IRL: Atlanta Friday Practice

SCHMIDT HAS EYE ON FIRST PPG POLE AFTER RULING ATLANTA PRACTICE HAMPTON, Ga., July 15, 1999 - Sam Schmidt is knocking on the door for his first PPG Pole after posting the fastest lap, 216.078 mph, in practice Thursday for the Kobalt ...

SCHMIDT HAS EYE ON FIRST PPG POLE AFTER RULING ATLANTA PRACTICE

HAMPTON, Ga., July 15, 1999 - Sam Schmidt is knocking on the door for his first PPG Pole after posting the fastest lap, 216.078 mph, in practice Thursday for the Kobalt Mechanics Tools 500 presented by MCI WorldCom at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Schmidt, from Las Vegas, also produced the second-fastest lap of the day, 215.577, on the 1.5-mile quad-oval during the afternoon session in the Sprint PCS G Force/Aurora/Firestone. Schmidt carries plenty of momentum into this event after consecutive top-three finishes last month in Pep Boys Indy Racing League events at Pikes Peak International Raceway and Texas Motor Speedway. "The car was awesome right out of the box," Schmidt said. "We ran our fastest time this afternoon on our eighth lap. For the second session, we tried a bunch of different stuff. We just couldn't find any more speed. So we went back to what we started with, and that's when we ran the 216." Scott Goodyear, Pep Boys Indy Racing League points leader, posted the third- and fourth-fastest laps of the day in the Pennzoil Panther G Force/Aurora/Goodyear, 215.354 and 215.345, respectively. Goodyear drove to fourth in last year's Pep Boys Indy Racing League event at Atlanta, and has an average finishing position of third in Indy Racing night events. Georgia Power Pole Night qualifying for the PPG Pole starts at 6 p.m. (EDT) Friday. The Kobalt Mechanics Tools 500 presented by MCI WorldCom starts at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Eddie Cheever Jr., 1998 Indianapolis 500 champion, posted the fifth fastest overall speed at 215.157 in the The Children's Beverage Group-Team Cheever Dallara/Infiniti/Goodyear. Greg Ray posted a best speed of 214.746 in the Glidden-Menards Dallara/Aurora/Firestone, ninth fastest overall. Ray won the Radisson 200 on June 27 at Pikes Peak International Raceway, the most recent Indy Racing event. Kenny Brack, defending event and series champion, was the 12th fastest driver at 213.768 in the A.J. Foyt Power Team Dallara/Aurora/Goodyear. Jimmy Kite, raised in nearby Stockbridge, Ga., posted a best lap of 211.806 in the Team Losi/Fastrod/McCormack Motorsports G Force/Aurora/Firestone, his first outing in a Pep Boys Indy Racing League car at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Kite was the 25th fastest driver. This may be the tightest field in Pep Boys Indy Racing League history, if practice is any indication. The interval between the fastest and slowest drivers in each practice session was just seven-tenths of a second. The closest qualifying field in league history came in 1998 at Phoenix International Raceway, where 1.026 seconds separated the field.

KOBALT MECHANICS TOOLS 500 PRESENTED BY MCI WORLDCOM NOTEBOOK

Schedule: The Kobalt Mechanics Tools 500 presented by MCI WorldCom starts at 7:30 p.m. (EDT) July 17. Georgia Power Pole Night for the PPG Pole starts at 6 p.m. (EDT) July 16.

Practice sessions start at 5 and 8 p.m. (EDT) July 15, and 3 and 9:45 p.m. (EDT) July 16. *** On the air: The Kobalt Mechanics Tools 500 presented by MCI WorldCom will be televised live at 7:30 p.m. (EDT) July 17 on FOX Sports Net.

SpeedVision will televise PPG Pole qualifying live at 6 p.m. (EDT) July 16.

The Indy Racing Radio Network will broadcast a 30-minute prerace show at 7 p.m. (EDT) July 17, followed by the live race broadcast at 7:30 p.m. The area IRRN affiliate is WBTR-AM 1330 and WBTR-FM 92.1, Carrolton, Ga.

The IRRN race broadcast also will be available live on the Internet at www.indyracingleague.com as part of a partnership between Indy Racing Online and broadcast.com, the world's leading Web broadcast site. ***

On the satellite: A Video News Release of highlights and interviews from the Kobalt Mechanics Tools 500 presented by MCI WorldCom will be available July 16-17. The feed July 16 will feature PPG Pole qualifying, while the feed July 17 will feature the race. The dates, times and satellite coordinates: Feeds will include video with sound and driver interviews. The dates, times and coordinates: .Friday, July 16: 9:30-9:45 p.m. (EDT), SBS 6, Transponder 9 .Saturday, July 17: 11:30-11:45 p.m. (EDT), Telstar 5, Transponder 25 *** Tickets: Tickets are available for the Kobalt Mechanics Tools 500 presented by MCI WorldCom. Call (770) 946-4211 for more information. Ticket information also is available on the World Wide Web at http://www.atlantamotorspeedway.com .

Source: IMS/IRL

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Greg Ray , Eddie Cheever , Scott Goodyear , Jimmy Kite , Kenny Brack , Sam Schmidt