Maybe Jim Crawford should change car numbers.
Crawford, who is from St. Petersburg Beach, drove the quickest lap in Speedway history, 233.433 mph in practice last week, but a couple of blown engines and bad timing forced him into an eighth-row start as a second-day qualifier.
There's probably no connection, but Crawford had car No. 15 two years ago and finished 15th. Last year, his car was No. 26 and he finished 26th.
His car number this year?
Additional surgery was planned for Nelson Piquet, who sustained severe foot and ankle injuries in a crash during practice last week.
Dr. Tom Southern, a plastic surgeon, was preparing Piquet for initial skin grafts.
Meanwhile, Piquet remained in good condition and had been moved from intensive care to a private room at Methodist Hospital.
Hiro Matsushita, who broke his thigh in a separate crash, also was reported doing well and was expected to be released from Methodist.
Unser hits wall
Three-time winner Al Unser brushed the wall coming out of Turn 4 during practice Wednesday and broke the right front wheel on his Lola-Buick. Unser was uninjured and the car is expected to be back on the track today.
Ted Prappas, the rookie from Los Angeles who crashed twice last year in his first shot at Indianapolis, was the fastest non-qualifier Wednesday with a lap at 216.388 mph.
Pancho Carter, a former pole-winner and veteran of 17 Indy starts, was added to the list of drivers hoping to make the field this weekend. Carter joins Gordon Johncock as a member of Hemelgarn-Byrd Racing, which has Stan Fox in the tentative lineup at 222.867.Herm Johnson, who drove in the 500 in 1982 and 1984, has given up racing to become a designer-painter of racing helmets.The last rookie to finish all 500 miles was Donnie Allison in 1970. Practice continues today and Friday for the May 24 race.
_ Compiled from wire reports.