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Indy 500: Bump Day completes 33-car grid

The starting grid for the 2012 Indianapolis 500 race was finalised early on Bump Day, with the rest of Sunday given over to the teams to make further practice runs.
It has to be admitted: as Bump Days go, this one is not going to feature highly in lists of the most memorable or the most nail-biting.

In previous years, top drivers have been on tenterhooks until the final minutes of the Sunday session waiting to see if they would make it onto the starting grid for that year's Indy 500. Last year saw Ryan Hunter-Reay ejected from the field in the final minutes, leading to the ignominy of his team having to buy him a seat in the car already qualified by Bruno Junqueira. The previous year, Tony Kanaan had come perilously close to finding himself out of luck and out of the race.

But this year there was never going to be any such drama. With 33 drivers competing to get onto the 33-car grid, the mathematics meant that realistically everyone would be lining up for the green flag - provided that they just put in the necessary four timed laps over the weekend. Any times would do: there is no 107% qualifying limit at Indianapolis.

It might sound easy, but three drivers had found out the painful way that making it onto the grid is never actually a slam dunk: Bryan Clauson, Oriol Servia and Ed Carpenter all crashed into the wall on Saturday and had to wait overnight for their cars to be fixed. Any similar slip on the Sunday which put the car out of action again would likely see them miss the race.

None did: all nine drivers duly came out and put in their four timed laps without incident. The first out was Simona de Silvestro, who set a benchmark of 214.393mph (2:47.9162s) in the under-powered Lotus HVM machine.

"It was all right. Not the speed we want for the month, but I think we're in the show, so that's a really good thing," she said afterwards. "We just have to focus on our program with the Lotus engine. We don't have the speed we want, but we've been creeping up to the other manufacturers, so that's a really positive sign."

After that everyone came out in turn with a minimum of fuss and drama and put in their qualifying runs. AJ Foyt Racing's Mike Conway was out next, still annoyed at having missed out on a top 24 spot after his first qualifying time on Pole Day had been disallowed for his car being underweight. His qualifying effort on Sunday saw him post a speed of 222.319mph (2:41.9293s).

"We're in the race ... I would have loved to have put it in the show yesterday, we would have been better off," he said. "We weren't looking to blow the world away with speed today. It was a case of getting in comfortably and not doing anything stupid.

"The car has been very similar all month in terms of handling, it's been very good," he added. "We had a slight boost issue, but it went away."




Related Pictures

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Bryan Clauson (#39) during practice for the 96th running of the Indianapolis 500. 12-27 May, 2012, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA. (c) 2012, F. Peirce Williams (Photo credit: INDYCAR/LAT USA)
Simona De Silvestro (#78) during practice for the 96th running of the Indianapolis 500. 12-27 May, 2012, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA. (c) 2012, F. Peirce Williams, LAT Photo USA (Photo credit: INDYCAR/LAT USA)
Katherine Legge`s (#6) first lap around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in an Indy Car during practice for the 2012 IndyCar Indy 500. 12-27 May, 2012, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA. (c) 2012, F. Peirce Williams LAT Photo USA (Photo Credit: INDYCAR/LAT USA)
Sebastien Bourdais (#7) on track at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway during practice for the 2012 IndyCar Indy 500. 12-27 May, 2012, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA. (c) 2012, F. Peirce Williams LAT Photo USA (Photo Credit: INDYCAR/LAT USA)
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Team Chevy sweeps the podium as Tony Kanaan (center), driver of the #10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Saturday, August 30, 2014, during the last Verizon IndyCar Series race of the season at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Teammate Scott Dixon (left), driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet V6, finishes second, and Ed Carpenter, driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Ultra Premium Vodka/Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet V6, finishes third. Chevrolet wins the Manufacturer`s Championship for the third straight season. (Photo by Gregg EllmanLAT for Chevy Racing)
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Tony Kanaan, driver of the #10 Target Chip Ganassi Chevrolet IndyCar V6, makes a quick pit stop while racing to victory Saturday, August 30, 2014 during the last Verizon IndyCar Series race of the season at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. This is the third consecutive win for Chevrolet at Auto Club Speedway. Chevrolet wins the Manufacturer`s Championship for the third straight season. (Photo by Brian Cleary/LAT for Chevy Racing)

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