INDIANAPOLIS, Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2001 - Jaques Lazier was fastest among eight Indy Racing drivers in testing Oct. 17 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, while 2001 Northern Light Series champion Sam Hornish Jr. suffered a fractured left...
INDIANAPOLIS, Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2001 - Jaques Lazier was fastest among eight Indy Racing drivers in testing Oct. 17 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, while 2001 Northern Light Series champion Sam Hornish Jr. suffered a fractured left foot in an accident. Lazier topped the speed chart with a lap of 225.006 mph in the No. 2 Johns Manville/Menards Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone. That lap that would have put him on the outside of Row 1 for the Indianapolis 500 last May. "I'm very comfortable with where we are right now," Lazier said. "We're just going to stepping it up a little bit more each time we come out. We're not trying anything fancy. We're just getting the package better and better each time, and that's what it going to take to win a championship next year." Hornish was second fastest at 223.592 in the No. 4 Pennzoil Panther entry before an accident in Turn 1 early in the afternoon ended his day. Hornish was released from Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis with small fractures in his left foot, which was placed in a small cast after evaluation by Dr. Kevin Scheid. Hornish is allowed to put weight on the foot. He never lost consciousness during the crash. "The car was running pretty good," said Kevin Blanch, team manager for Panther Racing. "It got loose. He banged his left knee and right elbow. He'll be sore tomorrow." Former Formula One driver Johnny Herbert turned his first laps on the 2.5-mile oval at Indianapolis. He recorded a top speed of 218.915 mph in the No. 35 Heritage Motorsports Firestone Menards G Force/Infiniti/Firestone before engine problems ended his session after 10 laps. Herbert is one of the few drivers to turn laps on the oval and 2.606-mile road circuit at Indianapolis, as he competed in the inaugural SAP United States Grand Prix in September 2000 for Jaguar Racing. 1996 Indianapolis 500 winner Buddy Lazier completed 97 laps on the day for Hemelgarn Racing while 1998 winner Eddie Cheever Jr. tested his #51 Cheever Indy Racing Infiniti in conjunction with Dallara. Jeff Ward and Brandon Erwin both turned laps in the No. 99 Sam Schmidt Motorsports Racing Special. Rick Treadway, fresh off a career-best fifth place finish in the Chevy 500 earlier this month at Texas Motor Speedway, turned laps for Treadway Racing. Testing is scheduled to resume at 9 a.m. (EST) Thursday. Teams and drivers scheduled to test: Team Menard with Jaques Lazier, Hemelgarn Racing with Buddy Lazier, Cheever Indy Racing with Cheever, Heritage Motorsports with Herbert, Sam Schmidt Motorsports with Erwin, Treadway Racing with Treadway and Penske Racing with Helio Castroneves. <pre> INDY RACING NORTHERN LIGHT SERIES TOP TESTING SPEEDS BY DRIVER, INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY, OCT. 17 (Fastest speed overall for each driver) Pos. Car Driver Car Name C/E/T Time Speed 1. 4 Jaques Lazier Johns Manville/Menards D/O/F 39.9989 225.006 2. 4 Sam Hornish Jr. Pennzoil Panther Dallara D/O/F 40.2518 223.592 3. 91 Buddy Lazier Tae-Bo/Coors Light/Delta Faucet D/O/F 40.8418 220.362 4. 35 Johnny Herbert Heritage Motorsports Firestone Menards G/I/F 41.1118 218.915 5. 99 Jeff Ward Sam Schmidt Motorsports Racing Special D/O/F 41.4177 217.298 6. 5 Rick Treadway Big Tex Trailers G/O/F 41.7542 215.547 No speeds available: Eddie Cheever Jr., Brandon Erwin
RICK TREADWAY: "It was just unbelievable. Something that you dream about all your life and to be able to do it. I was just really glad that I got comfortable in the car and really excited. It was exciting to take some of the downforce out of the car. We still had a lot in. We kept taking baby steps and ended up getting faster and faster until we were flat out in (Turns) 2 and 4 and then we were flat out in (Turns) 2, 3 and 4. Then I kept focusing on (Turn) 1 and then by the end of the day we were flat out in 1. I took extra time. I probably took three or four laps before I'd really start to get on it. Just consciously. I think Texas really helped out a lot because it was so cold down in Texas a couple of weeks ago. I'm really, really conscious of cold tires."
BUDDY LAZIER: "It was a really good day. It was a little cool, but that's the season. It was a great day for us to test our Firestones. You factor in for the temperature. It isn't ideal conditions. Really, for this time of the year, it is good conditions. We are logging information that will certainly help for next year. We ran a lot of tires. We ran a lot of miles. Good for some forms of information and not so good for others, but certainly productive."
JAQUES LAZIER: "It's incredible to come out here and test with Team Menard. This is the first time other than my rookie test that I've ever tested at the Speedway. I'm excited to be here, first and foremost, and I'm excited to be here with Team Menard. We have a lot of things we're just kind of playing with. The ride heights and just the tire and suspension packages. I'm very comfortable with where we are right now. We're just going to stepping it up a little bit more each time we come out. We're not trying anything fancy. We're just getting the package better and better each time, and that's what it going to take to win a championship next year."
JEFF WARD: "I'm just here helping Sam (Schmidt). They wanted me to find a baseline on the car since I know how to get around here pretty decent. I don't know what I'm doing next year, no plans are set, and Sam's looking for a driver, so I figured I'd come out. I've never driven a Dallara. I was actually pretty impressed with the way the car felt. It's a good learning curve. You never turn down a chance to come and run Indy."
BRANDON ERWIN: "I've never felt that comfortable in a car before. I've never been in a Dallara either, so that might have something to do with it. This group, they really know what they're doing, and I felt really comfortable out there, and I can't wait to get out there tomorrow at full speed. They told me to be real cautious, and I was a little extra cautious on top of what I already would be. Jeff (Ward) went out there just about an hour earlier and told me the track had plenty of grip, just to stay off the white line, and that's definitely what I did."