IPS: Indianapolis Open Testing notes, times

Medeiros Leads Open Testing At Indianapolis INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, April 23, 2004 -- Thiago Medeiros, in the No. 11 Sam Schmidt Motorsports entry, topped the speed chart at 46.9930 seconds, 191.518 mph, in the afternoon session to lead Open ...

Medeiros Leads Open Testing At Indianapolis

INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, April 23, 2004 -- Thiago Medeiros, in the No. 11 Sam Schmidt Motorsports entry, topped the speed chart at 46.9930 seconds, 191.518 mph, in the afternoon session to lead Open Testing for the Menards Infiniti Pro Series on April 23 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Teammate Arie Luyendyk Jr. was second (47.0626 seconds; 191.275).

"It was wonderful," said Medeiros, who is coming off a victory in the Phoenix 100. "We were quick in the morning and then quickest in the afternoon, too. The track will be very different in May because there will be 10 days of IndyCar Series rubber. We're just trying to find the baseline set-up to start the race weekend since we don't have much time to work during the race weekend."

The Futaba Freedom 100 will be broadcast live on ESPN2 at 2 p.m. (EDT) on May 22.

<pre> FASTEST SPEEDS OF MORNING SESSION Pos. Car Name C/E/T Speed 1 11 Thiago Medeiros D/I/F 190.714 mph 2 91 Paul Dana D/I/F 190.586 mph 3 5 Arie Luyendyk Jr. D/I/F 189.839 mph 4 24 Brad Pollard D/I/F 188.449 mph 5 2 Phil Giebler D/I/F 188.175 mph

FASTEST SPEEDS OF AFTERNOON SESSION Pos. Car Name C/E/T Speed 1 11 Thiago Medeiros D/I/F 191.518 mph 2 5 Arie Luyendyk Jr. D/I/F 191.275 mph 3 4 Marty Roth D/I/F 191.051 mph 4 91 Paul Dana D/I/F 190.315 mph 5 2 Phil Giebler D/I/F 190.293 mph

FASTEST SPEEDS OF COMBINED SESSIONS Pos. Car Name C/E/T Speed 1 11 Thiago Medeiros D/I/F 191.518 mph 2 5 Arie Luyendyk Jr. D/I/F 191.275 mph 3 4 Marty Roth D/I/F 191.051 mph 4 91 Paul Dana D/I/F 190.586 mph 5 2 Phil Giebler D/I/F 190.293 mph

</pre> POST PRACTICE QUOTES:

JAY DRAKE (No. 25 Automatic Fire Sprinklers, Inc. Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "Larry (Curry) offered to help Gary (Peterson) out and get him pointed in the right direction. Gary in turn offered to let us use his second car and give me an opportunity to come out and run it. It's very exciting. To first of all run this type of race car is something I've always wanted to do. Since I've known what a race car was it's been a dream of mine to be an IndyCar (Series) racer, so if the right doors were open it would definitely be meaningful to me." (About his day): "It was fun. We only had the last hour, but I got to turn a few laps there, so it was a valuable day. If nothing else, I got to run some laps around Indianapolis, which has been a lifelong dream of mine. So at least I got that accomplished. Right at the end there, I was starting to get comfortable and started running laps at speed. I wish we would have had the whole day because I think we really would have made some progress. Nevertheless, we'll get to come back race weekend and at least be that much farther ahead. We learned a lot today."

PAUL DANA (No. 91 Ethanol Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "Last year, I was new to the series. This year is a little more normal. Last year was mainly for me (to get acclimated). This year, it's the car. Experience counts. Going into Turn 1 flat out, it's one of the most intimidating corners in motorsports. The team put a lot of grip in the car, and it probably took me 20 laps to get used to it. Then you take some wing out gradually. That's the tradeoff here. You can make the car comfortable, but it'd be like dragging an anchor. Even though it's flat (out) here, you really have to believe in the car. Your brain has to match your heart."

BRAD POLLARD: (No. 24 XBOX/Team ISI Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "Absolutely amazing. It's very nice to be back. It felt like coming home. I've lived it since I was a little boy. (Cousin) Art (Pollard) was my idol. My first time here was last May, and I sat with Mike, Art's son, on the pit wall when they were having the drivers' meeting. I said, 'We're going to come back here and race.' I was surprised at how slow it felt, amazingly in slow motion. That's a testament to how great Kenn Hardley and the crew set up the car. I'm excited about this year, and we have some things working to move up to the IRL next year. I think we'll have a shot at it."

BILLY ROE (No. 42 Kenn Hardley Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "The car's working really good. We'll come back with a nice fresh motor in May. If you've been around here at 220 mph, it feels like slow motion but this is a great stepping stone. I went from Atlantics to IndyCar (Series) and Atlantics are around 155 mph. We're going around 190 mph in these. They have the same driving style as an Indy car. They're just a hair smaller. It's almost a 7/8ths style Indy car. An Indy car feels heavier and faster, with more downforce. Thirty miles an hour is a lot, but this is a great step."

ARIE LUYENDYK JR. (No. 5 Sam Schmidt Motorsports Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "The day was pretty good. This morning, I was really happy with the car. On the lunch break, we made a lot of changes, and I didn't really like the car this afternoon even though it was as quick as this morning's car. This afternoon, we went quicker just because we got a draft so that time is not really a true representation of what the car do. On its own, it's fast. I'm happy. We're one of the fastest cars, (teammate) Thiago (Medeiros) and I. It's a different day coming up in May, and the track can be a lot different so we'll just see if we can improve on it."

THIAGO MEDEIROS (No. 11 Sam Schmidt Motorsports Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "It was wonderful. We were quick in the morning and then quickest in the afternoon, too. The track will be very different in May because there will be 10 days of IndyCar Series rubber. I feel the car very well. We're just trying to find the baseline setup to start the race weekend, since we don't have much time to work during the race weekend. Just find a baseline and see how the car feels in the draft and by myself, like kind of a mix between qualifying and the race. We tried different setups to see how it feels. One of those was better, so that's the one we'll start with during the race weekend."

JEFF SIMMONS (No. 14 A.J. Foyt Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "It's great that A.J. Foyt and Delphi are giving me a chance to get back into a car. I'm really thankful for those guys and A.J. Foyt Racing. It was good to get back in a car. It didn't take long to get back up to speed. We said from the start that we were going to do a few warmup laps to make sure the car was OK because I hadn't run since Texas last year. By lap 4, we were basically flat out. We didn't change much because the Pro Series guys weren't here. We were just shaking down the car, but we know the car is good from last year." (What does it mean to be back at Indy with Foyt?): "We're going to get a lot of attention, especially when you're associated with A.J. and all of his history here. I just wish he was here today, because I wanted to pick his brain a little bit. When we come here in May, I'll get lots of information from A.J. about the track. He knows it better than anyone."

PHIL GIEBLER (No. 2 Western Union Speed Team Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "We learned a lot. I think we ended up towards the top of the time list. Our speed is there. We learned a lot, and we learned what not to do. That's the one thing we take home and just learn from it. All and all I'm pretty happy." (About his first experience at Indianapolis): "It was pretty neat. The track is completely different from what I imagined. Every corner has its unique characteristics. It's a blast going down there and seeing the grandstands all the way down. I can only imagine what it's like when it's full. It would be rocking out here."

LEONARDO MAIA (No. 33 Brian Stewart Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone) "The first few laps were pretty scary. Heading over to Turn 1 at 180 mph, looking at a concrete wall right in front of you, it's pretty intimidating. That's all you see is a big wall of concrete. But once you get used to it, you build up speed slowly, gradually get up to speed and get comfortable. Brian Stewart gives me a great car, which will help a lot. You don't have to worry about two things at once. I can just learn the track, and once I got comfortable, it was pretty much flat out all the way around." (Are you excited for the month of May?): "I think that's a pretty big understatement. I've been here only once to watch Pole Day two years ago, and it was one of the best times I've had on a racetrack. I can't imagine what the actual 500 will be like, or what our race will be like, the Futaba Freedom 100. It should be fun. I was really looking forward to testing here, and we got some good data. We learned a lot, we were quick so, hopefully we can do well in the race."

GARY PETERSON (No. 27 Automatic Fire Sprinklers, Inc. Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "It's exciting. The track is so intense. You've got to hit your mark on every corner. You can watch it on TV, but when you're on track, it's amazing how accurate you need to be. You've got to be on it." (About running Jay Drake): This thing came together late. We didn't get enough laps in today. As an owner-driver, it takes a lot more effort. I'm putting more effort into it myself and running it like a business."

MARTY ROTH (No. 4 Roth Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "It was a great day. We played around with the car a bit in the morning session and got comfortable. We turned it up in the afternoon. Pancho Carter was spotting for me in the corners and helping us. Our game plan was to bang off as many laps as we could before the big rookie test on Monday. We did over 300 miles. I feel very comfortable. It's a beautiful place, just as I dreamed it would be. I can't wait to get out there Monday."

***

MONDAY'S SCHEDULE (all times local):
9 a.m. to noon: ROP Practice
Noon to 1 p.m.: Lunch break
1 p.m. to 4 p.m.: ROP Practice

-irl-

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About this article
Series Indy Lights
Drivers Sam Schmidt , Marty Roth , Paul Dana , Jay Drake , Brad Pollard , Pancho Carter , Phil Giebler , A.J. Foyt , Thiago Medeiros , Arie Luyendyk Jr.