For Immediate Release


ORLANDO, FLA., January 15, 1997 -- Mike Groff and Jonathan Byrd/Cunningham Racing dodged showers to wind up their final day of testing just as Hemelgarn Racing and 1996 Indianapolis 500 winner Buddy Lazier arrived Wednesday for their first test of their new Indy Racing League car at Walt Disney World Speedway. Groff ran six shakedown laps between showers in a G Force/Nissan Infiniti Indy and the team plans to return next week to continue testing prior to the Jan. 25 Indy 200 at Walt Disney World Presented by Aurora. Lazier, who had the pole position for the inaugural Indy 200 a year ago, arrived with the Hemelgarn team's new Dallara/Infiniti.

MIKE GROFF: "We only got a few laps in today. We just got it warmed up. I went out on the track and it started raining, so we put a new part on during the break and it wasn't just right when we went back out. Then it started raining again, so we didn't get much accomplished today. But yesterday (Tuesday) was a pretty good day. We plan to come back the early part of next week for more testing before the race." *** CORRECTION: Mike Groff's top lap speed from Tuesday was incorrectly reported. Groff's fastest lap was 22.55 seconds, 159.645 miles an hour. *** MEDIA ADVISORY: The Hauler Parade for the 64 transporters of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series is scheduled for 3-3:30 p.m. Thursday at Walt Disney World Speedway. Defending series champion Ron Hornaday Jr., will be available for interviews after the trucks' arrival. Hemelgarn Racing and Lazier plan to test between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. *** Race Rock has scheduled an autograph session for NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series drivers 7-9 p.m. Thursday. Among those scheduled to appear are Hornaday, Mike Bliss, Barry Dodson, Dave Rezendes, Boris Said III, Rick Carelli, Jay Sauter, Tobey Butler, Tammy Jo Kirk, Felix Giles, Doug George, Butch Miller, David Smith, Bob Keselowski, Kenny Hendrick, Kenny Allen and Bryan Reffner. Race Rock is located at 8986 International Drive (I-4 to Sand Lake exit). *** Indy Racing League veteran Eliseo Salazar was admitted to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis Tuesday night and released Wednesday morning. Dr. Henry Bock, the IRL medical director, said Wednesday that Salazar would be out of action "at least until the beginning of May." *** Tickets for Sunday's Chevy Trucks Challenge and the Jan. 25 Indy 200 at Walt Disney World Presented by Aurora are available at Race Rock, Pleasure Island at Walt Disney World, Seminole Town Center in Sanford, the Florida Mall in orlando and Tyrone Square in St. Petersburg. The ticket trailer at Walt Disney World Speedway opens at 8 a.m. Thursday.


Media Contacts: Mai Lindstrom/Bill York/Jan Shaffer Walt Disney World Speedway Media Center (407) 939-0041, 939-0042, 939-0043