IRL: IRL drivers complete two day test at Richmond

May 31, 2001 -- Drivers from the Indy Racing League Northern Light Series completed testing Wednesday night and today at Richmond International Raceway in preparation for the SunTrust Indy Challenge on June 28-30. The two-day session was ...

May 31, 2001 -- Drivers from the Indy Racing League Northern Light Series completed testing Wednesday night and today at Richmond International Raceway in preparation for the SunTrust Indy Challenge on June 28-30. The two-day session was highlighted by Greg Ray's quickest lap during the Wednesday evening session of 16.45 seconds (164.134 mph).

Drivers concentrated on making long runs and finding the proper set up for their cars under the lights last night and again on Thursday. Sam Hornish Jr., Mark Dismore, Scott Sharp and Ray tested Wednesday night while only Dismore, Sharp and Ray stayed to test on Thursday. Robbie Buhl only tested during the day on Wednesday.

"The pole should be 165 mph or so, maybe even as high as 167 mph," Ray said of the 300K, 250 lap race. "I thought I would go quicker than that Wednesday night because I ran a 161-mph lap on 90-lap tires. After we put on new tires, it felt like a rocket ship but we didn't go that much faster."

Dismore spent most of the day on Thursday trying to find a setup that will help him for the race. "We made long runs with a lot of fuel today. We're trying to figure out how to control all of the lateral force we have on this track. The speeds aren't really high enough here for the aerodynamics to matter. We're almost like a stock car around here, believe it or not. We're so much lighter than the stock cars, but we can get through the corners much quicker."

Hornish ran some fast times on Wednesday, but spent the night session making long runs as well. "We did long runs during the night session so we could make the car good for the race as opposed to worrying about qualifying. We pushed the tires pretty hard for 70 laps to see what they would take. The race pace won't be as fast as we ran in the night session because of the traffic and there were only four cars out there, but we know we could push the tires that far if we had to."

Ray completed approximately 150 laps on Wednesday, while teammates Dismore and Sharp completed roughly 170 and 100 laps, respectively.

The SunTrust Indy Challenge Indy Racing League Northern Light Series e rac makes it inaugural appearance at Richmond International Raceway on e Jun e 28-30. All fans will be admitted for free for practice on Thursday, June 28 and children 12 and under will receive a free general admission tickets on race day if accompanied by an adult. Support races will be the Dominic's of New York 100 USAC Coors Light Silver Bullet Series race and a NASCAR Featherlite Modified Series race. For ticket information, call the Richmond International Raceway ticket office at 804-345-7223.

-RIR

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Greg Ray , Scott Sharp , Mark Dismore