IRL: Hearn Las Vegas test report

HEARN RETURNS TO INDY RACING CAR AT LAS VEGAS LAS VEGAS, Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2002 -- Indy Racing League driver Richie Hearn returned to the cockpit of an Indy Racing car Nov. 12 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the first time since a racing...

HEARN RETURNS TO INDY RACING CAR AT LAS VEGAS

LAS VEGAS, Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2002 -- Indy Racing League driver Richie Hearn returned to the cockpit of an Indy Racing car Nov. 12 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the first time since a racing injury in August.

Hearn, who lives in nearby Henderson, Nev., turned laps in a Sam Schmidt Motorsports IRL car at the 1.5-mile oval, where he scored his only IRL win in 1996. Hearn suffered a broken right foot in an accident during the Belterra Casino Indy 300 on Aug. 11 at Kentucky Speedway, ending his season.

"It felt really good," Hearn said. "Mentally, I knew I could still drive. My foot's at 95 percent. Although the bone is still bruised, it gave me no problem."

Said team owner Schmidt: "He did great -- everything's fine. It's like falling off a horse. After about 30 laps, he was running flat out."

Hearn, 31, started 10 races in 2002, nine with Schmidt and one with A.J. Foyt Racing. Hearn scored six top-10 finishes with a best finish of fourth at the Firestone Indy 200 on July 20 at Nashville Superspeedway.

"Of course, I want to get back to racing," Hearn said. "Hopefully Sam will have a program together, and we'll race next year at Homestead. If not, then Indy."

The eighth Indy Racing League season starts March 2, 2003, at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Sam Schmidt