Infiniti Pro Series Veteran Roth passes IRL rookie test.
INDIANAPOLIS, Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2002 -- Infiniti Pro Series driver Marty Roth passed the speed phase of his Indy Racing League rookie test Oct. 28 at Kentucky Speedway.
Roth completed 115 laps on the 1.5-mile oval, with a top speed of 215.3 mph in the Mi-Jack Conquest Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone that Laurent Redon drove during the 2002 Indy Racing League season.
"It felt great," said Roth, who finished fourth at the Infiniti Pro Series Chicagoland 100 and earned three other top-10 finishes in six series starts. "It was the first time I'd even sat in one of these cars, and I was really happy with it. It was fun, and it felt really good pretty quick. It's breathtaking. It was a blast."
Roth credited the Infiniti Pro Series with preparing him for the increased power and performance of the Indy Racing League car.
"I felt really comfortable getting up to speed," Roth said. "Everything I learned in the Pro Series applied here as far as setting up the car. It fit like a glove.
"I can't imagine running the IRL without doing the Infiniti Pro Series. It's a great stepping-stone. It really prepares you for what to expect in the IRL car and made it an easy transition.
"(The IRL car) is basically the same thing as the Pro Series car, just bigger and faster. It's more of everything. It's a great car. My goal is to race in the IRL, so the next step is to go testing. You've got to get used to the car, and then you can put it in traffic."
Mark Bridges, technical manager for the Indy Racing League, was on hand to observe the test, which took place in cold, windy conditions.
"He did real well," Bridges said. "He got with the program really quickly. We had some alternator and fuel pressure issues, and I was impressed with the way he dealt with those problems. He conducted himself in a very professional manner. He was very focused and comfortable with the car."