Lazier brothers set to qualify
INDIANAPOLIS – Brothers Buddy and Jaques Lazier, Vail natives, are two of 17 eligible drivers who will be competing for 11 starting spots in the 91st Indianapolis 500 during second-round qualifying Sunday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The first 11 positions in the 33-car field were settled Saturday, when Helio Castroneves grabbed the pole with a four-lap average of 225.817 miles per hour.Neither Lazier made a qualifying attempt, but both turned practice laps. Buddy, the 1996 Indy winner, was the faster at 218.149, while Jaques’ best lap was 218.045. Still, Jaques, who drives Playa Del Racing’s No. 21 Panoz/Honda, was upbeat at day’s end.
“The temperature and track conditions when we were out there were as far from ideal as you could possibly go, but we definitely learned some more,” he said. “Today was a learning day for us, and tomorrow is the day that counts.”We’ll crunch some numbers tonight, and I’m very confident that we will come back tomorrow and be able to run the 222s to 223s that we need. There are four or maybe five guys who are shooting for the last two or three spots. We want to be one of those guys. We think we can be.”
Buddy Lazier had reached 222.059 in Sam Schmidt Motorsports’ Dallara/Honda during Thursday’s practice.”I’d like to go out in the morning, run 222s and qualify,” he said. “As much as we would have liked to have qualified (Saturday), we are focusing on the race and being a contender.”
The first 11 positions in the 33-car starting grid were filled Saturday. Team Penske’s Helio Castroneves won his second Indy 500 pole with a 4-lap average speed of 225.817. Andretti Green Racing’s Tony Kanaan qualified for the second starting spot with an average speed of 225.757 and his teammate Dario Franchitti qualified third at 225.191.The second round of qualifications, for spots 12 through 22, continues Sunday. Final time trials are Saturday, May 19 and Sunday, May 20. The 91st running of the Indianapolis 500 will air live on ABC Sports on Sunday, May 27 at 11:00 a.m.
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Jeff Shiffrin, with his wife, Eileen, made the Vail area their home decades ago, and together raised Mikaela and Taylor Shiffrin, who was a member of the two-time NCAA Champion University of Denver Ski Team.