IRL: Michigan: AGR/Herta preview

Herta back on familiar ground In Michigan INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (July 22, 2003) -- Bryan Herta is looking forward to returning to familiar territory this weekend in more ways than one. Not only does the driver of the ...

Herta back on familiar ground In Michigan

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (July 22, 2003) -- Bryan Herta is looking forward to returning to familiar territory this weekend in more ways than one. Not only does the driver of the #27 Archipelago/Motorola Dallara/Honda/Firestone have seven career open-wheel starts at Michigan International Speedway (MIS), he was also born in Warren, Mich. - less than 2-hours away from the 2-mile oval in Brooklyn.

"It is nice to go to a track where I have raced before," said Herta. "I've always enjoyed racing at Michigan and I've had some successes there. I haven't won there yet but this weekend seems like a good time to get my first one there. There is no added pressure to win just because I was born close to the track. We are out here to win and there is always pressure to perform well."

The 33-year-old, who now lives in Valencia, Calif., finished in the top-10 four times in his past five starts at MIS. He was the runner-up to Andre Ribeiro in 1996 and finished fifth in his last appearance at the track, all in the CART series.

The team will combine Herta's knowledge of the track with data collected from a test session in their IndyCar Series car this month to find an optimum race setup.

"The Archipelago/Motorola team tested at Michigan last week and we ran a bunch of laps and learned some things," said Herta. "We left the test with more ideas than we started with, so it was a very productive test. We had a really good car at Nashville, but we also had some bad luck bite us. If we continue to have good cars the finishes will come."

Archipelago/Motorola team manager Kyle Moyer is impressed with how quickly Herta has come up to speed, but knows the team is going to need a lot of friends on Sunday to have a chance at the win.

"Bryan has actually only been in the car for fourteen days and we are a lot further along then we expected," said Moyer. "He's run well at Michigan so we should have a pretty good car for the race. Drafting is going to be important, so Bryan and his spotter are going to have to find the right partner at the right time."

Qualifying for the Firestone Indy 400 will take place on Saturday at 11 a.m. (EDT). The race is set for Sunday 3 p.m. (EDT) and will be broadcast live on ABC.

- AGR -

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Bryan Herta , Andre Ribeiro