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INDIANAPOLIS 500 DAILY REPORT : Good Thing They Will Race the Weekend of Memorial Day and Not Fathers' Day

May 19, 1994|SHAV GLICK

Michael Andretti was asked about drivers he would want to see behind him while leading on the last lap of this year's race.

"It would be nice to see Dad," Michael said of his father, Mario. "On the other hand, if I did and I beat him, I think I would be the most unpopular winner ever."

Mario Andretti, who won in 1969 and is in his 28th Indy race, will be driving in his last 500.

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Of the 62 Indy 500 starters fielded by Roger Penske, pole-sitter Al Unser Jr. and Emerson Fittipaldi will be the 28th and 29th to start from the front row.

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The St. Andrews Apostle grade school decal is again on Willy T. Ribbs' No. 24 Lola-Ford Cosworth in the Derrick Walker stable. It first appeared on Walker's cars in 1991, the team's first year.

When Walker said sponsors were needed for Ribbs' entry, the story reached students at the Indianapolis school, who raised $20 and sent a check to Walker. It was the team's first sponsorship.

Ribbs brought students from St. Andrews to the track for a day in 1992 and has visited the school regularly since during May. Walker still has not cashed the check.

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For the seventh consecutive day, Fittipaldi was the fastest driver on Wednesday. He ran 229.510 m.p.h., his fastest lap of the month. The Brazilian defending champion has also been the busiest driver here, having logged 676 laps to 649 for Teo Fabi and 610 for rookie Adrian Fernandez.

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Rick Mears, who retired after winning four Indy 500s, appeared in Tuesday's episode of "Coach" with Craig T. Nelson. Mears reaction:

"I never thought anything I'd ever do would be more pressure-filled than qualifying for the Indianapolis 500, but I must admit dealing in front of a live audience without a helmet was much tougher that qualifying."

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