Davy Jones got his race car back Tuesday, but the reprieve might be temporary.
Jones had been moved out of his Lola-Ford Monday by owner Kenny Bernstein, who wanted Scott Goodyear, his team's lead driver, to drive it. Goodyear's similar car had been bumped from the field Sunday by rookie Marco Greco.
Bernstein learned Tuesday, though, that if he made that switch, Mark Smith would move up to first alternate and Jones would be listed as second alternate.
So he put Jones back in the qualified car, and Goodyear will go back to being first alternate--at least temporarily.
But the situation might be reversed again after Thursday's final practice.
"I think it's just a case of keeping our options open, so we have a chance of having two cars in the race," Jones said.
"We have one car that's in the race, we have one car that's the first alternate. If something should happen Thursday to any one of the qualified cars, then (our) second (car), which is Scott Goodyear's car, will be in the race (because it's) the first alternate. In that case, we'll both stay where we're at.
"If not, then most likely Scott will replace me."
The last time an alternate started was in 1986. Dennis Firestone crashed in the final practice session, wrecking his car, and Dick Simon joined the field.
When Mario Andretti won his only Indy 500 in 1969, one of the more memorable vignettes was of car owner Andy Granatelli giving his driver a kiss in Victory Lane.
During a moment of reflection the other day, Andretti revealed the real story of the much-photographed incident.
"If you look at the picture real close, you can see that he is whispering something in my ear, not kissing me," Andretti said. "I had a deal with Andy that if I won the 500 or the championship, he would double my driving fee--and I must say that Andy was always quite generous with me.
"So, when I pulled into Victory Lane, he leaned over and said, 'You little . . . .' Every time anybody mentions that so-called kiss, I think of that. I finally decided it was time to tell all.
"But Andy was happy."
Andretti will be roasted and toasted at an \o7 Arrivederci\f7 Tour dinner Thursday night. Expected to take their shots at Andretti, who is retiring after this season, are team co-owners Paul Newman and Carl Haas, actor James Garner, Tim Allen of the TV show "Home Improvement" and drivers A.J. Foyt, Bobby Unser, Dan Gurney, Emerson Fittipaldi, Johnny Rutherford and Andretti's teammate, Nigel Mansell.
Proceeds will be divided between the Methodist Children's Hospital and the charity fund of Championship Auto Racing Auxiliary, which donates more than $100,000 annually to various causes.