KANSAS CITY, Kan., Saturday, July 7, 2001 - Kelley Racing driver Scott Sharp took his second MBNA Pole of the season and his fourth Indy Racing career pole today during qualifying for the Ameristar Casino Indy 200 at Kansas Speedway. Sharp's ...
KANSAS CITY, Kan., Saturday, July 7, 2001 - Kelley Racing driver Scott Sharp took his second MBNA Pole of the season and his fourth Indy Racing career pole today during qualifying for the Ameristar Casino Indy 200 at Kansas Speedway.
Sharp's fastest speed during practice sessions this weekend only reached 215.476 mph, but when it came time for qualifying, Sharp put his #8 Delphi Automotive Systems Indy Racing car on the pole with a speed of 216.175 mph (25.3128 seconds).
"The Delphi guys have worked so hard," said Sharp. "I'm more excited for them than myself. We just hit it right. We tried to milk every ounce of speed out of the car and took some guesses which turned out to be right." This is Sharp's fourth time to start in the front row this season and his seventh Top-10 start. He's currently 3rd in the Indy Racing Northern Light Series Driver Points Championship and is looking for his second win this season.
"I'm more concerned about the race," said Sharp. "It's going to be a hard, tough race tomorrow. It's not the easiest of tracks to pass on. The Firestone tires have been terrific. We've put a lot of laps on our tires yesterday, way more than you would need to for a full race run. Those were some of our fastest laps. I'm very impressed with the Firestone tires and I think it's going to be fine for us."
Sharp's teammate Mark Dismore will start inside the fourth row. He qualified his #28 Delphi Automotive Systems/Bryant Heating & Cooling car with a speed of 212.625 mph (25.7355 seconds) putting him in the seventh position on the grid.
"I'm pretty happy with our time," said Dismore. "I was really hanging onto the car quite a bit. I think we underestimated the lack of grip in the track. We were still able to get through both of our laps flat, but I wasn't comfortable."
Dismore is looking for his first win of the season in tomorrow's race and feels that the team that can figure out the right amount of downforce will win the race.
"I think it's still going to be really slick tomorrow for the race so we're going to have to make sure we get enough downforce in the car," said Dismore. "If you put too much in, you're going to get passed in the straightaway. If you don't put enough in, you're going to get passed everywhere. With it being our first race on this track, it's really going to be a chess game for everybody."
This is the first Indy Racing event on the new 1.5-mile tri-oval. The Ameristar Casino Indy 200 will be broadcast live on ABC and the IMS Radio Network at 1 p.m. EDT Sunday, July 8.
"This track's incredible," said Dismore. "I love the track. It's smooth, it' s wide and there's more than one groove. The fans are enthusiastic and the pits are awesome. The whole thing was really well thought out and I look forward to coming back here many times."