TRACKSIDE REPORT SAMSONITE 200 IRL Afternoon Practice Notes:
2:30 p.m. -- Temperature was 94 degrees and track temperature was 139, according to Firestone tire engineers. 2:35 p.m. -- GREEN. #27 Guthrie first out. 2:38 p.m. -- #4 Brack turned a lap at 165.616, fastest of session. 2:39 p.m. -- #2 Stewart turned a lap at 171.021, fastest of session. 2:40 p.m. -- #12 Calkins turned a lap at 167.777, second fastest of= session. 2:43 p.m. -- #1 Sharp turned a lap at 167.981, second fastest of session. 2:44 p.m. -- #2 Stewart turned a lap at 172.994, fastest of session. #17 Giaffone turned a lap at 169.835, second fastest of session. #18 Boat turned a lap at 168.216, third fastest of session. 2:45 p.m. -- #18 Boat turned a lap at 170.422, second fastest of session. #14 Hamilton turned a lap at 169.972, third fastest of session. #14 Hamilton turned a lap at 170.810, second fastest of session. 2:48 p.m. -- #6 Goodyear turned a lap at 171.953, second fastest of= session. #6 Goodyear turned a lap at 172.241, second fastest of session. 2:49 p.m. -- #2 Stewart turned a lap at 173.419, fastest of the session and= day. YELLOW, track inspection. 2:56 p.m. -- GREEN. 2:55 p.m. -- Temperature was 92 degrees, track temperature was 115= degrees, according to Firestone tire engineers. 2:57 p.m. -- YELLOW, #10 Unser, tow-in. 3:01 p.m. -- GREEN. 3:05 p.m. -- #27 Guthrie turned a lap at 171.567, third fastest of session. 3:06 p.m. -- #4 Brack turned a lap at 172.274, second fastest of session. 3:07 p.m. -- #6 Goodyear turned a lap at 173.452, fastest of session and= day. 3:08 p.m. -- #33 Kite turned a lap at 171.985, fourth fastest of session. 3:10 p.m. -- #12 Calkins turned a lap at 172.010, fourth fastest of= session. 3:12 p.m. -- #4 Brack turned a lap at 172.778, third fastest of session. 3:13 p.m. -- #4 Brack turned a lap at 173.486, fastest of session and day. 3:13 p.m. -- YELLOW, track inspection. 3:18 p.m. -- GREEN. 3:24 p.m. -- #33 Kite turned a lap at 172.027, fourth fastest of session. 3:30 p.m. -- END OF SESSION.
AFTERNOON QUOTES: EDDIE CHEEVER, JR: "I'm very happy with my car. We made a lot of progress."
BUDDY LAZIER: "We had a mechanical failure yesterday, so we've been playing catch-up. If I'd had one more lap, I think we could have made a bigger jump. I love being in Colorado, my home state."
VINCENZO SOSPIRI: "It's my first time on a one-mile oval. It's very nice, but the corners are slanted. It's a smooth track, but it's been hot today. The car is OK, we've had some electrical problems and tonight they'll go through the wiring."
JIMMY KITE: "I am looking forward very much to qualifying tomorrow. I have a real good car under me. I like this track because there is so much room. This is a super place to learn how to drive an Indy car."
BUZZ CALKINS: "We made a major improvement with relatively small changes in set-up. We real close to finding an effective race day package. That is our goal."
KENNY BRACK: "It's a really nice track. It's wide. It provides for good racing because you can take a lot of different lines. Obviously, there is one line that I think is the ultimate line but you can go high because there are no bumps here. You can go up high and not worry about bumps." (About Tony Stewart): "He's always very quick. It's the first day of practice and no one knows what tomorrow's going to be like. I think it (the track) is going to stay pretty much as it is now. If it's calm and cool, you might see higher speeds. But if it stays the same, it'll be pretty much the same.
SCOTT GOODYEAR: "I don't think we're going to go a whole lot faster because we're flat-out all the way around. You'll definitely see a lot of passing here. The track's very wide, very smooth. One of the things you do when you get to a race track is get the car to go over the bumps. Here, it's so smooth you don't have to deal with it as much, so we got up to speed a little faster. The competition...everybody's so close and nobody expected that. Having a good car here is going to be more important because you're at such high Gs for such a long period of time."
JIM GUTHRIE: "It's funny what a bunch of changes, new springs and new gears can do. Now we have a car we can really race with. There's still a lot more in the car, though. We're going to change the engine right now. This is the same engine from Dallas and it had about 500 miles on it. We have a new engine we're going to put in it and we'll sneak up on =91em tomorrow. We geared the car for 190 miles an hour and boy, were we way off. So we decided to work on the chassis setup instead. But the gearing, we were 1200, 1300 RPM off."
The official record for the new Indy Racing League cars on a one-mile oval is 170.012 miles an hour by Tony Stewart on March 22 in qualifying at Phoenix. Fifteen cars exceeded that speed in practice today.
Miscellaneous IRL Driver Statistics:
Number of drivers who have competed in one or more IRL races: 55 Number of drivers who have competed in more than one IRL race: 46 Number of drivers who have competed in more than half of the IRL races: 20 Number of drivers running at the finish of at least one IRL race: 36 Number of drivers running at the finish of more than one IRL race: 25 Number of drivers running at the finish of more than half of the IRL races: 4 Number of drivers with one or more top 10 starts: 31 Number of drivers with one or more top five starts: 20 Number of drivers with one or more top 3 starts: 15 Number of drivers with one or more top 10 finishes: 35 Number of drivers with one or more top five finishes: 22 Number of drivers with one or more top 3 finishes: 17 Number of drivers who have led a lap in an IRL race: 24 Number of drivers who have led a lap in more than one race: 11
IRL Drivers with front row starts:
Tony Stewart, 6 (current streak of five straight) Arie Luyendyk, 4 Richie Hearn, 2 Michele Alboreto, Robbie Buhl, Roberto Guerrero, Jim Guthrie, Davy Jones, Buddy Lazier, Eliseo Salazar, Vincenzo Sospiri, one each.
TONY STEWART: "We had some trouble this afternoon...a water leak but we don't know where it's coming from. We didn't get the work done that we wanted to in this afternoon's practice." (About the pole): "(We have) just as good a chance as anybody."
AFFONSO GIAFFONE: "The car feels good. The car ran well in Phoenix which is another mile oval. I'm used to those from my Indy Lights (days). We went out in the beginning of the practice session with the old tires, came in and changed, then put the old tires back on and kept getting better and better by the end of the session. I want to do good at this track to finally convince my owner to test at Loudon. It's the first time we would be able to test this year. I really need to test."
DAVEY HAMILTON: "We changed a lot on the setup from this morning but gained nothing on the stopwatch. For tomorrow, Scott (Sharp) and I are going to try two totally different setups and see what we can learn from that."
BILLY BOAT: "It takes some time to really jell between a driver and a crew. They (PDM crew) seem like just a great bunch of guys but we don't have the time to find the speed for a run at the pole. Instead, we're going to spend time to get the car race ready. The car is real balanced. I can run it flat-out. We ran 129 laps on just three sets of tires, so that's pretty good. This will be a great track to race on. It has multiple grooves. We'll just need to stay at speed throughout the race. It'll be a tremendous race for the fans."
Saturday press conference schedule: 10:30 a.m. -- Team Scandia (Jimmy Kite and Vincenzo Sospiri) 2:30 p.m. -- Treadway Racing (Scott Goodyear), presentation by American Red= Cross
END FRIDAY NOTES