IRL: Scott Harrington Las Vegas Preview

LAS VEGAS, Sept. 25 - When it's time to register car numbers for the 2000 racing season, Scott Harrington might consider changing the number of his CertainTeed Dallara Aurora from 66 to some number with a one in it. Lately he's been...

LAS VEGAS, Sept. 25 - When it's time to register car numbers for the 2000 racing season, Scott Harrington might consider changing the number of his CertainTeed Dallara Aurora from 66 to some number with a one in it. Lately he's been rolling a lot of sixes in Pep Boys Indy Racing League competition. Harrington, who is leading the point standings for the Sprint PCS Rookie of the Year Award, finished sixth in the last two races. He was sixth-fastest in practice for the vegas.com 500 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Friday. And tomorrow morning he'll start the race on the outside of row six by virtue of his fastest lap around the 1.5-mile oval in qualifying Saturday afternoon - which took 26.166 seconds. "Actually I would have been a lot happier with sixth place on the starting grid than 12th, which is where we ended up, but I guess it's better than 16th," Harrington said about his qualifying run Saturday in the CertainTeed #66, which carries associate sponsorship from the Las Vegas Hilton for this race. Earlier in the day he ran a lap at 208.486 mph in practice, but the track conditions did not change as much between practice and qualifying as the CertainTeed team thought they would, and the changes the crew made to the car's set-up before qualifying did not work out as they had hoped. "We thought the track would be slicker in the heat of the afternoon but instead it felt the same, just slower," Harrington explained. "We made some changes to the CertainTeed car to try to go faster, but unfortunately the changes we made probably hurt us more than helped us." The good news is that Harrington and the CertainTeed crew worked very hard on their race set-up on Friday and they feel they have a good set-up for tomorrow's race. "I'm confident that even though we're starting further back than we had hoped, the CertainTeed car will be fast in the race tomorrow," Harrington concurred. "We'll make some more changes in the final practice session this afternoon, and we should be OK. It's a long race and the most important thing is to be there at the finish." Sam Schmidt won the pole with a lap at 25.780 seconds (209.465 mph). Harrington has never driven on the oval here before Friday, but he's very impressed with the track. "This place is awesome," he said firmly. After the final practice session Saturday, Harrington is headed to the team headquarters for this race, the Las Vegas Hilton, for a CertainTeed function Saturday night. The CertainTeed show car is on display there through Monday. Harrington is suffering from a chest cold this weekend, but he said he didn't feel any worse Saturday then he did on Friday. "We're glad to have guests from CertainTeed here with us at Las Vegas and we also have people from the Hilton cheering for us," Harrington summarized. "Everybody knows that when you're in Vegas you need some good luck, and we hope we'll have that on our side tomorrow too. I don't know what to think about all those sixes though." The 208-lap race is scheduled to get the green flag at 11:30 a.m. Sunday. It will be broadcast live at 2:30 p.m. EDT on ESPN2.

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Sam Schmidt , Scott Harrington