IRL: IMS testing 97-03-12

For Immediate Release STEWART REACHES 216.080 ON FINAL DAY OF SPEEDWAY TEST INDIANAPOLIS, Wednesday, March 12, 1997 -- Tony Stewart, on the final day of a test, reeled off a top unofficial lap speed of 216.080 miles an hour today at...

For Immediate Release

STEWART REACHES 216.080 ON FINAL DAY OF SPEEDWAY TEST

INDIANAPOLIS, Wednesday, March 12, 1997 -- Tony Stewart, on the final day of a test, reeled off a top unofficial lap speed of 216.080 miles an hour today at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the fastest of the early testing sessions at the 2 1/2-mile oval.

Stewart drove Team Menard's Glidden/Menard Special, a G Force/Aurora, for 104 laps in a tire test for Firestone, giving him 163 laps for the two days of track activity.

The fast lap broke his own unofficial mark set Tuesday of 214.485.

John Paul Jr., turned a fastest lap of 215.063 miles an hour in PDM Racing's Tnemec Earl's Performance Products V-Line Dallara/Aurora during tire testing for Goodyear. His fastest lap on Tuesday was 212.514.

According to PDM co-owner Paul Diatlovich, the Aurora engine in the team's car ran 619 miles -- 249 in the recent Test in the West at Phoenix International Raceway and 370 at the Speedway. Paul Jr., ran 93 laps today and 144 for the two-day test.

The teams were in their first pre-May testing sessions for the 81st running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 25. *** QUOTES: LEO MEHL (IMS Vice President and executive director of the IRL): "We all are very pleased with the first tests of our new cars and engine at the Speedway. The designers and engineers hit the predicted speeds right on the nose. The cars are approximately 20 miles an hour slower in the corners and about 25 miles an hour slower on the straightaways. That means we can look for high race speeds between 210 and 215 miles an hour."

TONY STEWART: (about the difference between 214 and 216): "Two miles an hour. It didn't feel any different. The car ended up with a nice balance yesterday and we got it even better today. It was like driving a Cadillac. I think the temperature helped a little bit ... it was a little warmer. I think it's been a good race car wherever we've gone and this was no different."

LARRY CURRY (Team Menard director of racing): "It was a good test. We got a lot of miles on the equipment. We picked up the speed a little bit. Tires are a wonderful thing. You put a good tire on, you go faster. We did the last two runs full of fuel and we ran 213.98 miles an hour. I would consider it to be more of a race setup. When you're testing tires, you have to have a very consistent car. We didn't change the setup all day."

AL SPEYER (Firestone director of motorsports): "Tony and the Menard team did a wonderful job of testing over the two days. The most important aspect of the test, more so than the impressive lap speeds that they turned, was the number of laps they were able to complete. It will provide us with an invaluable amount of data and will go a long way in helping Firestone bring the best possible tire back to Indy in May."

TODD CARPENTER (Group Leader, Goodyear IRL Tire Development): "We weren't sure how fast the car was going to go. We had a safety buffer to account for any speeds. Things at the Speedway are much more sensitive, historically. Small changes in the car or small changes in the (tire) stagger make bigger differences at the Speedway than on a mile track. You have to work for that precision."

JOHN PAUL JR.: "Most of it (the gain) was in tires and some of it was getting comfortable. We didn't trim the car since we got here. At Phoenix (at the Test in the West), the guys gave me a good car and my confidence level came up tremendously. It's a snowball effect. I think 218s or 220s are possible if the day is right. We figured 210-212 was going to be the number, based on the wing size and power from those parameters years ago."

HERB PORTER (Speedway Engine Development Co): (about PDM Racing running 619 miles on an engine developed by his company): "We started with Paul's (Diatlovich) first and we have a couple of others. I'll be more pleased when we can get it apart tomorrow."

...97TEST-34...

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Tony Stewart , John Paul