For Immediate Release BUHL LATEST TO TEST IRL'S NEW CARS AT SPEEDWAY INDIANAPOLIS, Monday, March 31, 1997 -- Robbie Buhl became the latest driver to test the new Indy Racing League cars at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, running 116...
For Immediate Release
BUHL LATEST TO TEST IRL'S NEW CARS AT SPEEDWAY
INDIANAPOLIS, Monday, March 31, 1997 -- Robbie Buhl became the latest driver to test the new Indy Racing League cars at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, running 116 circuits around the 2.5-mile oval with a best lap of 209.011 miles an hour.
Buhl, driving a Glidden/Menard Special G Force/Oldsmobile Aurora, became the second Team Menard driver to test at the Speedway. Tony Stewart was in the cockpit for a Firestone tire test in a Menard machine earlier this month, running 407.5 miles.
Team Menard now has 697.5 miles of winter testing at the Speedway in preparation for the 81st running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 25.
The track opens Saturday, May 3 for the United States Auto Club's Rookie Orientation Program, which continues through May 5. Veterans join the rookies for practice starting May 6. ***
New reason for caution: The Speedway went yellow during the morning testing session because a kite landed on the track. =20 ***
With the NCAA men's basketball championship on the line tonight in Indianapolis between Arizona and Kentucky, sports figures and dignitaries from around the country are in town. The Speedway's Hall of Fame Museum had a steady stream of basketball fans through its doors during the day. Bill Donaldson, the Speedway's executive vice president, took four of the visitors around the oval in a pace car -- Sean McManus, president of CBS Sports; Tom Shine, president of Logo Athletics; Carmen Policy, president of the San Francisco 49ers; and Carl Pascarella, president and chief executive officer of VISA USA.
QUOTES: ROBBIE BUHL: "Right now, I'm just getting comfortable with the car and the guys. Last year, you're here for the first time in the month of May. This year, you're here in March and things are more relaxed." (about the new IRL cars at the Speedway): "You don't come up on the corners as quickly. It allows you to set up for the corners more You're trying to accomplish the same things in this car as last year's car. One thing I like is not having to deal with the boost numbers. It allows me to concentrate on other things. The sensations seem to be in the same ball park. You still have the sensation of speed."
LARRY CURRY (Team Menard director of racing, about the team's extensive testing plans for April): "We'd probably like to get in a couple thousand miles, minimum...maybe as much as 3,000. The amount of miles has to do with the package being new. We'd like to run four or five motors 500 miles before May, tear them down and get a chance to look at them. We've run enough miles at Phoenix and Orlando that we're pretty comfortable we're not going to have problems with the gearbox, uprights, drive shafts, things like that. We plan to run all week, weather-permitting, and next week, too. One of the two guys (Buhl and Stewart) will be out here pretty much every day. We're going to do some things that lend themselves to race situation stuff. By coming out close to the mark to begin with, you have a baseline and it gives you the opportunity to try more stuff."