Twenty-five minutes before quitting time, Clark came back for another run. "A fast one," the track announcer barked after the first lap. It was: 164.204. Clark covered the 10 miles in 3 minutes 39.32 seconds for an average speed of 164.144, which put him in the front row right alongside Andretti. "I could have gone faster, actually," Clark said. "But for some reason or other my goggles fell off in the backstretch and that just about blinded me. It was a bit nasty. But I remembered where I was, counted one, two, then turned left. I'll go faster in the race, of course."
On Sunday, Foyt and Gurney finally made it into the field, at 161.355 and 160.499 mph, respectively, but way back in the seventh row.
And thus the cast for Indy's annual Memorial Day drama began to take shape. There was every prospect the race would be the fastest of them all and possibly the most dangerous, as well. Already records had fallen. One life had been snuffed out, and there was another weekend of qualifying ahead.
The rites would go on with brutal vigor, but until May 30—if then—it seemed certain that no one was going to catch a slight young Pennsylvanian named Mario Andretti.