Buddy Lazier back at Indy, 17 years after win

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Things started out just fine for Buddy Lazier on Friday as he made his way through the refresher test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

“So far, so good,” he said after finishing the first phase of the test.

But by the end of the day? Not so much.

Lazier’s car ran out of gas just a few laps before completing the test. To make matters worse, heavy rain and lightning ended practice early and Lazier’s crew was left towing the No. 91 car to the garage in the middle of it all.

A refresher is exactly what Lazier needs. He’s been away from the Indy 500 since 2009, when he failed to qualify. At 46, he has 16 previous starts at Indy _ more than any driver who will qualify this weekend.

He was the winner back in 1996, but that was 17 years ago. Later, in 2000, he won the IndyCar series.

Now, Lazier’s trying to get back up to speed for a shot in this year’s race.

“We can’t really skip a whole lot of steps,” Lazier said. “We’ll skip the few that we can, but other than that, we just have to go step by step. Bit it feels really good.”

Friday was the second day on the track for Lazier. He’s one of three drivers this year trying to qualify a car for their father at Indy, along with Marco Andretti and Graham Rahal.

“We are going to get back to what we would be doing on the first day and start going through different steps and starting trying to find some speed and race setup,” Lazier said.

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