IRL: Aurora Texas pole report

Contact: Rick Voegelin High Performance Communications 408-761-2201 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE AURORA V8 WINS FOURTH STRAIGHT POLE Oldsmobile Sweeps Top 14 Spots, Powers 20 of 22 Qualifiers Fort Worth, Texas; June 4,...

Contact: Rick Voegelin High Performance Communications 408-761-2201

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

AURORA V8 WINS FOURTH STRAIGHT POLE

Oldsmobile Sweeps Top 14 Spots, Powers 20 of 22 Qualifiers

Fort Worth, Texas; June 4, 1997 -- Tony Stewart put Team Menard's Aurora-powered Indy car on the pole for the third time in four races in qualifying tonight for the inaugural True Value 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. Stewart extended the Indy Aurora V8's perfect record in Indy Racing League qualifying to four straight poles since the series introduced its new 4.0-liter engine formula in January. Stewart previously won poles in Orlando and Phoenix, while Arie Luyendyk was the polesitter for the Indianapolis 500.

Twenty of the 22 qualifiers -- including the 14 fastest drivers -- used the 4.0-liter Indy Aurora V8, which is based on the 32-valve DOHC engine that is available exclusively in the Aurora luxury performance sedan.

"I'm a racer, not a qualifier," Stewart declared after running the fastest speed at 167.133 mph on the high-banked 1.5-mile oval. The unique qualifying format required drivers to run two laps and then pit for a two-tire change; the cumulative times determined the qualifying order. Stewart topped the charts with lap speeds of 216.251 and 216.494 mph and a 12.9-second pit stop. Stewart's teammate Robbie Buhl will start on the outside front row.

"This car has been glued to the race track since we got here," said Stewart. "I ran it flat out for two laps, and that's the first time I've done that here. This is the most comfortable race car I've driven. I don't plan on making a lot of changes; what we ran tonight is close to what we'll run in the race."

Rookie Kenny Brack will start in the second row in Galles Racing's G-Force Aurora with a 165.480 mph average speed. "Prior to our test here last month, I'd never been on a track with this much banking, so it was quite unusual," said the Swedish racer.

Two racers who had their times disallowed will be gridded at the rear of the field, along with several entries that did not making qualifying attempts. The inaugural True Value 500, the first Indy car race of the modern era to be run at night, is scheduled to start at 7:00 p.m. local time (8:00 p.m. EDT) on Saturday, June 7. The tape-delayed telecast will begin at 9:30 p.m. EDT on ESPN2.

TRUE VALUE 500 QUALIFYING ORDER

Driver Entrant Engine Speed Row 1 1. Tony Stewart Team Menard Aurora 167.133 mph 2. Robbie Buhl Team Menard Aurora 165.946 Row 2 3. Kenny Brack Galles Racing Aurora 165.480 4. Buddy Lazier Hemelgarn Racing Aurora 165.318 Row 3 5. Scott Goodyear Treadway Racing Aurora 165.293 6. Greg Ray Knapp Motorsports Aurora 162.125 Row 4 7. Eddie Cheever, Jr. FirstPlus Team Cheever Aurora 161.606 8. Jim Guthrie Blueprint Racing Aurora 160.997 Row 5 9. Davey Hamilton A.J. Foyt Ent. Aurora 159.103 10. Buzz Calkins Bradley Motorsports Aurora 158.792 Row 6 11. Arie Luyendyk Treadway Racing Aurora 158.791 12. Marco Greco Team Scandia Aurora 158.496 Row 7 13. Robbie Groff McCormack Motorsports Aurora 154.652 14. Mark Dismore Kelley Automotive Grp. Aurora 153.856 Row 8 15. Roberto Guerrero Pagan Racing Infiniti 152.873 16. Affonso Giaffone Chitwood Motorsports Aurora 152.745 Row 9 17. Vincenzo Sospiri Team Scandia Aurora 151.010 18. Allen May Sinden Racing Services Aurora 149.586 Row 10 19. Jack Miller Arizona Motorsports Infiniti 149.197 20. Sam Schmidt Blueprint Racing Aurora 134.136 Row 11 21. Billy Boat A.J. Foyt Ent. Aurora no time 22. Eliseo Salazar Team Scandia Aurora no time # # #

E-mail from: Rick Voegelin, 04-Jun-1997

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Tony Stewart , Buzz Calkins , Greg Ray , Eddie Cheever , Robbie Buhl , Eliseo Salazar , Buddy Lazier , Davey Hamilton , Arie Luyendyk , Billy Boat , Mark Dismore , Jim Guthrie , Scott Goodyear , Roberto Guerrero , Kenny Brack , Sam Schmidt , Vincenzo Sospiri , A.J. Foyt , Jack Miller