IndyCar »

Indy 500: Scott Speed denies "quit" rumours

Rumours were flying around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Friday that Scott Speed was set to walk out of Dragon Racing's Indy bid after a series of bad-tempered rows between driver and crew.
Wild rumours flying around Gasoline Alley at Indianapolis on Friday evening suggested that relations between Dragon Racing and their surprise star name driver, Scott Speed, had gone into meltdown and was descending into shouting matches.

At one stage it seemed all but certain that Speed had already walked out and exited the team for good, with a team representative telling SPEED.com at one stage that "I cannot confirm or deny Scott's place in the team going forward." Other eyewitness accounts suggested that Speed had stormed out of the Speedway with no intention of returning for Pole Day.

The breakdown between team and driver seemed to be the result of disappointing performances during the two days of green flag practice sessions that the team have had on Thursday and Friday, which ended with Speed classified 39th and last on the Friday timesheets and a resultant fraying of tempers on both sides.

Speed seemed unable to improve on 224mph - which will not be good enough to make the 33-car grid over the weekend, all other things being equal - and moreover Speed was increasingly concerned about how loose his car was and demanding that the team do something about the handling before he ended up planting it in the wall.

There was also pressure on the former F1 and NASCAR driver after his less-fancied rookie team mate Ho-Pin Tung startled the team and media pundits by putting in consistent runs, which were exceeding Dragon's best hopes.
After practice finished for the day, it appears that peacekeeping efforts effected a reconciliation between the 28-year-old American driver and the team owned by Jay Penske, and he responded to a tweet reporting the quit rumour with "Lmao i love it!! Did u get your info from the tooth fairy?"

“I have no idea honestly how those rumors were started,” he subsequently told FOXSports.com. "I read it on Twitter and just laughed. It was pretty funny."

He admitted that the team was facing an uphill battle going into Pole Day, however. “We're trying to do what we can with the situation we have. We've scratched our initial game plan and starting over," he said. "We haven't been able to hone in on anything yet and I've been trying to be really careful not to wreck the car."

Dragon Racing declined comment, either about Speed or on any other developments concerning their Indy 500 entry.

While replacements are possible and available even at this late stage - including Jimmy Kite, Jacques Lazier, Phil Giebler and even ALMS driver Simon Pagenaud who had been the original favourite to take the Dragon Racing seat for Indianapolis - a breakup would do neither team nor driver any good in the long term and relations are likely to be patched up overnight.

Speed is signed to race for Dragon in the IndyCar season finale at Vegas in pursuit of the $5m challenge prize for any non-series driver who can come in and win the race from under the noses of the regulars.

The question of whether Speed will take part in qualifying won't be definitely answered until the cars roll out at noon on Saturday, but the smart money has to be on a face-saving smoothing over of divisions to keep the show on the road through the weekend.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Despite the decals, this is clearly not Ho-Pin Tung: Scott Speed (USA - Dragon Racing) takes over for his first run in an IndyCar in the Rookie Orientation Program at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway - Thursday, May 12 [Photo by Chris Jones for IndyCar Media]
Dragon`s rookies Scott Speed and Ho-Pin Tung are pretty much the fastest thing on four wheels at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway after rain washes out practice on Wednesday, May 18. [Picture credit: Jim Haines for IndyCar Media]
Scott Dixon rolls out of pitlane during the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway poses for pictures with the team from Ed Carpenter Racing after victory in the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway (centre), driver of the #20 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory with champagne Sunday, April 13, 2014 after winning the IndyCar Grand Prix of Long Beach in Long Beach, California. Will Power (right), driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, finished second. (Photo Credit: Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Mike Conway, driver of the #20 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Sunday, April 13, 2014 during the IndyCar Grand Prix of Long Beach in Long Beach, California. With the victory, Conway moves into second place in the driver point standings. (Photo Credit: Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Mike Conway, driver of the #20 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Sunday, April 13, 2014 during the IndyCar Grand Prix of Long Beach in Long Beach, California. With the victory, Conway moves into second place in the driver point standings. (Photo Credit: Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Mike Conway, driver of the #20 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, raises his arm as he crosses the finish line Sunday, April 13, 2014 to win the IndyCar Grand Prix of Long Beach in Long Beach, California. With the victory, Conway moves into second place in the driver point standings. (Photo Credit: Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Simon Pagenaud (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Simon Pagenaud on course during practice at Long Beach (Photo by: Richard Dowdy for IndyCar Media)
Simon Pagenaud meets fans at Long Beach on Friday (Photo by: Chris Jones  for IndyCar Media)
Simon Pagenaud on track at Long Beach on Friday (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Simon Pagenaud on course during practice at Long Beach -- Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to victory Sunday, March 30, 2014 during the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in St. Petersburg, Florida. Helio Castroneves, driver of the #3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6 finished third. (Photo by LAT/ Russell LaBounty for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to victory Sunday, March 30, 2014 during the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in St. Petersburg, Florida. Helio Castroneves, driver of the #3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6 finished third. (Photo by LAT/ Russell LaBounty for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Sunday, March 30, 2014 during the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in St. Petersburg, Florida. Helio Castroneves, driver of the #3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6 finished third. (Photo by LAT/ Russell LaBounty for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Sunday, March 30, 2014 during the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in St. Petersburg, Florida. Helio Castroneves, driver of the #3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6 finished third. (Photo by LAT/ Michael L. Levitt for Chevy Racing)
Start of the race. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)

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.


chasmunch

May 21, 2011 3:25 PM

scott speed better watch it or he'll end up in that marginalized group of black balled gripers headed up by paul tracy. i can appreciate his concern for circulateing an ill handleing rig...sure he wants to avoid a shunt to the boonies. must be a hugh disappointment to be 39th on the time sheets.



© 1999 - 2014 Crash Media Group

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