True Value 200 Indy Racing League Practice Notes & Quotes: August 16, 1996
Robbie Buhl will carry the colors of Osram Sylvania on the #54 Beck Motorsports entry for the True Value 200. Osram Sylvania's Automotive and Miniature Lighting operations are headquartered in Hillsboro, N.H., 40 miles from New Hampshire International Speedway. Buhl has a "homecoming" this weekend. He graduated from New England College in Henniker, N.H. (33 miles away) with a business administration degree in marketing.
INDY RACING LEAGUE PRACTICE RUNNING:
10:30 a.m. -- Track opened.
10:32 a.m. -- #3 Mark Dismore turned a lap at 157.714, fastest of session. 10:33 a.m. -- #3 Mark Dismore turned a lap at 157.825, fastest of session. 10:33 a.m. -- #51 Eddie Cheever turned a lap at 158.674, fastest of session. 10:34 a.m. -- YELLOW, #40 Marco Greco smoking.
10:37 a.m. -- GREEN.
10:39 a.m. -- #27 Jim Guthrie turned a lap at 161.185, fastest of session. 10:40 a.m. -- #3 Dismore turned a lap at 161.492, fastest of session. 10:41 a.m. -- #3 Dismore turned a lap at 166.760, fastest of session. 10:41 a.m. -- #3 Dismore turned a lap at 168.070, fastest of session.
10:42 a.m. -- #3 Dismore turned a lap at 168.987, fastest of session, with a trap speed of 176.
10:52 a.m. -- YELLOW, #28 Tyce Carlson had cut tire, track inspection. 10:58 a.m. -- GREEN.
11:06 a.m. -- YELLOW, end of first group.
11:07 a.m. -- GREEN, start of second group.
11:08 a.m. -- #5 Arie Luyendyk turned a lap at 169.740, fastest of session. 11:08 a.m. -- #21 Roberto Guerrero turned a trap speed of 182 miles per hour, fastest of session.
11:09 a.m. -- #5 Luyendyk turned a lap at 170.875, fastest of session. 11:10 a.m. -- #5 Luyendyk turned a lap at 171.870, fastest of session, with a trap speed of 178.
11:14 a.m. -- YELLOW, #14 Davey Hamilton tow-in.
11:18 a.m. -- CONTINUED YELLOW, moisture.
11:51 a.m. -- Track reopened under yellow, #18 John Paul Jr., first out. 11:54 a.m. -- GREEN.
11:57 a.m. -- #5 Luyendyk reached 171.978, fastest of session with trap speed of 180.
11:57 a.m. -- #33 Michele Alboreto turned a lap at 171.568, second fastest of session.
12:02 p.m. -- YELLOW, moisture.
12:08 p.m. -- GREEN.
12:10 p.m. -- #5 Luyendyk reached 173.854, fastest of session with trap speed of 180.
12:11 p.m. -- #4 Richie Hearn turned a lap at 173.033, second
12:22 p.m. -- #4 Richie Hearn reached 175.335 miles per hour, fastest of the session, with a trap speed of 178.
12:31 p.m. -- YELLOW, moisture.
12:35 p.m. -- GREEN.
12:40 p.m. -- #5 Arie Luyendyk reached 174.804, second fastest of session. 1 p.m. -- End of session.
RICHIE HEARN: "Taking it pretty easy. It was slick where they just paved. Not many guys are running down there but as soon as we get more guys running down there, it will be much better. Things just clicked together. This is just practice. I believe we can get more out of the car. We're shooting to break the track record." (about the track): "It's smoother than when we ran here before. It should be a two-groove race once more people drive down in the new areas." (about the record): "The car is far from being perfect." (about running on one-mile ovals): "They're all different. Orlando was tough but a lot of fun. Phoenix was great. But here, I'm more aggressive in the corners. I came from this type of driving so I'll be able to use more of my driving ability." (about the second-turn wall, where he crashed in a tire test): "They painted over it. It scared me a little the first time around but better then than now."
BUZZ CALKINS: "We are now within the window. We improved a great deal that session and we have to continue in that direction. Our primary objective is more grip."
ARIE LUYENDYK: "We've been working on the setup of the car to make it work for this surface. It's kind of slippery out there. I went out a few times to pass someone on the corners and it was tight. There are also small bumps on the track that give you a weird feeling when you go over them on full tanks." (about changes on the car during the session): "We've been changing the ride height, tire stagger in the right rear, wing angles...nothing really major." (about Las Vegas): "I hear Vegas is a very beautiful layout...quite a bit of banking. We should look at Vegas as a superspeedway even though it's only a mile and a half." (about track record here): "We have two guys in the 21-second range now and that's fine with me if we just keep those two guys there." (about the two-month break): "Everybody realizes we need more races on our schedule and Tony (George) is working on it. If we could start in February and end in October and have about 12 races, that would be fine with me. I think everyone would agree two months is too long between races." (about staying in shape): "I chase three-year-old twins around. You have to have eyes in the back of your head for that one."
INDY RACING LEAGUE PRACTICE RUNNING (afternoon session):
Track record: Andre Ribeiro, 1995, 21.466 seconds, 177.436 miles per hour. 1996 fastest practice lap to date: Richie Hearn, 21.723 seconds, 175.335 miles per hour, 12:22 p.m. today.
2:30 p.m. -- Track opened, #4 Richie Hearn first out.
2:32 p.m. -- #4 Hearn reached 171.228 miles per hour, fastest of session. 2:41 p.m. -- YELLOW, #64 Johnny Unser got loose 400 feet to hit outside wall in Turn 2, slid along the wall 220 feet, came off the wall and continued down the backstretch with a loss of steering, hit the wall again in Turn 3 and slid along the wall 600 feet to a stop at the entrance to Turn 4. The car sustained extensive right-side damage. Unser was examined and released from the speedway infield medical center.
3:02 p.m. -- GREEN.
3:14 p.m. -- YELLOW, #7 Eliseo Salazar cut tire, track inspection. 3:39 p.m. -- #4 Hearn reached 172.297, fastest of session. 3:41 p.m. -- Practice closed.
21 cars were on the track during the session. There were two yellows for 28 minutes. There were 825 laps turned in the session, 2,011 for the day.
ARIE LUYENDYK: "We weren't going for speed this afternoon. We were trying a few different things, including running with more fuel than when we qualify."
RICHIE HEARN: (about slower speeds in the afternoon): "Mainly the heat. It brings out the oil in the track. With it being repaved and having so many people out there, it causes the oil to come out. But mainly, it was the heat. If we had cloud cover like we do right now (after the session), I think we would've gone faster. We'll just see what happens tomorrow."
MIKE GROFF: "We're optimistic that tomorrow we'll have made the refinements we need to get the best speed. We're still chasing our tail just a bit, getting the kinks worked out, but communication with the crew is terrific."
An ABF Motorsports spokesman said after the afternoon practice that the #96 car would be on the track tomorrow, but no driver has been announced.