquired about the possibility of a ride with SFR, according to O'Gara.

The final qualifier for the 2009 Indianapolis 500 field on Bump Day will earn a $50,000 bonus for winning the Firestone Final Qualifier Award.


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