SPARTA, Ky., Saturday, July 1, 2000 - The following are quotes from Indy Racing Northern Light Series drivers and team officials after the first day of testing at the new Kentucky Speedway. SARAH FISHER ( ...
SPARTA, Ky., Saturday, July 1, 2000 - The following are quotes from Indy Racing Northern Light Series drivers and team officials after the first day of testing at the new Kentucky Speedway.
SARAH FISHER (#15 Walker Racing Cummins Special Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "The track is very smooth. I enjoy running here. I think we're going to put on a heck of a show. We still have some things we need to work on. We're going to do some long runs and some other basic stuff. We're going to fine tune to the track because every track is a little different. It's pretty cool being on top of the speed chart because it puts everyone in a good mood. Our guys have been working hard all year, but we haven't had much to show for it. Tomorrow is going to be a different day. There are a lot of good, competitive drivers here, plus Eddie Cheever will be running tomorrow also."
SAM HORNISH JR. (#4 Pennzoil Panther Dallara Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "Today provided the team to find out a couple of things. This is a new track for all of us in the Indy Racing Northern Light Series, so there is a lot to be learned on how to find an effective car set-up. I concentrated on giving the crew information on the car's response on this track so they could see if and how the car can go faster. We're also finding out my capability with the Pennzoil Panther Dallara and how well the crew and myself mesh. So far, things are going pretty good, and this has been a wonderful opportunity. I'm really happy with today's outcome. The car and crew were great. "The track, for the most part, is smooth. Turn 3 has a bump on its entry, but I understand the track (staff) continues to work on smoothing it out. So, it shouldn't be a big issue when we're back here for the Belterra Resort Indy 300 next month. Overall, this track is not only great for the drivers, but also for the fans."
BUZZ CALKINS (#12 Bradley Food Marts/Sav-O-Mat Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "We had fuel pressure problems all day in our back-up car. We only had two timed laps. On Thursday, we ran a 215.9 (during a private test) with our primary car. So, we feel pretty comfortable with the set-up on that car. The track is good. It's nice and wide. It's almost a circle rather than an oval. The track is a cross between Las Vegas and Phoenix only because the two corners are a little different."
TYCE CARLSON (#20 Hubbard Racing Dallara Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "This new track is great. In some ways it's similar to the other mile-and-a-half tri-ovals we go to, but it's a lot smoother over the whole track here. The couple little bumps really don't effect the car's handling that much, and since drafting will come in to play we should be able to run three wide easily. I ran in traffic a little bit today but these cars are so much more stable than our old cars - you really don't lose the front end that much. We tried a few different things this afternoon that didn't improve the car at all, so we'll go back to this morning's settings and work on improving from there."
J.J. YELEY (#30 WorldBestBuy.com/Jonathan Byrd's Cafeteria Riley & Scott/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "I had a great time being back for the first time since Atlanta in 1998. It took about 10 laps to get over the fear factor, then it was a comfortable ride from then on. I really have fun in these cars. We're down on speed, but that's not why we came here. We came here to improve the Riley & Scott chassis on the superspeedways. We've made some progress, but we still have some more things to improve on."
KEVIN BLANCH (Chief Mechanic, #4 Pennzoil Panther Dallara Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "I am very impressed with Sam's (Hornish) performance today. He appears to have adjusted very well with the car and was a big help in relaying the car's response to adjustments and changes we made. And it was only his second time out when he ran flat out on this new track. He's a good guy to work with, and we're very pleased with the runs he had."
ROBBIE BUHL (#24 Team Purex Dreyer & Reinbold Racing G Force/Infiniti/Firestone): "We're happy with what we learned. Today, we tested the fuel pick-up to make sure it was running right. Then, we ran a full-tank session, and the car was pretty quick. We ran a lot of 214s on full tanks, so that's a good sign. This is such a new track, I think it's going to change a little bit after more people run on it. The track is a challenge. Turns 1 & 2 are different than turns 3 & 4. There's a trade-off with how your car is set-up. I like the track. It's going to be interesting to see how it plays out when more cars get on the track. I'm looking forward to coming back here because it is such a great facility."
JOHN O'GARA (Chief Mechanic, #24 Team Purex Dreyer & Reinbold Racing G Force/Infiniti/Firestone): "This is a nice race track, a real nice race track! We can't wait to come back. I think the pole speed will be 217 to 218, maybe even 219. The race speed will be a little slower, probably 212 to 213. This track is probably more like Vegas. There will be some side-by-side racing, trust me. Robbie could run anywhere. The track is so wide."
ALEX BARRON (#4 Pennzoil Panther Dallara Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "I watched (Sam) Hornish all day today, looking at him from every turn. It helps to study another driver when he or she is on the track because you can see where the car is most free and where it can gain the most speed. So come tomorrow, I'll have an idea of where and how to get the car up to speed. I'm anxious for tomorrow. I'm obviously out there to help the Panther team learn more about the cars consistency on this track, but I'm also out there to get comfortable with the car and the team. I watched Sam and the Panther Pack communicate very well today. I'm looking forward to doing the same tomorrow."