IRL: Orlando Friday Practice Report

David Reininger - Motorsport News International Lake Buena Vista, FL (January 22, 1999) - Seven new teams have entered into the Pep Boys Indy Racing League championship series starting with the season opening TransWorld Diversified Services Indy...

David Reininger - Motorsport News International

Lake Buena Vista, FL (January 22, 1999) - Seven new teams have entered into the Pep Boys Indy Racing League championship series starting with the season opening TransWorld Diversified Services Indy 200 at Orlando this weekend.

One of the newest teams is Larry Curry Racing. Curry, former team manager at Team Menard, will field an Aurora-powered Dallara for Gualter Salles. The team just cemented their deal to compete in the season opener last week.

"The deal for this weekend came up just a week ago," said team co-owner Tony Stewart. "Larry got the call Friday and I got the call from him on Saturday morning. The team has done a really good job trying to get everything organized. Teco Energy has done a great job to give us the opportunity and they've made a lot of things happen very quickly for us. We thought the time was right to show everyone this isn't just a one race deal. We're serious."

The team's driver, Gualter Salles, acknowledged that he did not have a deal for the entire season.

Salles spent his first day in the IRL trying to learn a new track in a car he'd never been in before. "It's been tough. I think it's the toughest deal I have ever done because of the time," said Salles. "I'm having to learn the car, learn the track in the free practice session when everybody is up to speed and going flat out."

"I wish we had half a day of practice to get used to it on my own," Salles said. "We just decided to come and it's very good to be with Larry and with Tony."

Salles struggled in the morning session trying to get comfortable in the new car. In the afternoon session he picked up an additional eleven miles an hour with a fast lap at 155.837 mph.

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Tony Stewart , Gualter Salles