August 16, 1997 - Pennzoil 200 Late Practice Update Johnny was back out on the track this afternoon in the ...
August 16, 1997 - Pennzoil 200
Late Practice Update
Johnny was back out on the track this afternoon in the #10T Byrd/Cunningham/Bryant car, working on getting the car set up for tomorrow's race. He turned a total of 41 laps during the final practice session, with a fast speed of 143.652. Johnny and the team spent most of today's practice sessions working on getting the car set up right to handle the high temperatures and slippery track here at New Hampshire Intl Speedway. Portions of this track were repaired a few years ago, leaving patches of different types of asphalt around the track. When combined with this weekend's high heat and humidity, this made for a very slippery track here today, leaving many drivers search for just the right handling combination. In addition, some drivers have complained that the rubber laid down by the supporting NASCAR series cars made the track even slipperier.
"We worked real hard on the setup today," said Johnny, " and we made a lot of progress in the first practice session. We changedthe spring settings just before qualifying, and gained a lot of speed. Unfortunately the track conditions changed in the afternoon, with the heat and the rubber laid down by the other series, and we turned in some slower laps. We'll be making some more changes tonight, though, and we'll be ready for the race tomorrow. With this heat, the track conditions will be changing throughout the race, and we'll have to change along with it. Our plan is to drive a safe and consistent race, make the changes that we need to, and hopefully we'll be in the race at the end. "
Mike Groff is still in the hospital, but is recovering from the concussion he suffered in practice yesterday. The onboard computers showed a forward impact of over 60g's and 44g's laterally, which is a major impact, so we're glad to see that he's okay. Our wishes are with him for a full & quick recovery.
We have audio clips of Johnny discussing today's practice session and the track conditions posted on our web site in RealAudio format, so please stop by and check them out. We will have more updates tomorrow during and after the race.
-- *********************** Johnny Unser Racing http://www.unser-racing.com **************************