SHARP PUTS PEDAL TO FLOOR, LEADS TEST FOR SECOND STRAIGHT DAY
ORLANDO, Fla., Dec. 12, 1998 -- Scott Sharp's even faster speed was the highlight Saturday as Pep Boys Indy Racing League teams completed a two-day Open Test at Walt Disney World Speedway in Orlando, Fla. Sharp toured the 1-mile tri-oval at a speed of 171.111 mph, an unofficial track record for race cars using normally aspirated engines. The time for his trip in the Delphi Automotive Systems Dallara/Aurora/Goodyear was 21.039 seconds. Sharp was fastest Friday at 170.422. This speed was accomplished under the new rev limiter rule allowing a maximum of 10,300 rpm. The maximum engine rpm during the 1998 season was 10,500. Mark Dismore, Sharp's Kelley Racing teammate, again was second fastest, at 169.221 mph. "It is great to have this track time with the new car," Sharp said. "I'm getting much more comfortable." Scott Goodyear recorded the third fastest speed of 168.171 mph in the Pennzoil Panther G Force/Aurora/Goodyear, followed by Greg Ray, who crashed earlier in the day. Ray returned from his mishap to turn a 167.754 in the Johns Manville Dallara/Aurora/Firestone. Buzz Calkins, winner of the 1996 Indy 200, was fifth fastest at 167.348 in the Bradley Motorsports Dallara/Aurora/Goodyear. Oregon native Mike Bliss, former USAC Silver Crown champion, ran through his rookie orientation test during the Saturday session. Bliss has driven in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series the past four seasons. Ray, replacing NASCAR-bound Tony Stewart on Team Menard, crashed early in the session in Turn 2. Andy Michner did likewise, also in Turn 2, late in the day to close the session. Neither driver was injured. Seventeen drivers made runs during the two days of tests, preparing for the season-opening TransWorld Diversified Services Indy 200 on Jan. 24 at Walt Disney World Speedway. Goodyear and Firestone will conduct private tire testing Sunday at the track.
PERFORMANCE HISTORY OF THE DAY FROM ORLANDO OPEN TEST (1-mile tri-oval) New-formula Pep Boys IRL track record: 166.013 mph, Tony Stewart, Jan. 24, 1997 Fastest speed Dec. 11: 170.422 mph, Scott Sharp
Car No. Driver C/E/T Top Speed 12/12 Top Speed 12/11 8 Scott Sharp Dallara/Aurora/Goodyear 171.111 170.422 28 Mark Dismore Dallara/Aurora/Goodyear 169.221 168.848 4 Scott Goodyear G Force/Aurora/Goodyear 168.761 167.746 3 Greg Ray Dallara/Aurora/Firestone 167.754 166.984 12 Buzz Calkins Dallara/Aurora/Goodyear 167.348 164.564 19 Stan Wattles Riley & Scott/Aurora/Goodyear 167.240 164.835 51 Eddie Cheever Jr. Dallara/Aurora/Goodyear 167.115 163.852* 99 Sam Schmidt Dallara/Aurora/Firestone 166.336 165.054 91 Steve Knapp Dallara/Aurora/Goodyear 165.403 162.045 30 Raul Boesel G Force/Aurora/Firestone 165.259 160.192 3T Greg Ray Dallara/Aurora/Firestone 164.775 167.418 27 Tyce Carlson Dallara/Aurora/Firestone 162.933 161.921 31 Andy Michner Riley & Scott/Aurora/Goodyear 162.727 161.551 66 Scott Harrington Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone 161.312 160.449 44 Mike Bliss Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone 160.100 Did not test * -- Robby Unser driving