IRL: Indy 500: Kelley Racing Opening Day preview

Kelley Racing Fast Facts *Kelley Racing entries have made 12 Indianapolis 500 starts since 1997. *The best start for a Kelley driver was in 2001 when Scott Sharp, driver of the No. 8 Delphi entry, started from the pole. His qualifying...

Kelley Racing Fast Facts

*Kelley Racing entries have made 12 Indianapolis 500 starts since 1997.

*The best start for a Kelley driver was in 2001 when Scott Sharp, driver of the No. 8 Delphi entry, started from the pole. His qualifying speed was 226.037 miles per hour.

*The best finish for a Kelley Racing driver was tenth by Scott Sharp in 2000.

*Kelley Racing drivers have made 126 starts, scored eight victories and eight poles in IRL career competition.

Al Unser Jr. , No. 31 Corteco/Dallara/Toyota/Firestone

* 2003 will be Unser Jr.'s 16th start at the Indianapolis 500, his 312th career start and his 39th IRL start. At Indianapolis in 2002, he started seventh and finished 12th.

*Unser Jr. has won two previous Indianapolis 500's, 1992 and 1994. In 1994, Unser Jr. started from the pole and led 48 laps en-route to his victory.

*Unser Jr. has seven top-five finishes, and nine top-ten finishes at Indianapolis and has led 110 laps.

*As a family, the Unser's (Jerry, Bobby, Al Sr., Al Jr., Johnny and Robby) have 69 starts in the Indianapolis 500 and nine wins, more than any other racing family.

Quote on the 87th Indianapolis 500

"I feel that the Corteco team is right there, that we're competitive and should have a good month at the Speedway. Our testing last month at IMS went very well and both Scott and I are happy with where we are on our cars. The crew guys have been really working hard and I think we're prepared for a great start to the month of May. I've been asked about my chances of winning at the Speedway this year and I think that with this Kelley Racing Corteco team that I have the best opportunity that I have had since 1994 to win because from the equipment, to the mechanics to the engineers, I have the best. And at the Indianapolis 500, if you are in it, you can win it."

Scott Sharp , No. 8 Delphi/Dallara/Toyota/Firestone

*2003 will be Sharp's ninth start at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, his 70th career start and his sixth Indianapolis 500 with Kelley Racing. In 2002, he started eighth and finished 27th after a mechanical failure.

*Sharp is currently the points leader in the IndyCar Series with 106 points.

*Sharp's best start at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway was in 2001 when he started from the pole with a qualifying speed of 226.037 miles per hour. His best finish was tenth in 2000 and 1996. Sharp has led three laps at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

*Sharp's victory last month at Twin Ring Motegi, Japan was his eighth career victory and the second consecutive year that he has won the race prior to Indianapolis.

Quote on the 87th Indianapolis 500

"Things are going great for the 500. The Delphi team had a strong test there last week and we were able to get ourselves completely set for the beginning of the month. The Delphi team is coming into the Speedway with a lot of confidence and we know that we need to just keep operating the way we have the last three races. It is nice to come into Indy in the points lead but it is still way too early for that to be a concern. I think the Delphi team just needs to continue to be consistent and to run well."

Tony Renna , No. 32 Cure Autism Now/HomeMed/Dallara/Toyota/Firestone

*2003 will be Renna's first Indianapolis 500. He passed his Rookie Orientation Program on April 21, 2003.

*Renna previously competed for Kelley Racing in 2002. In his six IndyCar starts, he had a best finish of fourth at Michigan.

Quote on the 87th Indianapolis 500

"Obviously, I am extremely excited about the upcoming month. The Indy 500 has played a huge role in directing my career path. My first real racing memory was watching Indy and I have been incredibly intrigued by the race ever since. Now to be a part of it all is such a tremendous honor and it is also very satisfying to be here after so many years of hard work. On top of it all, I am here with Kelley Racing so I am have tremendous confidence that I can be in a position to win in my first attempt. So far, I have completed two days of testing at "The Speedway" including Rookie Orientation. I felt very comfortable right off the bat in the Cure Autism Now/HomeMed car. I would say that is completely attributed to the fact that Kelley Racing has put a great car under me. The team clearly has a strong grasp on what it takes to be quick around this track. Many of the people involved in my program are new to me and to each other so we are all getting to know one another a little better each day. In the short time we have been together, I get the feeling that there is good chemistry there. Running the entire month will be great for all of us and I know by race day we will be a well oiled machine."

-kelleyracing.com-

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Al Unser Jr. , Scott Sharp , Tony Renna