IRL: WDW testing 97-01-20

For Immediate Release LAZIER TESTS HEMELGARN DALLARA/INFINITI; TEAMS START ARRIVING FOR INDY 200 AT WALT DISNEY WORLD ORLANDO, FLA., January 20, 1997 =97 Indianapolis 500 winner Buddy Lazier= drove Hemelgarn Racing's Dallara/Nissan Infiniti...

For Immediate Release

LAZIER TESTS HEMELGARN DALLARA/INFINITI; TEAMS START ARRIVING FOR INDY 200 AT WALT DISNEY WORLD

ORLANDO, FLA., January 20, 1997 =97 Indianapolis 500 winner Buddy Lazier= drove Hemelgarn Racing's Dallara/Nissan Infiniti Indy to a lap at 152.542 miles an hour Monday at Walt Disney World Speedway in his first serious testing of the new Indy Racing League machine this winter.

Lazier ran 60 laps around the one-mile oval in preparation for Saturday's Indy 200 at Walt Disney World Presented by Aurora.

Transporters for the IRL teams began arriving at the track Monday as Team Scandia, Blueprint Racing, Pagan Racing joined Jonathan Byrd/Cunningham Racing and Bradley Motorsports in the paddock.

Testing continues Tuesday and both IRL testing and U.S. Formula Ford 2000 testing are scheduled for Wednesday. The track opens to the public with the first official practice sessions Thursday.

Veteran Marco Greco has been assigned to drive the #22 International Sports Limited/Xcel/Alta entry for the Indy 200 at Walt Disney World, it was announced Monday by Team Scandia.

QUOTES: BUDDY LAZIER: "We've mostly just been doing system tests. We haven't done car work or go-fast work, just make-it-run work. The basic conceptual formula is good. It (the car) is forgiving to a degree but this is a professional racing series and it can bite you hard. In engine and car development, we're in the prehistoric stages. There's a tremendous curve to be developed. It's surprisingly good for being right out of the box. My biggest surprises have been on the positive end. I believe things like slipstreaming will be more important. The field will be closer together than in the past. No matter how you chalk up the situation, we're three weeks to a month late and there's nothing you can do about being three weeks to a month late. Certainly, we'll be in great shape after this weekend. We're going to to do the best we can. I wouldn't count us out yet."

RONNIE DAWES (Hemelgarn team member who serves as engineer): "The car itself is real easy to work on. The problem we're faced with is a lack of time to run and figure out what the car likes and doesn't like. This is the second (Infiniti) engine produced, so we definitely have to be careful with the motor. We're running with revs lower than what we're going to race. That gives us different feedback on the chassis. With some time on the motor, it's going to be a real nice package."

About 250 members of the Hoosier Auto Racing Fans organization were surprised Sunday night when Buzz Calkins, the IRL's 1996 co-champion, showed up at their annual banquet at Celebrations in Indianapolis.

"Nobody could remember the last time an Indy (series) champion came to the banquet," said Pat Sullivan, a director of the club who emceed the affair. "He got a standing ovation from the members. He was so gracious. He seemed to be genuinely interested in what the other competitors had accomplished. They were able to spend some time with him.

"He just made a huge impression."

Tickets for Saturday's Indy 200 at Walt Disney World Presented by Aurora are available daily at the Walt Disney World Speedway ticket trailer, Pleasure Island and at Race Rock, 8986 International Drive in Orlando (I-4 to Sand Lake exit).

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Buzz Calkins , Buddy Lazier