INDIANAPOLIS — Twenty years and one week after Arie Luyendyk became the fastest man to conquer Indianapolis Motor Speedway's 2½-mile oval, his records remain untouched and unchallenged.
And unlikely to fall anytime soon.
In qualifying for the 1996 Indianapolis 500, Luyendyk recorded a lap at a mind-blowing 237.498 mph and set the four-lap average record at 236.986 mph.
"It seems like a long time," Luyendyk said Wednesday. "I knew it would be a while with the changes going on at the speedway. I anticipated the speeds would be slower for a while, but 20 years is a long time."
The next year, horsepower was reduced, and as further safety measures have been introduced, nobody has approached the records. Three-time race winner Helio Castroneves has the fastest pole speed of the past 20 years, 231.725 mph, set in 2003.
NHRA: Matt Hagan broke the Funny Car track records for time (3.862 seconds) and speed (335.57 mph) and Brittany Force set a Top Fuel track record at 3.676 seconds on the first day of qualifying at the Kansas Nationals in Topeka. Series leader Jason Line (6.578, 210.37) led Pro Stock.