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Indy 500: Bump Day completes 33-car grid

"It's a big relief for me to finally get into this race," said the former Ferrari F1 driver. "We've had all week to work on it, and obviously we now have the car in the race.

"I'm glad, but I really was expecting more speed from the car," he admitted. "That was all we could get, and we took it. We have to work now on the race situation," he said. adding: "I have learned more in one week here than I did in my entire F1 career."

Next up was Bryan Clauson, who like Servia had crashed on Saturday. The shoestring Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing team had worked through the night to repair the extensive damage to the #39 to give the USAC National Drivers champion a second shot at making his first Indy 500. The crew had even left a Band-Aid on the repaired sidepod as a momento; fortunately the IZOD IndyCar officials didn't deem it an aerodynamic aid.

"That's what got them through the night, I guess, knowing that when I walked in in the morning I was going to see that and laugh," said Clauson.

"It kind of snuck up on us yesterday," he said of the previous day's accident. "The car had been comfortable the whole run. If you would have stopped me at the flag stand on the third lap, I probably wouldn't have changed a thing. It just got away from us there in Turn 1 and kind of put us in a little bit of a bind."

He'd been running well into the 223mph speeds when he crashed, so a terminally safe Bump Day effort of 214.455mph (2:47.6671s) was by contrast rather underwhelming, for Clauson as much as anyone else.

"Obviously when you have a run like we did yesterday [and then] come back today and go run that, you're not excited," he admitted. "It's a product of just needing to get four laps in and putting something that was safe on the car and making sure we didn't have another incident like we did yesterday."

Clauson's qualifying run was eight of the nine yet to make it onto the grid. That left Ed Carpenter, the man who'd done the most damage to his car in a Pole Day crash. It was so bad, the team needed to activate the backup car and needed a little more time to get ready, so the track was turned over to anyone on pit road who wanted to have some practice time. Finally, 45 minutes later at just before 2pm, Carpenter was ready for his run - and went out and put in a perfectly decent 222.324mph (2:41.9262s) effort in the resurrected #20T.

"The whole month hasn't gone as you script them," admitted the owner-driver. "I think I've been lucky for quite a few years to have a pretty seamless month of May. You never know with Indianapolis, when it is going to decide it's your turn for a bad month. Things change quickly around here."

But he was safely on the grid, and that was all that mattered. Everyone was. And since none of the nine could do any better than 25th place, there was no point in doing anything risky, like withdrawing the time in order to try improving it a position or two. Qualifying was done for 2012.




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)
Juan Pablo Montoya celebrates winning the 2015 Firestone Grand Prix of St Petersburg with third-place finisher Tony Kanaan (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Juan Pablo Montoya celebrates winning the 2015 Firestone Grand Prix of St Petersburg (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Start of the Firestone Grand Prix of St Petersburg (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Will Power (left), driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6; and Tony Kanaan (right), driver of the #10 NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6; celebrate with Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, who raced to victory Sunday, March 29, 2015 winning the Verizon IndyCar Series Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in St. Petersburg, Florida. Power finished second. Kanaan finished third. Chevrolet took the top six places in the first race of the season. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Sunday, March 29, 2015 after winning the Verizon IndyCar Series Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Sunday, March 29, 2015 after winning the Verizon IndyCar Series Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to victory Sunday, March 29, 2015 winning the Verizon IndyCar Series Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Juan Pablo Montoya wins the 2015 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Juan Pablo Montoya wins the 2015 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg (Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
Juan Pablo Montoya wins the 2015 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg (Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
Juan Pablo Montoya wins the 2015 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg (Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher)
Juan Pablo Montoya enters Turn 3 during the 2015 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Juan Pablo Montoya and Will Power clash in the closing laps of the 2015 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Graham Rahal waits on pit lane prior to practice for the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)

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