June 27th, 1997 - Colorado Springs
Johnny spent today's practice sessions shaking down the #10 Byrd/Cunningham Racing car and getting a feel for the new track here at the Pikes Peak Intl Raceway. "The track is really wide and smooth," he said, "the turns are long and the straightaways are short. We're able to pretty much run flat out around the track."
Johnny posted a top speed of 164.279 which was the 19th fastest time out of both practice sessions, and the fastest of the two Infiniti powered cars in the field. The Infiniti engine is still down on horsepower, but Infiniti announced today that there are several new engine pieces in the works that should bring a significant increase in power over the next few races. Roberto Guerro switched to Aurora power for this race, which leaves Johnny and Dr. Jack Miller as the two remaining Infiniti powered cars. The team is looking to make some changes to the car overnight and look for some more speed during tomorrow's practice sessions.
There were two crashes during today's practice. Mark Dismore and Arie Luyendyk both spun at separate times during the sessions, each making a 180 degree loop and striking the wall with the left side of the car. Both suffered a bruised knee, but they were released from the medical center and expect to be back in their respective cars by tomorrow.
There will be two practice sessions tomorrow, one at 9:00am and another at 3:45pm, with qualifying scheduled to begin at 12:00pm. We will have more updates for you after each of tomorrow's sessions.