SPEEDWAY, Ind. – Four-time Indianapolis 500 Mile Race champion Rick Mears, a Team Penske consultant, has some simple, yet proven, advice for A.J. Allmendinger as he participates in the Rookie Orientation Program at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
“It’s really all about patience. Just take your time and get comfortable in the car taking lap after lap. Don’t rush yourself,” said Mears, who augmented his victories at the Brickyard with a record six pole starts. “Wait until the car and track comes to you instead of trying to go to it.
“Being smooth on the (Indianapolis Motor) Speedway is all about smaller movement, more progressive on all your movements. The main thing is getting in the car and getting laps. He’s a racer; it won’t take any time.”
Allmendinger is especially fond of that last quote as he’ll join others drivers May 11 (Saturday) on Opening Day at the venerable facility. Tristan Vautier (Schmidt Peterson Motorsports) and Carlos Munoz (Andretti Autosport) also will participate, with Conor Daly (A.J. Foyt Racing) going through the program after completing his European racing obligations.
Drivers must complete two of the three phases May 11-12. The third phase may be completed on any of the practice days before Pole Day qualifying (May 18). Phases include 10 laps at 200-205 mph, 15 laps at 205-209 mph and 15 laps at 210-plus mph.