IRL: Sharp enjoys smooth opening laps at Chicagoland Speedway

JOLIET, Ill., Oct. 26, 2000 - Northern Light Series star Scott Sharp is ready to race at Chicagoland Speedway in 2001 after turning the first laps by an Indy Racing car at the new, state-of-the-art facility on Oct. 26. Sharp turned demonstration...

JOLIET, Ill., Oct. 26, 2000 - Northern Light Series star Scott Sharp is ready to race at Chicagoland Speedway in 2001 after turning the first laps by an Indy Racing car at the new, state-of-the-art facility on Oct. 26. Sharp turned demonstration laps in his Delphi Automotive Systems/WorldCom Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone on the 1.5-mile oval, which will play host to its inaugural Indy Racing Northern Light Series event on Sept. 2, 2001. The D-shaped oval includes 18-degree banking in the turns and 11-degree banking on the front straightaway.

"I can't wait to come out here and race," Sharp said. "This track is set up for some great side-by-side action. This is going to be a favorite stop on the Indy Racing Northern Light Series schedule, as the fans in the Midwest are incredible."

1996 Indy Racing League co-champion Sharp also complimented the track surface, calling it the smoothest on which he's ever driven. The smooth surface came about due to a combination of careful planning, precision work and good fortune with Mother Nature, said Joie Chitwood, Chicagoland Speedway vice president and general manager.

"The paving of the track is one of the most critical phases in the development of the speedway," Chitwood said. "It was almost a month-long process, in which we were graced with optimum weather conditions. We are extremely pleased with the paving process and believe it will provide our fans with great side-by-side racing action."

NASCAR Winston Cup Series standout John Andretti joined Sharp at Chicagoland, turning laps in his Dodge Dealers Intrepid R/T stock car. When it opens in spring 2001, Chicagoland Speedway will be one of the country's premier motorsports facilities, featuring a 75,000-seat, 1.5-mile oval track, the nation's top drag strip and a dirt oval track, along with a Midway Promenade and entertainment area, corporate hospitality village and adequate on-site parking.

The Chicagoland Speedway is owned by Raceway Associates, LLC, which is comprised of the combined interests of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corporation, the International Speedway Corporation (ISC) and the founding owners of Route 66 Raceway, LLC.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers John Andretti , Scott Sharp