For Immediate Release 'IT WAS GREAT' SAYS STEWART OF FIRST MENARD TEST LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., Jan. 19, 1996 -- Tony Stewart, climbing into an Indy car for only the second time, logged 64 laps and a quick speed of 172.166 miles per hour in...
For Immediate Release
'IT WAS GREAT' SAYS STEWART OF FIRST MENARD TEST
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., Jan. 19, 1996 -- Tony Stewart, climbing into an Indy car for only the second time, logged 64 laps and a quick speed of 172.166 miles per hour in less than 1 1/2 hours Friday afternoon. It was his first test for Team Menard at Walt Disney World Speedway as testing concluded in anticipation of next week's Indy 200 IRL race.
"It was great," said Stewart, 24, of Rushville, Ind., who won an unprecedented three United States Auto Club championships in 1995. "It was everything I expected and more."
Driving a car set up by Indianapolis 500 veteran and Menard teammate Eddie Cheever Friday morning, Stewart went out at 2:22 p.m. "I didn't have any idea what we would run, speed-wise. On a mile like this, you stay busy all the way around."
Team owner John Menard said he was both pleased and surprised that Stewart got up to speed so quickly. "I think Tony is a wonderful young talent," Menard said. "We're extremely happy to have him with us. He came highly recommended and had such a great year (in 1995). But that speed was beyond what we expected, so we're delighted."
The Indy 200 at Walt Disney World Presented by Aurora on Saturday, Jan. 27, will be broadcast live by ABC Sports television and the IMS Radio Network.
Eddie Cheever wrapped up preseason testing for Team Menard today with "full-tank" laps at 20.6 seconds on the team watches.
"The track has changed since the last time I was here," Cheever said. "It's turned out to be faster than I thought it would be. I was one of the first guys here for the 'green' stage and (since then) it's had cars on it and rubber washed off and cars back on it."
Johnny O'Connell put in his first laps in an Indy car this afternoon with the Cunningham Motorsports entry and got up to 165.213 miles per hour in 67 laps of testing. It was the first Indy run for the veteran IMSA team which has joined the IRL this year and constructed the car from a "box of parts" delivered Dec. 30.
Unoffical Top Speeds from USAC Timing and Scoring DRIVER TEAM LAPS FAST TIME FAST SPEED Eddie Cheever Team Menard 96 19.820 181.634 Tony Stewart Team Menard 64 20.910 172.166 Lyn St. James Scandia/Simon Racing 110 21.026 171.219 Johnny O'Connell Cunningham Motorsports 67 21.790 165.213 Bill Tempero Tempero Racing 24 24.890 144.635