McDONALD'S DRIVER WILSON AND HOLE IN THE WALL CAMPS DRIVER RAHAL MAKE PROGRESS AT ONE-DAY TEST AT TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY FORT WORTH (October 1, 2008) -- Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing (NHLR) completed a one-day test at the 1.5-mile oval at Texas...
McDONALD'S DRIVER WILSON AND HOLE IN THE WALL CAMPS DRIVER RAHAL MAKE PROGRESS AT ONE-DAY TEST AT TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY
FORT WORTH (October 1, 2008) -- Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing (NHLR) completed a one-day test at the 1.5-mile oval at Texas Motor Speedway yesterday and both McDonald's driver Justin Wilson and Hole in the Wall Camps driver Graham Rahal were extremely happy with the progress the team has made since racing here in June. Both drivers ran considerably faster than the average speed each ran in qualifying for the Bombardier Learjet 550 held here in June and completed a combined total of 400 miles.
"It was a very good test," said Wilson. "We learned a lot of things and worked on the 1.5-mile oval setup. It was a lot better than what it was when we raced here straightaway. The setup we came here with was a big improvement and shows the progress we have made during the season. And we made improvements during the day as well so I am very pleased with the progress. I think we're going in the right direction so everyone can be very proud. It was the first test since Paul passed away so it was difficult. Everyone kept working away and doing what they do best under difficult times. We just want to go out there and do the best for Paul. He always followed our progress during tests and had been known to come to many of them over the years. I think he would be happy about our progress."
"It was a really good test for us," added Rahal. "I think we made a lot of gains as far as getting closer to the speeds that the Ganassi boys could do down here. It was a cooler day than when we raced here so that makes us feel pretty good about our speed. Mechanically I think we made a lot of gains today which is good. As I did after the Richmond test, I left this one feeling pretty good about the progress we are making as a team. I think we are getting a heck of a lot closer to winning on one of these 1.5 mile ovals which makes me feel pretty good. It was different being on track knowing that Paul is no longer with us. There are a lot of people at the team that are feeling the loss quite a bit. We'll keep soldiering on here and hope to get a win in Australia for him."
The test was the final one of the 2008 season. The 2008 IndyCar Series season continueswith a non-points paying race Oct. 26 at Surfers Paradise, Australia. The Nikon Indy 300 will be telecast live in High Definition at 10:30 p.m. (EDT) Oct. 25 by ESPN Classic and will re-air at 11 p.m. Oct. 26 on ESPN2.
NHLR has won six events in Surfer's Paradise including four in the last seven years beginning with Cristiano da Matta's win in 2001. Last year Sebastien Bourdais clinched a history-making fourth consecutive title in Australia with a victory. Rahal set the fastest lap of the race there last year which stands as a track record and finished 11th for the team while Wilson finished second to Bourdais while driving for RuSport.