Fort Worth, Texas. (October 11, 2003) The final practice session is now complete for tomorrow's Chevy Indy 500. In order to accommodate the NASCAR Truck race, the IndyCar Series ran their final two practice sessions this morning and won't return...
Fort Worth, Texas. (October 11, 2003) The final practice session is now complete for tomorrow's Chevy Indy 500. In order to accommodate the NASCAR Truck race, the IndyCar Series ran their final two practice sessions this morning and won't return to the track until tomorrow's green flag at 2:45 p.m. The Kelley Racing drivers, Al Unser Jr. and Scott Sharp, both made improvements in speed this afternoon and feel with some additional minor changes they will have cars to go racing in Sunday's 200-lap event. The green flag for Sunday's season finale race will fall at 2:45 p.m. CT and be shown live on ESPN.
Al Unser Jr. -- #31 Corteco/Dallara/Toyota/Firestone
"We stopped a bit early in the final practice today because we didn't want to mileage out the engine. We wanted to leave a nice cushion of extra miles for tomorrow's race. I don't think the Corteco car is perfect right now but it is the best it's going to get for the race. There's not anything else we can do to make it better so we're going to roll the dice and hope we have a good race car on Sunday."
Al Unser Jr., No. 31 Corteco/Dallara/Toyota/Firestone--Fast Facts and Quote
This will be Unser Jr.'s 324th career start and his 51st IRL start.
Unser Jr. is currently sixth in the IndyCar Series points standings with 352 points.
Unser Jr. won at Texas in June of this year, beating Tony Kanaan by .0810 seconds and leading 54 of the 200 laps in the event. At Texas I in 2002, he started third and finished second to Jeff Ward by only .0111 seconds, the third closest finish in IRL history. In Spring 2000 he started ninth and finished third by less than a car length.
Unser Jr. has finished on the podium at Texas on two previous occasions (2nd--2002 Spring and 3rd --2000 Spring) and has four top-ten finishes. Unser Jr. has also led 275 laps at Texas.
Unser Jr. has won two Indianapolis 500's (1992, 1994) and two open-wheel championships (1990, 1994).
Scott Sharp -- #8 Delphi/Dallara/Toyota/Firestone
"It has been a tough weekend so far for the Delphi team. I think we finally made some gains in today's practice. We're able to run some decent times and hang in the draft a bit and even catch some guys so that is certainly an improvement. It's giving us all a bit of encouragement heading into tomorrow's race but we still need to find a little bit more on the car. We're not going to make any drastic changes at this stage, we just need to settle the car down a little bit and we'll be ready to go racing."
Scott Sharp, No. 8 Delphi/Dallara/Toyota/Firestone---Fast Facts and Quote
This will be Sharp's 82nd career start, his 74th consecutive IndyCar start--an IRL record-- and his sixth season with Kelley Racing.
In Spring 2003 at Texas, he started 12th and finished 16th after an accident.
Sharp is currently in ninth place in the IndyCar Series with 323 points.
Sharp won this event in 2000 and 2001 and he has also seven top-ten starts at Texas and five top-five finishes. In Spring 2002 Sharp started 16th and finished 14th.
Sharp's victory in April at Twin Ring Motegi, Japan was his eighth career victory.