Legge competes in the American Le Mans Series with Delta Wing and didn’t have a deal with team owner Sam Schmidt until Saturday morning. She ran her first laps in the car in the morning practice session when she hit the track at 9:04 a.m. Eastern Time.
“No pressure,” Legge quipped after practice. “I’m just really fortunate I’m with such a good team. Simon Pagenaud and the engineers and Tristan Vautier (her teammates at Schmidt Peterson) have done a really good job setting the car up so far. It’s tight on time. I’m not going to lie; I was freaking out this morning. We just have to work through things in a very organized way. The team has just been incredible. So I’m relatively happy right now. I think I’ll be happier at the end of the day when we’ve put her in the field but it’s a challenge.”
After 1996 Indy 500 winner Buddy Lazier, Brazil’s Ana Beatriz, Sebastian Saavedra, Conor Daly, Graham Rahal, Vautier, Pippa Mann and Josef Newgarden all put their cars into the starting lineup there was one spot open with two drivers attempting to fill it.
Legge began her qualification attempt at 12:53 p.m. Eastern Time her four laps were the slowest of any competitor but the 223.176 mph four-lap average would ultimately be enough to keep her in the field. She will start on the outside of the last row when the green flag drops next Sunday.
“To have the opportunity to even jump in and do a few laps was a dream come true,” Legge said. “Sam gave me the opportunity and for that I will be eternally grateful. Simon and Tristan set the car up really good so I could just jump in and go flat. By lap four in practice I was flat. I was aware it was a conduced schedule. In traffic the car worked really well.
“I just like to create a drama.”
The last time Legge drove an IndyCar was in the 2012 season finale at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. She was actually in the top five before she made a mistake that would doom her in the race.
“Fontana we were running P4 before I got caught speeding on pit lane and had a drive-through penalty,” she recalled. “That was my bad. That was inexperience. I won’t make that mistake again. Five hundred miles is a long way. We can make our way through the field if I’m smart about it.
“Last year we didn’t have much time on the track so I’ve jumped into a good car this time. At least I’m in a great car with great support from this team.
“I’m in the show and that is what counts. We will go out on Carb Day and get the car ready for the race.”