Front-row mates speed through last practice run Indianapolis 500 notes


INDIANAPOLIS -- The final day of practice for Sunday's Indianapolis 500 came and went without mishap yesterday.

Mario Andretti, driving his Lola/Ford Cosworth XB, was fastest on the track, hitting 226.409 mph.

Andretti's front-row mates in Sunday's 76th annual Indianapolis 500 also were among the top five fastest. Eddie Cheever clocked 224.921, and pole-sitter Roberto Guerrero notched 224.899 mph.

Arie Lyuendyk (225.423) and Michael Andretti (225.220) showed they were up to speed with the second and third fastest laps of the day.


Driver relief: Drivers were feeling somewhat better about the new caution rules after a drivers meeting yesterday, where the U.S. Automobile Club announced it will continue the 100-mph speed limit on pit road.

USAC had announced the day before that drivers would not be allowed to pit during a caution period until the pace car had picked up the leader and the rest of the field had grouped behind it.

"I think there is still a chance that there can be more accidents on pit road with these changes than before," said STP driver Danny Sullivan. "Pit road isn't very wide here and I think there could be problems with guys stopping in front of you to pull into their pits. But I agree with the speed limit. I think that's good."


A star-studded show: It's the Indianapolis 500 and the stars, past and present, want to be seen. On the celebrity guest list: "Late Night" host David Letterman, Beverly Hills 90240 heartthrob Luke Perry; two older heartthrobs, Paul Newman and James Garner.

Motley Crue's Vince Neil is here; Roseanne's Martin Mull; actor Dean Jones, who made his name in Disney films and Hollywood's Alec Baldwin and his girlfriend, actress Kim Bassinger.

And Jim Nabors, who entertains everyone on race day with his

version of "Home Again in Indiana."


Pit stop winner: Bobby Rahal's Miller Genuine Draft team won its own sponsor's pit stop contest.

The Rahal team collected $51,000 by clocking 13.324 against Eddie Cheever's Target team. Cheever's crew earned $15,000 for second and Guerrero's team and Mario Andretti's each collected $5,000 as semifinalists.

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