Brack gets comfortable with Phoenix in a hurry to lead practice.

AVONDALE, Ariz., Friday, March 21, 2003 -- Kenny Brack hasn't raced at Phoenix International Raceway since March 1999, but you'd never know it by looking at the time charts after the first day of practice for the Purex Dial Indy 200 on March 20.

1998 IRL IndyCarTM Series champion Brack was the fastest driver overall with a lap of 20.3160 seconds, 177.200 mph in the No. 15 Pioneer/Miller Lite Dallara/Honda/Firestone. 1999 Indianapolis 500 winner Brack, from Sweden, rejoined the IndyCar Series this year with Team Rahal after competing in CART from 2000-02. He started his American racing career in the IndyCar Series from 1997-99.

"We are working our way through our program," Brack said. "Phoenix is a tricky track. It has always been that way. It has two different ends on it. It requires quit a lot from the car."

MBNA Pole Qualifying is scheduled for 2 p.m. (EST) Saturday on the 1-mile desert oval. The race is at 3:30 p.m. Sunday and will be televised live on ABC.

"We have a good car for that kind of a one lapper right now, I think," Brack said of qualifying. "So we can continue to work on that and refine that package a little bit. If you are struggling today, then you have to guess on that tomorrow. Chances are, you can go wrong. At least we have a stable platform for tomorrow to try to improve. I guess being fastest helps a little bit that way."

Series points leader Scott Dixon was second overall at 20.4459, 176.074 in the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Panoz G Force/Toyota/Firestone.

Andretti Green Racing teammates Dario Franchitti and Tony Kanaan were third and fourth, respectively. Franchitti's best lap, which led the second practice, was 20.4861, 175.729 in the No. 27 Alpine/Archipelago/Motorola Dallara/Honda/Firestone. Kanaan's top lap was 20.4980, 175.627 in the No. 11 Team 7-Eleven Dallara/Honda/Firestone.

Defending event champion Helio Castroneves rounded out the top five at 20.6018, 174.742 in the No. 3 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Toyota/Firestone.

Two-time defending series champion Sam Hornish Jr., who won this event in 2001, struggled. His best lap was 21.0811, 170.769 in the No. 4 Pennzoil Panther Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone, good for 15th overall.

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Tickets: Tickets for the Purex Dial Indy 200 and the Phoenix 100 are available by calling 602-252-2227 or logging on to www.phoenixraceway.com.

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