LIVE BLOG: Indianapolis 500 Qualifying

IndyCar, IndyCar commentary — By on May 16, 2014 1:56 pm

10:15 am ET — We’re back on another chilly morning at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for Day 2 of qualifications for the Indianapolis 500.  We’ll set the starting order today with positions 10-33 beginning the festivities at 11:00 this morning before the Fast 9 take to the track at 2:00 pm this afternoon.

This morning’s practice session ran clean with only a short yellow period for debris on the track.  It was mostly a Tow Fest with rookie Mihkail Aleshin claiming the fastest lap of the day and the month at 232.917 mph.  Three other drivers — Newgarden, Busch, and Hunter-Reay, topped 231 mph in the session.  Few drivers, however, actually ran clean laps so those times are difficult to truly assess.  Six drivers — Carpenter, Hinchcliffe, Andretti, Pagenaud, Wilson, and Karem — chose to sit the session out entirely.

Following the practice session, a truly inspirational moment took place on the track as IndyCar owner and former driver Sam Schmidt took to the 2.5-mile oval behind the wheel of a specially modified Corvette.  The quadriplegic suffered paralyzing injuries in an off-season crash at Walt Disney World Speedway in 2000 and has had a very successful career as a car owner.   The highly modified Corvette allowed Sam to drive using the slight motion available to him in his head and neck.  Seeing him on track and actually piloting the car at nearly 100 mph was an amazing feat of both perseverance and engineering.  The crowd (what little there is) was gracious in their applause for Schmidt and a whole host of current Sam’s former IndyCar and Indy Light drivers were at the Yard of Bricks to receive him back on to pit lane.

Also here this morning was the traditional swearing in of new military recruits.  This ceremony has gone on for several years and is part of the Armed Forces Day celebration here at IMS.

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