IPS: Kentucky: Hemelgarn Racing preview

Witherill and Fike in good shape at halfway point. Sparta, KY -- Cory Witherill and Aaron Fike will compete in the Kentucky 100 at Kentucky Speedway August 11 for Round Four of the Indy Racing Infiniti Pro Series. The 100 mile "sprint" this ...

Witherill and Fike in good shape at halfway point.

Sparta, KY -- Cory Witherill and Aaron Fike will compete in the Kentucky 100 at Kentucky Speedway August 11 for Round Four of the Indy Racing Infiniti Pro Series. The 100 mile "sprint" this weekend will mark the season's halfway point.

Thus far, the season has been highly competitive, with the Hemelgarn/Johnson Motorsports drivers in the championship hunt. Both drivers are looking forward to the newly repaved 1.5-mile Kentucky Speedway.

"I passed my Indy Racing League rookie test at the track in 2000 as well as tested in an Indy Lights car," said Witherill, a 2001 Indianapolis 500 qualifier. "It won't be difficult to drive flat around the track, and drafting will be important, like most venues we run. It should be tight wheel-to-wheel racing."

After a disappointing Michigan 100, the Nashville winner is focused on regaining his points lead. But Witherill knows it won't be easy and plans to take it one race at a time.

"The championship is important, but our main concern is to take the remaining four events one race at a time. I don't have any doubts that we'll be a championship contender, but we've got to take it one step at a time."

Second in the points standings, Navajo Witherill trails leader A.J. Foyt IV by 34 points.

Fike, 19, will kick off another busy weekend schedule by competing in four races in three days. Prior to heading to the Blue Grass State, Fike will participate in Badger midget event at Hales Corners Speedway in Franklin, WI Friday night, August 9. On Saturday, Aaron will turn practice laps and qualify for the 67-lap Kentucky 100 before high tailing it to a USAC Silver crown race at Salem Speedway in Salem, IN.

The Galesburg, IL resident returns to Kentucky for the start of the Infiniti Pro Series event. And finally Fike will wrap up his weekend in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin at Angell Park Speedway, where he has scored three Badger midget wins this season.

Fike will have a full schedule this weekend but first on his agenda; winning his first Pro Series event.

"We've had decent finishes, but it would be nice to get a win under our belt," Fike said. "I would like to tighten up the championship points battle. My Hemelgarn/Johnson team is working hard, and we've learned a lot since the first race. The more laps we run, the stronger we get. We're definitely due for a win."

Aaron is definitely knocking on the door, running up front at the first three venues. Currently, he is fifth in the standings after his third and fourth place finishes at Nashville and Michigan, respectively.

The 100-mile Infiniti Pro Series "sprint" starts at 11:00 p.m. (EDT) Sunday, August 11. Televised coverage of the event will be broadcast August 29 at 6:00 pm (EDT) on ESPN2.

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About this article
Series Indy Lights
Drivers Cory Witherill , Aaron Fike , A.J. Foyt