IRL: Ray picks up pace on second day of Atlanta test

ATLANTA, Wednesday, April 11, 2001 - Defending Atlanta 500 Classic champion Greg Ray showed more speed April 11 during the second day of private testing at Atlanta Motor Speedway, leading five drivers with a best time of 25.17 seconds on the ...

ATLANTA, Wednesday, April 11, 2001 - Defending Atlanta 500 Classic champion Greg Ray showed more speed April 11 during the second day of private testing at Atlanta Motor Speedway, leading five drivers with a best time of 25.17 seconds on the 1.5-mile oval.

Ray led the first day of testing April 10 at 25.21 in the No. 2 Johns Manville/Menards Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone. He won the MBNA Pole last July at Atlanta with a lap of 24.988 seconds.

"We like this place," Ray said. "We feel like we have it figured out, and we very much have the potential to repeat."

Two-time Indianapolis 500 runner-up Scott Goodyear was second quickest today at 25.37 in the #51 Excite@Home Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone normally driven in the Indy Racing Northern Light Series by 1998 Indianapolis 500 winner Eddie Cheever Jr.

Northern Light Cup points leader Sam Hornish Jr. was third quickest at 25.71 in the No. 4 Pennzoil Panther Racing Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone before his test ended due to mechanical problems.

Davey Hamilton's best lap was 25.76 in the No. 99 Sam Schmidt Motorsports Racing Special Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone, while rookie points leader Felipe Giaffone rounded out the five-driver testing field at 26.24 in his backup No. 21 Hollywood G Force/Oldsmobile/Firestone.

Ray and Hamilton are expected to conclude the test with laps under the lights tonight in preparation for the Atlanta 500 Classic on April 28 at AMS, the first of three night races on the 2001 Indy Racing Northern Light Series schedule.

"We'll do some long runs tonight because we still haven't found our fuel problem," Ray said. "We're working on the race car all the time, and I continue working to perfect what I think is the best race line.

"Everything will be tighter this year from first to 20th at every racetrack. But we're testing good, and as long as we don't make any big mistakes, we definitely have it in us to sit on the pole and win the race again."

-IRNLS/IMS-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Greg Ray , Felipe Giaffone , Eddie Cheever , Davey Hamilton , Scott Goodyear , Sam Schmidt , Sam Hornish Jr.
Teams Panther Racing