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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Luyendyk Burns Indy Oval With Fastest Test Lap Ever

INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana -- Dutchman Arie Luyendyk was favored to take the pole position for the Indianapolis 500 after turning in the fastest lap ever clocked at Indianapolis Motor Speedway during practice for the upcoming 800-kilometer race.


Luyendyk pushed the top unofficial speed at the track first to 238.045 miles per hour, or 380.872 kilometers per hour, and then to a heartstopping 239.260 mph. That speed is nearly 7 mph, or 11.2 kilometers per hour, above the official track record of 232.618 mph set by Colombian Roberto Guerrero in 1992. But practice times do not count for official track records.


The pole position will go to the driver who turns four laps around the 4-kilometer oval at the fastest average speed.


A $100,000 prize and other awards go to the pole winner. "I'd really like to get the pole," said Luyendyk, the 1990 Indy 500 winner. "I think I can put in four laps in the 237 range."


A total of 13 drive-car combinations have exceeded 230 mph in practice. American Tony Stewart has been closest to Luyendyk in the speed department with a top lap of 237.336 mph.


Other drivers bidding for up-front starting positions are Americans Scott Sharp, Buzz Calkins, Buddy Lazier, Mark Dismore, Richie Hearn, Davy Jones and Davey Hamilton; Chilean Eliseo Salazar; Italians Michele Alboreto and Alessandro Zampedri; Brazilian Marco Greco; Mexican Michel Jourdain Jr., and the only female participant, Floridian Lyn St. James.


No driver will be allowed into the field who cannot make a 220 mph, or 352 kilometers per hour, minimum speed.