IRL: Practice Crash Haunts Hollansworth at Orlando

IRL: Practice Crash Haunts Hollansworth at Orlando

ROCKWALL, TX -- January 30, 2000 -- The Delphi Indy 200 at Walt Disney World Speedway in Orlando will not be a fond memory for John Hollansworth, Jr. The TeamXtreme driver had his race weekend turn sour when he crashed his new Lycos / G-Force...

ROCKWALL, TX -- January 30, 2000 -- The Delphi Indy 200 at Walt Disney World Speedway in Orlando will not be a fond memory for John Hollansworth, Jr. The TeamXtreme driver had his race weekend turn sour when he crashed his new Lycos / G-Force in Thursday's practice session. Commenting on the events Hollansworth stated, "With minimal preseason testing to learn about the new G-Force before the first race of the season, we still were 6th fastest (of 26) in Thursday's pre-race practice. After a late practice crash on Thursday and inclement weather on Friday, we had limited opportunities to be on the track. In fact, qualifying as well as the post qualifying practice sessions were cancelled due to rain. So, we headed into Saturday's race with no full tank runs and an educated guess on race set up. . .in addition, we experimented this weekend with the recommended factory G-Force setup, which included a platform with spring rates significantly softer than we ran in the 1999 season. Although this set up seemed to work well on a green track, it did not inspire confidence (or speed) once the race got underway. I could actually go so far as to say that it inspired something other than confidence." TeamXtreme General Manager, John Lopes viewed the rebuilding of the #42 favorably, "John King and the entire Lycos crew did an excellent job in getting this car put back together, obviously not being able to run the car before the race started hurt us a lot. We've taken a crash course in running a multi-car team over the past several weeks. Now that the Orlando race is behind us we will regroup and get ready for "The Test In The West" (Phoenix). Certainly we look to improve our finishing positions next time out when we go to Phoenix, which is home to our administrative offices. I'm extremely proud of how our crews handled the pressure of gearing up a multi-car effort in a short period of time."

The cars were on the starting grid when the first sign of how the day was to fold showed itself. The command to "start your engines" saw the crew having to remove the sidepod (due to an electrical problem) to get the car started. The laps to the first pit stop (lap 27) had the Feed The Children sponsored ride drifting to the rear of the field. Hollansworth pitted for tires, fuel and to correct and understeer problem. John remained on the track until lap 69 when he came in for a front wing adjustment, tires and fuel. He was several laps down to the leaders by the time he reentered the pits on lap 123 for additional adjustments, fuel and tires. By lap 160 Hollansworth was officially out of the race. As he climbed from the cockpit Hollansworth said, "around lap 130 we had a combination of fuel pressure / ignition problems which shut down our motor and ended our day. We were short on test time yesterday and today, and I think it caught up with us. We missed the morning warm-up and didn't have enough full-tank running time. It may be a spark box related problem, but we don't know yet. We're going to take what we learned today and build on that from here. We will work hard in the next two weeks to review all of our engineering data gleaned from the Orlando event as we prepare for back to back testing events at Phoenix International Raceway and Las Vegas Motor Speedway the week of February 21st. We anticipate going back to the (stiffer) chassis platform that we used successfully last year."

Later as Hollansworth spent time with Lycos officials in the beautiful TeamXtreme hospitality center he looked at the good things that had come from the weekend. John said, "Our stable mate, Airton Dare' finished in 11th place driving the #88 G-Force. A good result for Airton's first outing. Stark (Director of Sponsorship, Starke Taylor) told me that we've signed an associate deal with GridData of Phoenix for the entire season. I have received good reports from various viewers that saw our in-car camera exposure from the #42 Lycos G-Force during the race. I'm keeping in mind that Greg Ray and Team Menard finished in 21st place in the first three events of the 1999 season before going on to win the Championship. We remain very focused and optimistic about meeting our team goals for the 2000 season."

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