For Immediate Release LUYENDYK JOINS 180-MPH CLUB AT WALT DISNEY WORLD SPEEDWAY LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., January 17, 1996 -- Arie Luyendyk, the 1990 Indianapolis 500 winner, was fastest among three drivers today, joining the group of drivers...
For Immediate Release
LUYENDYK JOINS 180-MPH CLUB AT WALT DISNEY WORLD SPEEDWAY
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., January 17, 1996 -- Arie Luyendyk, the 1990 Indianapolis 500 winner, was fastest among three drivers today, joining the group of drivers who have tested at more than 180 miles per hour on the one-mile Walt Disney World Speedway in preparation for the Indy 200 at Walt Disney World Presented by Aurora next Saturday, Jan 27.
Luyendyk, running the Jonathan Byrd/Leberle-Treadway entry for the full Indy Racing League season, turned a lap Wednesday at 19.879 seconds, 181.098 mph.
"One of the reasons I pursued this (ride) was because this series has the Indy 500," Luyendyk said of the May Classic on May 26. "That's a race I don't want to miss. Next week, I'm going to stay away from the hoopla. If you win the inaugural IRL event, it'll mean more than just participating in it.
Through today, a total of 2,799 laps of Indy 200 testing have been run at Walt Disney World Speedway since second-round testing began Jan. 9.
Eddie Cheever has been a regular at Walt Disney World Speedway since attending the press conference last Jan. 23 when the track was announced. He returned to WDWS Wednesday for the second round of testing and recorded a fastest lap of 20.380 seconds, 176.643 mph.
He predicted 22-second laps would be the norm during the inaugural Indy 200 at Walt Disney World Presented by Aurora Jan. 27.
"If you do that, you'll win," he said. "Race speeds are always slower with traffic and full tanks. Being a new series with a lot of new drivers, it'll be pretty busy the first race or two. You have to know how the track is going to change and 200 miles is a long way.
"I can't wait to see this place with 50,000 people. We're bringing racing to a whole new group of people. Who knows? Some little kid, boy or girl, in the stands may win a race someday."
Payton Haas, TV star of the remake of the "Flipper" series currently in syndication, was a visitor to WDWS today, seeing the Indianapolis cars for the first time. "It's really cool," Haas, from nearby Jacksonville, said. "The cars are so much faster than I expected. The cars are just amazing.
Haas just completed seven months near Surfer's Paradise, Australia, shooting the series, and returns in May for shooting the second season. Although he watches racing on television, he doesn't think racing is in his future.
"My brother had a go-kart and he was so crazy with his that my parents wouldn't get me one," he said. "I used to ask for one every Christmas."
Driver Butch Brickell, injured in an accident Jan. 13 at Walt Disney World Speedway, was released from Orlando Regional Medical Center Tuesday, according to hospital spokesman Joe Brown.
Unofficial Fastest Speeds From USAC Timing & Scoring:
DRIVER TEAM LAPS FAST TIME FAST SPEED ============================================================================ Arie Luyendyk Jonathan Byrd/Leberle-Treadway 134 19.879 181.098 Buzz Calkins Bradley Motorsports 165 20.029 179.738 Eddie Cheever Team Menard 131 20.380 176.643