IndyCar »

Tagliani, Lazier, Barrett miss Indy 500 cut


In a twist of irony, Conquest Racing's semi-regular driver Alex Tagliani was the biggest name to miss the cut for this year's Indianapolis 500 on a day of drama that saw one-off team-mate Bruno Junqueira make it into the 33-car field.

Taking advantage of conditions that showed a marked improvement over Saturday's third day of qualifying, several drivers withdrew their previous times to avoid being 'on the bubble'. Tomas Scheckter, Mike Conway, EJ Viso, Nelson Philippe and Milka Duno all pulled the gamble successfully, managing to post faster, safer, times, while Junqueira had little trouble in making the cut on his first run of the month.

"The car is very good, so I said 'let's take a little downforce out' and the car was better," the Brazilian reported, "I'm very excited. It's one of the most exciting moments of my life and my career - I think I broke a record for least laps in practice to put a car in the field."

John Andretti and Ryan Hunter-Reay, meanwhile, drove their way into the 500 with last-gasp Bump Day attempts that saw Tagliani, Stanton Barrett and race stalwart Buddy Lazier forced to sit out the remainder of the month.

Andretti, who began the day in the field, got bumped midway through by Junqueira, who was making his first qualifying attempt with Conquest Racing, then struggled to find the required speed on two later qualifying attempts.

With just 15 minutes of the session remaining, Andretti, Barrett and Lazier were all outside the field, while Hunter-Reay had been pushed back onto the bubble again.

Andretti was the first to try to snatch Hunter-Reay's grid spot, but his four-lap average was too slow to bump the Vision Racing car from the field. Barrett and Lazier then made last-ditch efforts to qualify, but both waved off their runs after poor first laps.

The quick decision to abandon their attempts allowed Andretti to go back out again with eight minutes remaining in the day and, on his final attempt, the veteran posted a time good enough to guarantee a tenth appearance at Indianapolis, lapping at an average speed of 221.316mph to bump Hunter-Reay. and maintaining his 100 per cent record of qualifying through the month of May.

Hunter-Reay, however, was also able to rebound, and his 220.597mph effort was enough to edge Tagliani by a few hundredths of a second.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Indy Racing League. 5 May 2009. Indy 500. Rookie Orientation. Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Indianapolis, Indiana USA. Alex Tagliani.
Alex Rossi, Indy 500 [Credit: IndyCar]
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6 celebrates capturing the pole with the fastest lap Saturday, March 12, 2016 for Sunday`s Verizon IndyCar Series Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in St. Petersburg, Florida. The four Penske Chevrolet`s were the fastest in qualifying and Chevrolet had the five fastest cars. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6 captures the pole with the fastest lap Saturday, March 12, 2016 for Sunday`s Verizon IndyCar Series Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in St. Petersburg, Florida. The four Penske Chevrolet`s were the fastest in qualifying and Chevrolet had the five fastest cars. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6 captures the pole with the fastest lap Saturday, March 12, 2016 for Sunday`s Verizon IndyCar Series Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in St. Petersburg, Florida. The four Penske Chevrolet`s were the fastest in qualifying and Chevrolet had the five fastest cars. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6 captures the pole with the fastest lap Saturday, March 12, 2016 for Sunday`s Verizon IndyCar Series Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in St. Petersburg, Florida. The four Penske Chevrolet`s were the fastest in qualifying and Chevrolet had the five fastest cars. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, qualifies fifth fastest Saturday, August 29, 2015, for Sunday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. Montoya is leading the Driver`s Championship in points heading into this final race of the season. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, celebrates after qualifying fastest Saturday, August 29, 2015, capturing the pole position for Sunday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. Power, the 2014 Champion Driver, has an outside chance to repeat during this final race of the season. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, celebrates after qualifying fastest Saturday, August 29, 2015, capturing the pole position for Sunday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. Power, the 2014 Champion Driver, has an outside chance to repeat during this final race of the season. (Photo by Sam Cobb/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, qualifies fastest Saturday, August 29, 2015, capturing the pole position for Sunday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. Power, the 2014 Champion Driver, has an outside chance to repeat during this final race of the season. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Justin Wilson speaks with Oriol Servia in pit lane (Photo by: Jim Haines for IndyCar Media)
Helio Castroneves, driver of the #3 Shell V-Power Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, celebrates capturing the pole during qualifying Saturday, August 22, 2015 for Sunday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Helio Castroneves, driver of the #3 Shell V-Power Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, qualifies fastest Saturday, August 22, 2015, capturing the pole position for Sunday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Helio Castroneves, driver of the #3 Shell V-Power Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, qualifies fastest Saturday, August 22, 2015, capturing the pole position for Sunday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Helio Castroneves, driver of the #3 Shell V-Power Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, qualifies fastest Saturday, August 22, 2015, capturing the pole position for Sunday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates having the fastest qualifying time Saturday, August 1, 2015, winning the pole for Sunday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. Dixon set a track record of 1:04.5814/125.869 mph. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates having the fastest qualifying time Saturday, August 1, 2015, winning the pole for Sunday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. Dixon set a track record of 1:04.5814/125.869 mph. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, qualifies fastest Saturday, August 1, 2015, winning the pole for Sunday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. Dixon set a track record of 1:04.5814/125.869 mph. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.


Jo - Unregistered

May 18, 2009 10:53 AM

In a twist, Conquest Racing have now replaced Junquiera with Tagliani for the 500. Conquest screwed up during bump day, this was not a case of Alex being too slow, but poor judgement from Bachelart. Tags is the teams primary driver for the year & running the 500 is crucial to maintaining season long sponsorship. Sucks totally for Bruno who was in just for this event, but it seems he was aware of the possibility beforehand. I don't doubt he will be recompensed at some point for his 'loss'. *It's not the first time this has happened at the Indy 500.

Dave - Unregistered

May 18, 2009 3:14 PM

Bummer for Bruno. Tag's was devastated when he was bumped. Now he's in by a stroke of good fortune. Quite the drama. Can't wait to see what happens next weekend.



© 1999 - 2016 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.