IRL: Indy 500 Open Test pre-testing quotes

INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, April 6, 2000 - Quotes from selected Indy Racing Northern Light Series drivers about the Indianapolis 500 Open Test from April 7-11 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Rookies will participate in the Rookie Orientation...

INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, April 6, 2000 - Quotes from selected Indy Racing Northern Light Series drivers about the Indianapolis 500 Open Test from April 7-11 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Rookies will participate in the Rookie Orientation Program April 7-8, while veterans will test April 9-11.

TYCE CARLSON (Veteran): "With the luxury of two cars, we have the ability to try many different things and many different combinations. Ultimately, the goal is to find out as much as possible in the shortest amount of time and least number of laps. We've certainly been good at that this year between our Vegas, Texas and Phoenix tests, where we've run reasonably quick and have been among the leaders. The goal at Indy is always to be as quick as you can and hopefully end up toward the top of the sheet. But the primary objective is to win the race, and it's the race setup that we'll be concentrating on." (About development of Hubbard-Immke Racing): "This team is really starting to develop well. We have everyone in place we need, though we're still looking to fill some voids. It may be less of a personnel issue and more of just rearranging some of the responsibilities within the team so things run a bit more smoothly. Not that they haven't run smoothly up to now, but we're always looking to make things better. We're quite proud of what we've achieved for this year with the resources we have as we've been able to get a lot out of the equipment and people we do have. Some of the challenge of a new team is trying to integrate people into an effort where everyone is pulling in the same direction -- and where as that's a challenge -- the effort has certainly paid off for us to the point where I think we're poised to win some races." (About rookies at Indianapolis): "Some rookies have a little bigger challenge this year than in the past from the standpoint that some will be running new engines with old equipment, and they may feel some extra pressure of running a year-old car. Other rookies may be running new cars, but the Speedway still has an aura of its own that makes it a place that creates challenges that sometimes aren't really there. Some of these come in the form of self-imposed goals the rookies want to achieve, but some of those are goals a driver doesn't actually need to meet in order to be successful at Indy."

EDDIE CHEEVER JR. (1998 Indianapolis 500 winner) (About being an Indianapolis 500 champion): "From the moment the team won the Indianapolis 500 in 1998, I felt I had a responsibility to represent the Indianapolis Motor Speedway - and the greatest American spectacle - all over the United States, and I did so very happily. It is sad that Kenny Brack cannot come back to the Speedway this year because it's a very unique opportunity to return to the Indy 500 as the defending champion. I had a great year after winning the Indianapolis 500. It was a very special experience, but I was exhausted when it was all over." (About his brother Ross Cheever's role as Team Cheever test driver and his scheduled debut at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway): "We made a very careful choice as to who would work with me on developing the Infiniti engine, and Ross was chosen from a group of six or seven drivers. He has more experience and greater success in the very competitive Japanese 3000 series than Kenny Brack had in European F3000. Ross is also in the best physical condition of any racing driver that I know, which is very important on Race Day. If he takes his time and is patient, I think Ross can have a phenomenal Indianapolis 500 debut." (His advice to rookies at the Indianapolis 500): "The first time I really learned a lot about the Speedway was when I had Arie Luyendyk as my teammate in 1992. It was interesting to watch his approach to the track because he is so gifted on the superspeedways. I was too conservative. The Speedway is such a demanding track, and there is a lesson to be learned every time you run at Indy. It's important to pay attention to everything: not only the wind, but also the setup, the tires and the time of day. You have to be thinking about the race setup at all times. Drivers who are new to ovals, and to the Speedway in particular, need to be very patient. The mental preparation required to run at Indy is something that you really can't explain to rookie drivers - it is something that needs to be experienced."

ROSS CHEEVER (Rookie): "I'm very much looking forward to running at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and I'm honored to be able to drive on this extremely historic circuit. The Speedway has such an amazing history because of all the great racing drivers that have driven there. I understand that the track is very different from any other circuit because it is so sensitive to many factors, including the wind, the temperature and the humidity. It's a track that can bite you, and I'm looking forward to staying away from the walls."

SCOTT GOODYEAR (Veteran): "I am very anxious to see how our 2000 engine package runs at IMS. The combination of Dallara, Oldsmobile and Firestone continues to show us positive responses. We had a great car at Orlando and Phoenix, and I hope the same will be true at Indianapolis."

JIMMY KITE (Veteran): "Our first goal is not to crash. I just want to keep getting to know the team and to keep jelling with them. If this test goes half as well as the Phoenix test, we'll be in real good shape. I am really excited about this test, I am excited whenever I get to run at Indianapolis, but this time we'll have our new 2000 car. I really like this new hot rod. This sucker is cool! This is actually the first time in my Indy Racing career that I have had a totally new car. I'm really looking forward to going to Indy with this car powered by a Sonny (Meyer, Blueprint Racing engine and transmission manager) and Ed (Rachanski, Blueprint Racing co-owner) engine. I think the whole team is excited. We are going to start showing what we can do at the Speedway with this test. Once we get this brand-new 2000 Founders Bank-ZMAX-Blueprint entry sorted out, we'll be ready to come back here in May and show 'em what we can do."

SARAH McCUNE (Rookie): "Getting the opportunity to take my rookie test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is a dream come true. I am, of course, both nervous and excited at the same time and feel extremely privileged to be a part of such history and tradition."

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Arie Luyendyk , Kenny Brack , Ross Cheever