IRL: Orlando Testing Notes 1999-12-14

INDIANAPOLIS, Tuesday, Dec. 14, 1999 - Two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Al Unser Jr. and his new Indy Racing League team, Galles ECR Racing, may have skipped the league's recent Open Test at Orlando, Fla., but they're still busy...

INDIANAPOLIS, Tuesday, Dec. 14, 1999 - Two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Al Unser Jr. and his new Indy Racing League team, Galles ECR Racing, may have skipped the league's recent Open Test at Orlando, Fla., but they're still busy preparing for the 2000 season. Unser and the rest of the Galles ECR team are in Las Vegas this week, filming a television commercial for Firestone at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Filming started Dec. 13 and will continue through Dec. 15. On Dec. 15, Unser will climb into the team's 2000 G Force/Aurora/Firestone for about five minutes worth of low-speed laps on the 1.5-mile oval, testing the car's telemetry and seat fit. The shakedown laps will be one of the final steps of preparation before Unser's first full-speed test in an Indy Racing League car, Dec. 20-21 at Phoenix International Raceway. Unser and the Galles ECR team also plan to participate in the second Indy Racing League Open Test Jan. 5-6 at Walt Disney World Speedway in Orlando, Fla., site of the season-opening Delphi Indy 200 on Jan. 29. Unser moved to the Indy Racing League and rejoined the Galles team last month after a long career in CART. He won the 1992 Indianapolis 500 and the 1990 CART championship while driving for Galles. He won the 1994 Indianapolis 500 in a Penske Racing car. Ross Cheever passes test: Ross Cheever, younger brother of 1998 Indianapolis 500 winner Eddie Cheever Jr., is eligible to compete in the Indy Racing League in 2000 after passing a refresher test Dec. 12 at Walt Disney World Speedway. Cheever passed the refresher - the final two phases of the league's four-phase rookie test - in a Team Cheever car. He only needed to take the refresher because of his prior racing experience in CART, said Brian Barnhart, Indy Racing League director of racing operations. Ross Cheever has helped test his brother's car during this offseason.

-IRL/IMS-

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Series INDYCAR