IRL: Jeret Schroeder Orlando Starting Position

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., Jan. 28 - Jeret Schroeder posted the fourth-fastest time in the morning practice session Friday at the Delphi Indy 200 Indy Racing League event at Walt Disney World Speedway, but qualifications were rained out...

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., Jan. 28 - Jeret Schroeder posted the fourth-fastest time in the morning practice session Friday at the Delphi Indy 200 Indy Racing League event at Walt Disney World Speedway, but qualifications were rained out later that afternoon. The 26-driver starting lineup for Saturday's race was determined by 1999 IRL entrant points, so the Vineland, N.J.-based driver will start 16th tomorrow in the Armour Swift Ekrich/Tristarmall.com Dallara Aurora #6 fielded by Tri Star Motorsports. Schroeder, a leading candidate for the 2000 IRL Rookie of the Year Award, is still starting further up in the field than any of the other five rookies entered in the IRL season opener. The other rookies entered are Sam Hornish Jr. (18th), Doug Didero (20th), Niclas Jonsson (21st), Airton Dare (25th) and Jon Herb (26th). The team Schroeder is driving for, Tri Star Motorsports, is co-owned by Larry Curry, Tony Stewart, Andy Card and Rick Ehrgott. Stewart is the reigning NASCAR Winston Cup Rookie of the Year and he was the IRL champion in 1996-1997. Stewart won this particular race in 1998 too. He is here at Disney, and has been working on the set-up along with the rest of the Tri Star team. Schroeder will start alongside Donnie Beechler on the outside of row eight. The 200-lap race is scheduled to get the green flag at noon Saturday, and will be carried live on ABC-TV. A preview show, "Indy Racing 2Day," is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. Saturday on ESPN2. Schroeder has two red-and-black cars here; a 2000 chassis and a 1999 chassis. On Friday morning Schroeder ran 14 laps in the 1999 chassis and recorded a top speed of 164.129 mph, which was eighth-fastest. Then he took the 2000 car out and did 25 laps, including a lap at 166.251 mph, which was fourth-fastest in the session. With about 5 minutes to go rain began to fall and the rest of the day's activities were canceled. In practice on Thursday Schroeder only ran the 1999 car. He was sixth-fastest in the morning practice session with a lap at 165.244 mph and 13th in the afternoon session with a lap at 163.733 mph to end up 11th overall for the day when all the speeds were combined. He was one of only a few drivers running 1999 chassis on Thursday, so being sixth-fastest in that morning session was just as impressive as being fourth in the 2000 car on Friday. "Today we took the 1999 car out first with the set-up we had on it on Thursday, and then we jumped into the 2000 car to compare the two," Schroeder said. "Just as it was in testing, the 2000 car was faster, so I'm confident that the 2000 car is the way to go." Team manager and co-owner Larry Curry confirmed that Schroeder will be in the 2000 model for tomorrow's race. "We'll make a couple more tweaks to it, but the car feels good," Schroeder added. "We have to double-check the ride height; it was bottoming out a little out there, but overall the car feels really good," he said. The 1999 champion, Greg Ray, will start on the pole tomorrow.

The revised schedule shows a half-hour practice session at 9 a.m. followed by USAC Silver Bullet qualifying at 9:45 a.m. The IRL cars will be gridded at 11 a.m., weather permitting, with the Delphi Indy 200 scheduled to start at noon and the USAC Silver Bullet race starting at approximately 2:30 p.m.

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Tony Stewart , Greg Ray , Jon Herb , Airton Daré , Jeret Schroeder , Donnie Beechler , Sam Hornish Jr.