SHARP REACHES 164.835 MPH IN DISNEY WORLD TEST
ORLANDO, FLA., December 10, 1996 -- Scott Sharp reeled off a lap at 164.835 miles per hour Tuesday in a new Dallara chassis powered by an Oldsmobile Aurora engine during a private test at Walt Disney World Speedway. Sharp turned a lap Monday at 164.159 in the A.J. Foyt Enterprises No. 1 Conseco machine. The speeds were the first announced by race teams testing the new Indy Racing League cars. Sharp ran 88 laps on Monday and 50 on Tuesday, becoming the third driver to test the new League machines. Previously, Arie Luyendyk tested at Phoenix for Treadway Racing and Eliseo Salazar tested for Team Scandia at Disney World.
Tony Stewart, with a G Force/Oldsmobile for Team Menard, also took the track Tuesday for the first time and ran 67 laps. Team Menard continues testing Wednesday, and Treadway Racing and Luyendyk also are scheduled to take the track.
Tony George, President of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and founder of the IRL, and Leo Mehl, executive director of the League, were at the track Tuesday.
Lyn St. James was on hand at Walt Disney World Speedway Monday for a video shoot for the Women's Sports Foundation. The mission was a public-service announcement for the Feb. 6 National Girls and Womens Sports Day, sponsored by J.C. Penney. The PSA, which will air nationally, features St. James, Gail Devers, Nancy Lieberman-Cline, Bonnie Blair and Dottie Pepper.
QUOTES: SCOTT SHARP: (Monday): "The car is just terrific. It's so refreshing to get in a car that's confidence-instilling and building. We weren't that far off when we rolled off the truck with a brand new car. So far, I found the car to be really predictable. It's added a dimension of 'hustleability' to it. You can lean on the car, drive it into the corner. You had to be more tentative in the past. A number of cars in the recent past had such a narrow window where the car was neutral and stable and happy." (Tuesday): "Today we just wanted to keep getting miles under our belts. We made changes just to see what they did. You'd think A.J.'s been with these cars the last three years. He has so much oval-track experience ... then he gets with these, makes different changes and they all work."
TONY GEORGE: "In talking to Scott, he really liked it. It's good that the feedback from Arie, Eliseo and Scott has all been positive. All of them said it's a nice package and it's a car you can hustle."
LEO MEHL: (hearing the cars for the first time Tuesday): "If I were to describe it, I'd call a stock-car engine a bass, a Formula One engine a soprano, the previous Indy engines a tenor and these are a beautiful alto."
TONY STEWART: "The car's been real stable all day. It was pretty close right off the bat. Today's kind of a learning day for all of us. The throttle response is different without the turbos and some little handling characteristics are different. I've enjoyed driving the car. Compared to last year's car, I'm in the throttle a lot more so you can be more aggressive than in years past."