ORLANDO, FLA., December 11, 1996 -- Tony Stewart piloted a G Force/Aurora to an average speed of 165.746 miles per hour on one of 38 laps Wednesday morning during a Firestone tire test, the fastest announced speed to date for new Indy Racing League cars at Walt Disney World Speedway.

Stewart, who finished second to Buzz Calkins in the inaugural Indy 200 at Walt Disney World last January, was testing for Team Menard in its second day of activity at the one-mile oval. His time was 21.72 seconds on team clocks. His speed was better than the previous best of winter testing at the track, which was 164.835 miles per hour by Scott Sharp on Tuesday in A.J. Foyt Enterprises' Dallara/Aurora.

Arie Luyendyk, the 1990 Indianapolis 500 winner, made his first winter testing appearance at Walt Disney World Speedway with another G Force/Aurora for Treadway Racing. Luyendyk became the first driver to test the new IRL machines at two tracks. He drove the initial Aurora engine test at Phoenix International Raceway. Luyendyk ran 26 laps at warmup speeds.


TONY STEWART: "We had a little different setup with the motor. The (Team Menard) guys did their homework, for sure. I'm very proud of our guys. They've had the car a very, very short time. To have the car this close right off the truck." (about the pole time for the Jan. 25 Indy 200 at Walt Disney Wor1d Presented by Aurora): "We're figuring about 21 (seconds) flat...we hope." (about the cars): "Arie and I were talking earlier. Arie's taller and I have long arms. Everything (in the cockpits) is a lot closer to you. The steering wheel is a lot closer."

ARIE LUYENDYK: "The car's completely different from Phoenix...bodywork and stuff. We're starting at the bottom again. We didn't get a chance to do much before we had a problem. We're just getting our test started. Obviously, with this new package, we're going to have teething problems. We want to make an extended run on Friday."

For ticket information to the Jan. 19 Chevy Trucks Challenge and the Jan. 25 Indy 200 at Walt Disney World, call 1-800-822-INDY. Tickets are also on sale at Race Rock, 8986 International Drive, Orlando (I-4 to Sand Lake Road exit).