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Indy Pole-Sitter Hits Wall

May 16, 2002

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) _ Indianapolis 500 pole-sitter Bruno Junqueira escaped injury when he crashed in practice Thursday.

He was pulling into pit lane when he suddenly lost control of his car, the one he qualified Saturday. The car spun, sending him across the track, and he tapped the outside wall. There was some damage to the rear of the car.

Junquiera was cleared to drive a few minutes after the accident. He is one of six Brazilians among the 24 tentative qualifiers for the 33-car field.

Nine spots are expected to be filled Sunday, the last of three days of qualifying.

Junqueira won the pole with a four-lap average of 231.342 mph, the fastest by a pole-sitter on the 2 1/2-mile oval since 1996. It is expected the car will be repaired, and the accident should not affect his qualifying position.

Junqueira’s top speed of 226.598 was second fastest among the 32 cars on the track before the accident.

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