IPS: IRL: Nashville: Kelley Racing race report

Sharp has disappointing night - Renna and Priestley turn in solid performances for Kelley Racing at Nashville Superspeedway LEBANON, TN ~ When the last caution waved on lap 194 of the 200 lap Firestone Indy 200 at Nashville Superspeedway, Scott...

Sharp has disappointing night - Renna and Priestley turn in solid performances for Kelley Racing at Nashville Superspeedway

LEBANON, TN ~ When the last caution waved on lap 194 of the 200 lap Firestone Indy 200 at Nashville Superspeedway, Scott Sharp had his #8 Delphi Dallara-Chevrolet in second place with a solid shot at victory number two of the 2002 season. He had led laps 174-189 until eventual winner Alex Barron got under Sharp on the lap 190 restart.

When the green waved on lap 198 setting up a three-lap dash to the checkered, Sharp made a run at leader Barron while fending of strong challenges from both Gil de Ferran and Sam Hornish, Jr. de Ferran was able to make the pass on lap 199 but Sharp held off Hornish, Jr. for third place.

Immediately following the finish, Sharp and team owner Tom Kelley were called to the IRL Administration trailer to receive the news he was being penalized one lap by IRL officials for on-track blocking following the last yellow. The action moved Sharp from third to eighth, the first car one lap down. Sharp now sits eighth in IRL season point standing with 208 points,139 points behind series leader de Ferran.

A solid tenth place finish marked Renna's debut in the #7 Corteco/Bryant entry. Renna led the race for 35 laps from lap 27 to 61. Following his second stop of the night under yellow, Renna found himself spinning at the exit of pitroad. The car would not re-fire immediately resulting in his going down three laps to the leaders in 19th place. With great race strategy, fast pitstops and determination, Renna worked his way to tenth, a solid performance for his first-ever IRL race.

"I am happy with results, the car felt good the whole race, said Renna. "We had a mishap on our way out of the pits following the second pitstop exiting on pitroad and spun the car. We got back out there and drove strong the rest of the race.

"My crew gave me great stops and the car was awesome the entire race. I just can't say enough about how awesome these Corteco/Bryant guys are and how much help and support they have given me this weekend.

" It is hard to describe my feelings when I was leading the race. I hope Al Jr. was watching and saw we took good care of his baby. I want to again express our support for Al Jr. and can hardly wait until he is back in the car.

"I am really looking forward to the Michigan race. I had 200 laps of learning tonight and feel I will be that much more comfortable when we head north for the next race."

Jason Priestley, driving the HomeMed sponsored car moved into third place in the Indy Infiniti Pro Series points standings with a solid sixth place finish in the second race of the inaugural season of the series designed to groom the next series of IRL superstars.

"At the start of the race, I was running with the leaders," said Priestley. "But as the race progressed, I picked up a push in turned two and four.

"The engine in the HomeMed car was great and my crew is just awesome. But with the push I had, the track surface took the adhesion down on the tires so I just took what the car would give me.

"I feel I learned a lot out there today. With another race in just one week, I wanted to bring the car home in one piece. I had fun again out there!"

The next event for Kelley Racing will be the Michigan Indy 400 on July 28 at Michigan International Speedway, Brooklyn, MI. The race start is scheduled for 3:00 PM EDT with live television coverage on ABC.

-kr-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series IndyCar , Indy Lights
Drivers Scott Sharp , Gil de Ferran , Alex Barron , Jason Priestley , Sam Hornis