Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Guerrero's '92 Record of 232 MPH Seems Safe

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Guerrero's '92 Record of 232 MPH Seems Safe

Article excerpt

Al Unser Jr. easily topped the pole-winning speed of Arie Luyendyk for last year's Indianapolis 500 with his 228.011 mph average in Saturday's qualifying.

A year ago, Luyendyk won the pole with an average speed of 223.967 mph.

In Saturday's qualifying at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the top six speeds were higher than the pole-winning speed of a year ago. Unser had the fastest, and he is the provisional pole-sitter.

But only 21 spots in the 33-car field were filled because of rain. The pole still is up for grabs, especially with Emerson Fittipaldi, last year's race winner, still waiting to qualify.

The Indy speed mark of 232.482 mph, set in 1992 by Roberto Guerrero, withstood Saturday's qualifying and looks as if it will hold up this year.

Fittipaldi's top practice speed has been 230.438 mph. He'll try to grab the pole from Unser in Sunday's qualifying - weather permitting.

This is deja vu for Fittipaldi - only in reverse.

He won the provisional pole in the rain-delayed qualifying in 1990 but had to wait a week before the remainder of the field got a chance to run. His competition then was Unser. Fittipaldi's speed held, but he had to sweat it out a week.

Paul Tracy was released from Methodist Hospital on Saturday morning. He suffered a concussion and a foot injury in a crash Friday. Tracy wasn't cleared to drive Saturday, so he'll now be a "second-day" qualifier and is not eligible for the pole.

"Not being able to qualify today was a big disappointment, not just for myself but for my entire Marlboro crew," Tracy said. "The standard procedure is to wait 24 hours. So, I'm going to rest today and hopefully I'll be cleared to qualify tomorrow."

Tracy drives the same type of car as Unser and Fittipaldi - the Penske-Mercedes.

The last two cars in the provisional field and the first ones expected to be bumped are the Lola-Hondas driven by Bobby Rahal and Mike Groff on the Rahal-Hogan team. …

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