Barron third, Takagi 11th in afternoon practice at Nazareth. NAZARETH, Pa. (Friday, Aug. 22, 2003) -- Alex Barron, subbing for the fifth race in a row for the injured Felipe Giaffone in the ...
Barron third, Takagi 11th in afternoon practice at Nazareth.
NAZARETH, Pa. (Friday, Aug. 22, 2003) -- Alex Barron, subbing for the fifth race in a row for the injured Felipe Giaffone in the #21 Hollywood/Mo Nunn Racing Toyota-powered Panoz G Force, clocked the third-fastest practice time of today's afternoon practice session in preparation for Sunday's Firestone Indy 225. Teammate Tora Takagi and the #12 Pioneer/Mo Nunn Racing Toyota-powered Dallara recorded the 11th-fastest time of the afternoon session.
Barron's lap of 20.2325 seconds (166.366 mph) around the Nazareth Speedway mile tri-oval was bested only by Scott Dixon (19.9606/168.632) and Helio Castroneves (20.0793/167.635) this afternoon. It was the sixth-fastest lap of the day on the speed charts combining today's morning and afternoon practice sessions. Barron opened the day with a lap of 20.2845 seconds (165.940 mph) that was sixth-fastest for the morning session.
Takagi's afternoon lap of 20.7843 seconds (161.949 mph) was fourth-fastest in his practice group, which contains half the field and took to the track first during each session today. Takagi's best lap in the morning session was a 21.6452-second (155.508-mph) effort.
Tomas Scheckter's morning practice time of 19.8131 seconds (169.888 mph) was the fastest lap of the day overall. Dixon's morning time of 19.9223 seconds (168.956 mph) was next-best on the combined practice sheet, followed by Gil de Ferran's morning lap of 20.0321 seconds (168.030 mph).
Practice resumes at 9 a.m. EDT Saturday with qualifying set for 11:30 a.m. EDT. Race time Sunday is 3 p.m. EDT with a live broadcast set for ESPN.
"I'm really pleased with how we were able to show up here and have a car that was pretty much ready for this track right away. The Hollywood team gave me a very well-balanced starting point and we were able to make gradual improvements from there. I'd say 90 percent of the changes we made were in the positive direction. That really gives me a lot of confidence as a driver because the guys are doing a really good job. It's nice to not be sitting here playing catch-up all through the first day of practice, which is pretty demoralizing. We have a good direction, and I think we can make the car even better before qualifying tomorrow."
"We fell back into the first practice group this weekend because we finished out of the top 10 last week at Kentucky, and that has made life pretty difficult for us today. I know we have a good car, but we've been struggling to find the grip we need to get a really good set of laps. Being in the first group right after all the (USAC) cars have been practicing, you really lose the first half of your session while our Firestone tires have a chance to work, and it's really difficult to be productive during the first part of your session. That really doesn't leave much time to get much work done. So, basically, we need to be able to get a lot of work done in a very short amount of time. If anybody can do the job, the Pioneer team can do the job."