IRL: Phoenix Friday Practice Report

Goodyear, AZ (March 20, 1998) Tony Stewart was fastest in both the morning and afternoon sessions at Phoenix International Raceway today. Stewart's times where nearly identical despite the rise in temperature during the afternoon session....

Goodyear, AZ (March 20, 1998) Tony Stewart was fastest in both the morning and afternoon sessions at Phoenix International Raceway today. Stewart's times where nearly identical despite the rise in temperature during the afternoon session. Tony's time set in the morning was 21.058/170.956, only four one thousandths of a second faster than his afternoon time. Both of Stewart's fast times were better than his track record of 21.176 set last year.

The first eighteen cars are within one second of each other after the times from both sessions were combined. "It used to be we were looking for tenths of seconds. Now, we're looking for hundredths." Stewart said.

Billy Boat was second fastest in the morning session with a time of 21.180/169.172 but a broken oil pump shaft kept him sidelined during this afternoon's session while the crew changed engines. Boat's morning time was still fast enough to leave him second overall at the end of the day.

Kenny Brack set third fastest time of the day with his morning session time of 21.232/169.555.

The surprise of the day came in the form of rookie driver J.J. Yeley who set sixth fastest time in the afternoon session. Yeley's time was fast enough to leave him eleventh overall at the end of the day.

Another surprise was the Pagan Racing Dallara of Roberto Guerrero who had set quick times here in a private test just a few weeks ago.. "It's unbelievable" Guerrero said. "I had been looking forward to this weekend for a long time." The team chased handling problems throughout the day, setting their best time of 21.857/164.707 halfway through this morning's session. In the afternoon session, the team's best was a time of 22.128/162.690. The crew is preparing the team's back up car for tomorrow morning's practice session.

The next practice for Pep Boys IRL cars is at 8:50 a.m. tomorrow morning.

David Reininger - Motorsport News International

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Tony Stewart , Billy Boat , Roberto Guerrero , Kenny Brack , J.J. Yeley