IRL: Fontana: Kelley Racing race report

Ontario, CA. (September 21, 2003) --The Toyota Indy 400 is now in the record books and the Kelley Racing drivers were both able to finish the day in the top ten. Scott Sharp, driver of the No. 8 Delphi entry, and Al Unser Jr., driver of the No....

Ontario, CA. (September 21, 2003) --The Toyota Indy 400 is now in the record books and the Kelley Racing drivers were both able to finish the day in the top ten. Scott Sharp, driver of the No. 8 Delphi entry, and Al Unser Jr., driver of the No. 31 Corteco entry, both made steady gains on the lead pack throughout the race and both Kelley Racing drivers were able to move into the top ten by the mid point of the race. Sharp, made his move into the top ten after a quick first pit stop moved him from 16th to 10th. Unser Jr., who had minor refueling problems on his first stop, made his move into the top ten after the second round of pit stops and both drivers held there for the duration of the race. Sharp ended his day with an eighth place finish and Unser Jr. ended his day in ninth place. Today's 200-lap event was won by Sam Hornish Jr, while Scott Dixon was second and Tony Kanaan finished third. The Kelley racing team will now return to Indianapolis to prepare for the season finale, which will be held at the Texas Motor Speedway on October 12.

Al Unser Jr. -- #31 Corteco/Dallara/Toyota/Firestone

"The Corteco special ran great today. We just didn't have the speed to get all the way up front. We had one minor hiccup on our first pit stop when the refueling safety valve closed on us and even though it was no one's fault, it set us back a bit. Now we're on our way to Texas and I think I'm still sixth in points so we're holding steady and we're just going to try for a repeat from the June race."

Al Unser Jr., No. 31 Corteco/Dallara/Toyota/Firestone--Fast Facts and Quote

Today was Unser Jr.'s 323rd career start and his 50th IRL start.

California Record--In 2002, the inaugural year for the IRL at Fontana, Unser Jr. started 7th and finished 11th. As a Champ Car driver Unser Jr. raced in Fontana in 1997 and 1998. In 1997, he started 20th and finished 22nd, while in 1998 he started 13th and finished 27th.

His victory on June 7 at Texas Motor Speedway was his third IndyCar Series victory and his 34th career victory.

Unser Jr. has won two Indianapolis 500's (1992, 1994) and two open-wheel championships (1990, 1994).

Scott Sharp -- #8 Delphi/Dallara/Toyota/Firestone

"Given what we had and the type of weekend we have had, this was a great finish for the Delphi crew. I'm never the one to get excited for eighth place, but I told someone after starting 19th if we could salvage a top-ten finish it would be huge. Everything just clicked today; our car was greatly improved from yesterday and my team gave me great pit stops and Steve (Newey) called a great race. Today was what having a teammate is all about, we were able to share information with Al and his engineers and get a better set-up on the car for the race. So a big thank you to my teammates for their help."

Scott Sharp, No. 8 Delphi/Dallara/Toyota/Firestone---Fast Facts and Quote

Today was Sharp's 81st career start, his 73rd consecutive IndyCar start--an IRL record-- and his sixth season with Kelley Racing.

California Record--In 2002, Sharp started 9th and finished 8th.

Sharp's victory in April at Twin Ring Motegi, Japan was his eighth career victory.

-www.kelleyracing.com-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Al Unser Jr. , Scott Sharp , Tony Kanaan , Sam Hornis