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Indy 500: Drivers set for hot and wild race

"We have a heat room at the gym, which is part of the training," he added. "You have to watch your fluid intake, eat well, sleep well and just be prepared. I've been doing all those things so I'll be prepared for Race Day."

"It's going to change things on the car, but we have enough data on the computer to figure out what we need to change, so we'll be okay," said Cunningham's team mate Mike Conway. "I feel pretty confident going into the race. We know what we've got, so we just need to repeat that, and we should move forward."

"I think that we're going to have a great race on Sunday," said Dragon's Katherine Legge. "My team has me drinking Pedialite today, hydrating for the heat ... That's probably more of a big deal for the crew guys who are out in it all day. It's going to be really slick out there."

"Race Day is going to be hot and sticky, and the track is going to be slick," echoed fellow British racer Justin Wilson. "We'll just try to move forward whenever we can pick our way through, be smart and be there at the end," he said, adding that he was "really pleased" with his Dale Coyne Racing car after the final Carb Day practice session.

One bit of good news for the drivers was confirmation on Saturday from race director Beaux Barfield that the race would feature single file restarts this year - although Barfield added that he expected a return to double-file restarts in 2013 once the new specification chassis and engines had bedded in.

"I wasn't a fan of the double-file restarts at this place, in particular," said Marco Andretti, voicing the concerns of the majority of IZOD IndyCar Series drivers about the controversial format. "You'll see, especially the way these cars tow, it's crazy enough with single-file restarts. We're always three-, four-wide anyway. If you restart two-wide, it's a recipe for disaster."

Most of all, though, was the sense of energy and excitement among everyone in Indianapolis as Race Day dawned.

"There is good excitement building," said Rahal Letterman Lanigan's Takuma Sato. "You can feel the atmosphere coming. The Indy 500 is here!"

"It's time to race!," added an exuberant Charlie Kimball, the fourth man in the Ganassi line-up. "You just have to hope you roll the dice right for Sunday and come up with the right calls."

And the driver who can achieve that best - and who can also crack all the known and unknown mysteries of the day - will be ending up drinking a pint of milk at the yard of bricks come the chequered flag.

Dan Wheldon remembered

One of the most poignant aspects to this year's race will be the memories of last year's Indy 500 race winner Dan Wheldon, who died in the multi-car racing accident at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in October.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
A typical American way of closing proceedings. [Picture credit: Jim Haines for IndyCar Media]
The start of the 2011 Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 29. [Picture credit: Larry Seidman for IndyCar Media]
Dan Wheldon crosses the finish line to win his second Indy 500. Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Sunday May 29, 2011. [Picture credit: LAT Photo USA for IndyCar Media]
The front row for the 2012 Indy 500:  Ryan Hunter-Reay, James Hinchcliffe and Ryan Briscoe. 12-27 May, 2012, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA. (c) 2012, Michael L. Levitt LAT Photo USA (Photo Credit: INDYCAR/LAT USA)
Scott Dixon Road America
Scott Dixon - Chip Ganassi Indy Car [credit: IndyCar TV Twitter]
Will Power Texas
Charlie Kimball
Ed Jones feature
Ed Jones feature
Ed Jones
Ed Jones feature
Ed Jones feature
IndyCar, Dallara 2018 chassis, [Credit: IndyCar]
Graham Rahal Detroit celebration
Detroit IndyCar race start
Detroit IndyCar Andretti RHR
Esteban Gutierrez IndyCar Detroit

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