CHAMPCAR/CART: Gidley takes first career laps at fontana

American driver Memo Gidley ran the fastest lap of his racing career today at California Speedway, clocked at an average speed of 234.499 mils per hour in afternoon practice. Gidley's time was good enough to rank him as the 15th fastest driver...

American driver Memo Gidley ran the fastest lap of his racing career today at California Speedway, clocked at an average speed of 234.499 mils per hour in afternoon practice. Gidley's time was good enough to rank him as the 15th fastest driver on the day. Early showers forced the cancellation of the morning practice session.

On handling and setup: "The car is handling pretty good; I think it's the best car we've had on an oval at this point in a race weekend. We rolled off the truck a little bit loose, but we made major improvements through the session. Our performance is especially promising considering the fact that we are one of the few teams that did not have the opportunity to test here at Fontana."

On the raw speed and powerful draft at California Speedway: "The layout at Michigan is similar, but we run about five miles per hour faster here at Fontana and you can definitely feel the difference. The draft is so strong, that you come up in back of somebody and pick up speed very quickly. You're on the rev limiter in no time, the whole car starts shaking, and things become a bit of a blur. It feels like that classic scene in Star Trek, when Captain Kirk calls for warp drive and suddenly the star-field becomes a thousand rays of light. You head into turn one at such high speed, the whole thing doesn't make sense on some kind of basic human level. It's a lot of fun."

On what might be his last race with the Red Menace pit crew: "It would be a shame not to continue with this very special bunch of guys. We became friends so quickly, and the entire Red Menace crew shares my basic values of hard work and dedication. We're hoping to finish the season with a great result here on Sunday."

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Memo Gidley