IRL: Loudon testing 96-08-15

IRL/Formula Ford 2000 Open Test New Hampshire International Speedway August 15, 1996 Mike Lanigan, president of Mi-Jack Products, announced sponsorship of Treadway Racing and driver Arie Luyendyk for the True Value 200 and Las Vegas ...

IRL/Formula Ford 2000 Open Test New Hampshire International Speedway August 15, 1996

Mike Lanigan, president of Mi-Jack Products, announced sponsorship of Treadway Racing and driver Arie Luyendyk for the True Value 200 and Las Vegas events on the Indy Racing League's schedule. "This is an excellent opportunity for Mi-Jack to become associated with a legendary driver and a top team," Lanigan said. The Hazel Crest, Ill.-based Mi-Jack has been involved in Indy car racing since 1992 and with its parent company, the Lanco Group, sponsored Alessandro Zampedri's run to fourth place in the 1996 Indianapolis 500.

FIRSTPLUS FINANCIAL GROUP announced today the signing of a multiyear agreement with Eddie Cheever. The Dallas-based consumer finance company will be the name and title sponsor of FirstPlus Team Cheever through the year 2000. "Our association with a great driver like Eddie Cheever will put FIRSTPLUS in the fans' minds and in the winner's circle," said Dan Phillips, CEO and President of FIRSTPLUS FINANCIAL. "Among auto racing fans, there are many homeowners who have a need for our second mortgage products."

IRL owners Dennis and Felicia McCormack, who grew up in Scituate, Mass., are returning "home" to New England for True Value 200 weekend to field an entry for Stan Wattles. McCormack spent his childhood in Scituate and graduated from Scituate High School in 1968. Felicia Catale McCormack moved to Scituate as a teenager and will attend her 25th high school reunion in Scituate on Aug. 2. Felicia was graduated from Salem State and taught at Scituate High School, Mansfield High School and the Hickok School in Boston.

TRUE VALUE 200 ENTRY LIST CHANGES: #75 Johnny O'Connell is a scratch. #24 Randy Tolsma is a scratch. The car was acquired by Tempero-Giuffre Racing from McCormack Motorsports and is now #15. #4T Richie Hearn is an addition. Brad Murphey has been assigned to the #9 Hemelgarn Racing entry. Dave Kudrave has been assigned to the #15 Tempero-Giuffre entry. As of 3:30 p.m., the #25 Tempero-Giuffre entry and the #96 ABF Motorsports entry did not have assigned drivers eligible to compete. According to Art Bouilliane, car owner for ABF Motorsports, the #96 should be repaired and ready to take the track in the morning.

Robbie Buhl, driver of the #54 Original Coors entry for Beck Motorsports, spent this morning visiting 75 young patients at The Children's Hospital in Boston. Buhl is national spokesperson for Racing for Kids, an international charity designed to use the popularity of motorsports to bring attention and funding to the health care needs of children. Buhl visits sick youngsters in children's hospitals wherever he races and in the off-season. He has spent time with 6,000 children in more than 75 hospitals and helped raise more than $650,000 for the hospitals that he visits. This was his fifth visit to The Children's Hospital in Boston. "These kids are amazing in how they handle a serious dose of life at such an early age," Buhl said. "They are an inspiration to me every race weekend." Kelly Services sponsors Buhl's Racing for Kids activities.

Tony Stewart arrived in Loudon this morning after winning the Mel Kenyon Classic 40-lap USAC midget feature last night at Indianapolis Raceway Park. Stewart earned $10,000 for the night, including $4,000 for the Jack's Tool Rental Race of Champions, $4,000 for the feature win and a $2,000 bonus for the Wynn's Challenge.

A brief shower in the early afternoon delayed Formula Ford 2000 testing and pushed back the one-hour IRL practice to 4:30-5:30 p.m.

At 4:32 p.m., John Paul Jr. in the #18 V-Line Earl's Performance Products/Crowne Plaza entry was the first IRL driver on the track.

POST-TESTING QUOTES:

ARIE LUYENDYK: "The car felt great, actually, although I wasn't that comfortable with the rear end (of the car). The track's a little slippery (pointing to Turns 1 and 2), so I was driving a high line, but it didn't take me long to get back into the rhythm."

MICHELE ALBORETO: "Everything I know I owe to Dick Simon. He's given me a lot of advice. This was my first time here. The run was okay. We ran with our race setup and the car's comfortable. We have another two days to go and I'll need at least another day to prepare myself. It's a very different track from other tracks I've been on. This track is very challenging. It has two hard braking points and with the new surface, the car has a strange line. In traffic, it will be a tough race."

ROBERTO GUERRERO: "I was a little surprised to hear we had the fastest time. I felt we weren't into the groove yet but we obviously have a good setup. When we came here in practice, I was a little worried because the tires weren't perfect but Goodyear did their homework. The tire is very good. We had a little problem with the brakes at the end of the session. That's why we quit early. It will be interesting to see how fast the cars run when we get some rubber laid down on the track but the pole is definitely what we're shooting for. We'll just have to wait and see."

Alessandro Zampedri, who suffered serious leg injuries in a May 26 crash on the last lap of the Indianapolis 500, hopes to be on crutches soon. Zampedri underwent bone graft surgery Aug. 1 that moved bone from his left hip to his left foot. All of the hardware has now been removed from his right foot and it is hoped that no further surgeries will be necessary on either foot. That's a relief to Zampedri, who endured six surgeries, treatment in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber, suspense over whether his left foot would survive and continuous pain medication during the first two weeks of his three-week stay at Indianapolis' Methodist Hospital. The 26-year-old driver is now shaking off the pain of the bone graft, recovering in his Indianapolis apartment and is almost ready to stand again with the aid of crutches. "I start Monday and I'll be going to rehab three times a week," Zampedri said. "I'll start putting some weight on and rehabilitating all my right leg and part of the left leg. I can get on crutches very soon -- that's the next goal and hopefully we can make it happen near the end of the month, or the beginning of September."

IRL Unoffical Lap Summary

 R Car Driver                YR/C/E/T Laps    Time   Speed
 1 21  Guerrero, Roberto     95/R/F/G   23  22.441 169.725
 2 33  Alboreto, Michele     95/R/F/G   38  22.750 167.420
 3  5  Luyendyk, Arie        95/R/F/F   30  22.759 167.354
 4 91  Lazier, Buddy         95/R/F/F   30  23.051 165.234
 5  4T Hearn, Richie         95/R/F/G   29  23.052 165.226
 6 22  Gregoire, Stephan     95/L/F/G   31  23.566 161.623
 7  7  Salazar, Eliseo       95/L/F/G   33  23.571 161.588
 8 10  Groff, Mike           95/R/F/F   24  23.651 161.042
 9 18  Paul, John            93/L/M/G   34  23.803 160.013
10  3  Dismore, Mark         95/L/M/F   25  23.882 159.484
11 12  Calkins, Buzz         95/R/F/F   30  23.936 159.124
12 30  Wattles, Stan         94/L/F/G   26  24.161 157.642
13 28  Carlson, Tyce         93/L/M/G   32  24.291 156.799
14 51  Cheever, Eddie        95/L/M/G   29  24.486 155.550
15  2T Stewart, Tony         95/L/M/F   19  24.487 155.544
16 40  Greco, Marco          95/L/F/G   26  24.551 155.138
17 64  Unser, Johnny         95/R/F/G   26  24.595 154.861
18  2  Stewart, Tony         95/L/M/F   13  24.756 153.854
19 27  Guthrie, Jim          93/L/M/F   25  25.233 150.945
20  1T Sharp, Scott          95/L/F/G    7  25.267 150.742
21  9  Murphey, Brad         94/R/F/F   27  25.317 150.444
22  1  Sharp, Scott          95/L/F/G    7  26.517 143.636
23 54T Buhl, Robbie          94/L/F/F    4  31.399 121.303
24 15  Kudrave, David        93/L/B/G    4  41.361  92.087
25  3T Dismore, Mark         95/L/M/F    2  53.024  71.832
26 14  Hamilton, Davey       95/L/F/G    1  57.763  65.938
       Total Laps:                     575

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