IRL TESTING AT LAS VEGAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY TRACKSIDE REPORT, THURSDAY, JUNE 27, 1996
At 11:17 a.m., Richie Hearn in the #4 Della Penna Motorsports car became the first driver to exceed 220 miles per hour at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Hearn ran consecutive laps at 220.507 miles per hour, 222.359, 203.038 (when he slowed to pass #27 Billy Roe) and 221.230. He then pitted, came back out and ran laps of 220.112 and 220.832. His lap of 222.359 is the fastest of the week. At 2:10 p.m., Eliseo Salazar in the #7 Team Scandia car became second fastest of the week with a lap at 219.673.
RICHIE HEARN: "I'm sure it'll be a little faster for (qualifying for) the race...not much faster...225 would be the absolute maximum, depending on conditions. (The fast lap of 222-plus) is kind of a false reading. If it's hotter for the race...if it goes up 10 degrees, it'll make a difference in horsepower and tire wear, for sure. It's almost too nice today." (about the track): "I've run up behind a couple of people and the track, with its banking, produces a lot of mechanical grip. You can run up behind people and the aerodynamics are not the same factor as elsewhere." (about his speeds): "My speeds went up in big increments today -- from 214 to 218 and from 218 to 222. The track's got some heat in it but the air's still cool If you could go out and qualify right now, you could run fast." (about his fast run): "We just trimmed it out. We made some pretty big changes to the rear wing. For testing purposes, I'm good. For qualifying (for the Sept. 15 race), I can get a little bit more."
ROBERTO GUERRERO: "There's a lot more to come. The cars now have way too much downforce for this track. We have a lot of short track pieces on the car and with the gear we're running, we're at the limit on revs. I was guessing yesterday maybe 218. We did that and I guessed 222. I'm saying 225 now but maybe later I'll be saying 228. I don't know."
BUDDY LAZIER: "It all depends on conditions (for qualifying in September). It seems like 225 would be close to (a good estimate). When we saw the track...with the banking, the width and the texture of the pavement were conducive to speeds."
ELISEO SALAZAR: (about hinking speeds would be this high): "Never in my wildest dreams...I thought maybe 205 would be the best of the week. With this (Hearn's) speed, we would meet the minimum to qualify (220) for the Indy 500...in Las Vegas. It's amazing you can go that fast. This (track) is absolutely unique. It has its own character. The importance of this test is that come racee weekend, you're 95 percent 'there.' You can't test on a race weekend. I hope the IRL keeps doing this in the future. Also, you can weigh yourself against your rivals and know how good you are."
Car ------Best------ Num Driver Team Laps Time Speed 1 4 RICHIE HEARN Della Penna Motorsports 26 24.285 222.359 2 7 ELISEO SALAZAR Team Scandia 76 24.582 219.673 3 1 SCOTT SHARP A.J. Foyt Enterprises 104 24.657 219.005 4 21 ROBERTO GUERRERO Pagan Racing 31 24.691 218.703 5 91 BUDDY LAZIER Hemelgarn Racing 40 24.759 218.103 6 30 TONY STEWART Team Menard 39 25.083 215.288 7 33 MICHELE ALBORETO Team Scandia 85 25.557 211.292 8 54 ROBBIE BUHL Beck Motorsports 57 25.832 209.043 9 27 JIM GUTHRIE Blueprint Racing 35 25.984 207.820 10 27 BILLY ROE Blueprint Racing 70 26.291 205.393 11 27 JOHNNY PARSONS Blueprint Racing 17 26.331 205.081 12 14 DAVEY HAMILTON A.J Foyt Enterprises 8 26.593 203.061 13 14 ROB WILSON A.J. Foyt Enterprises 70 26.922 200.578 14 10 BRAD MURPHEY Hemelgarn Racing 26 27.211 198.449 15 24 RANDY TOLSMA McCormack Racing 36 27.848 193.910 16 28 DAVE BLANEY PDM/Brickell Racing 80 28.569 189.016 Total: 800