IPS: Milwaukee Open Test notes 2006-06-14

CUNNINGHAM PACES INDY PRO SERIES OPEN TEST AT MILWAUKEE MILE WEST ALLIS, WIS., Wednesday, June 14, 2006 -- Defending Indy Pro Series champion Wade Cunningham topped the speed chart at an Open Test at The Milwaukee Mile. The test was in...

CUNNINGHAM PACES INDY PRO SERIES OPEN TEST AT MILWAUKEE MILE

WEST ALLIS, WIS., Wednesday, June 14, 2006 -- Defending Indy Pro Series champion Wade Cunningham topped the speed chart at an Open Test at The Milwaukee Mile. The test was in preparation for the series' two short-oval events - the Sunbelt Rentals 100 at the 1.33-mile Nashville Superspeedway on July 15 and the Milwaukee 100 on July 22.

Cunningham lapped the 1-mile oval in 25.1728 seconds, 143.012 mph in the No. 1 Brian Stewart Racing entry. He was nearly 0.6 seconds faster than anyone else despite running fewer laps than all but one other driver.

Tom Wood was second-quick at 25.7558, 139.774. Alex Lloyd, Jaime Camara and Jay Howard rounded out the top five.

Twelve drivers completed 1,396 laps during the test.

Turn 4 of the tricky, 1-mile oval claimed five victims during the day.

The No. 41 car driven by Sean Guthrie made the heaviest contact, spinning into the sand-filled containers at the entrance to the pit lane. Guthrie was transported to Froedtert Hospital for further evaluation. He was discharged late in the afternoon. He has not been cleared to drive.

Howard and Jonathan Klein made contact with the SAFER Barrier in Turn 4 in the first 70 minutes of the test. Both cars were repaired and returned to action in the afternoon.

Geoff Dodge spun the No. 33 Fast Track to Indy car at the same location with 20 minutes remaining in the morning session. The car sustained moderate damage to the left rear. The No. 9 car of Tom Wieringa made contact with the inside wall at Turn 4 late in the afternoon.

Howard, Klein, Dodge and Wieringa were checked and released from the infield care center by Dr. Geoff Billows.

Indy Pro Series teams will convert their cars for road racing for a June 20 test on the road course at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

OPEN TEST NOTES:

SHOWING HIS COLORS: Andretti Green Racing driver Jaime Camara showed his support for the Brazilian World Cup soccer team by wearing a yellow and green No. 9 Ronaldo jersey under his firesuit. Ronaldo is a three-time FIFA World Player of the Year.

JAIME CAMARA (No. 11 CELG): "I'm cheering a lot for Brazil. I think they can win the World Cup. I think they are going to have a good campaign, and I'm going to support them to the end. I'm not a huge soccer fan, but I like to watch when Brazil is playing in the World Cup. I don't follow Brazilian teams, but when is Brazil is playing, I like to support them."

***

ON THE MOVE: Indy Pro Series rookie Jonathan Klein has been on the move since the end of his freshman year at the University of Dayton in early May. He spent the month of May living in Indianapolis. After spending a week at his family's lake home in Wisconsin -- about 20 minutes from the Milwaukee Mile -- Klein will return to his home in Long Grove, Ill., and begin working at the Klein Tools factory for the remainder of the summer.

***

HOMECOMING: A test at The Milwaukee Mile was a homecoming of sorts for Indy Pro Series driver Bobby Wilson and team owner Michael Crawford. Wilson is an Oconomowoc, Wis., native whose parents and sister still reside in the area. Oconomowoc is approximately 35 miles west of Milwaukee.

Crawford hails from Mequon, Wis., a city located 18 miles north of Milwaukee. Crawford, owner of Michael Crawford Motorsports, earned a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Wisconsin in Madison.

***

OPEN TEST QUOTES:

WADE CUNNINGHAM (No. 1 Brian Stewart Racing, fastest): "Everytime we go out on the track, we look to be the best car and fastest. Everything started at Homestead. During the race, we were just so fast. We keep building on our momentum. Obviously, we were quick at the Open Test at Indy, quick at Indy, quick at Watkins Glen. We didn't win, unfortunately, but we gave it our best shot. We came here with the express intent to improve the car and be quickest, and we've done that. I'm happy, and I'm looking forward to testing again next week at Indy. We'll be trying hard again to put a good car on the track there as well."

TOM WOOD (No. 42 Kenn Hardley Racing, second-quick): "We did a bunch of full-tank runs and the car was awesome. It was really good. Mark Moore and the Kenn Hardley Racing team did a good job. We tried a bunch of things and went right back to where we started from, so we were very good right out of the box."

ALEX LLOYD (No. 26 Automatic Fire Sprinklers, Inc., third-quick): "It was a good day. We made a little progress from lunch to now, which is good. It's a shame we couldn't get the last hour in (he left early to catch a flight), because I think we would keep getting better and better. Generally, we kept it on the track at all times, which is important. We always kept a little bit back just for that. The car was improving all the time. I think we were pretty quick there at the end. When everyone else is on the track at the same time, I think our times are really good."

JAIME CAMARA (No. 11 CELG, fourth-quick): "I'm not happy, to be honest. I think we still need to find a little bit more speed. The second part of the day was better than the first part for sure. I still think we need to find a little bit more speed. We've got to go test more to see what I am missing. At least I didn't crash."

JAY HOWARD (No. 7 Lucas Oil/Isilon/Sam Schmidt Motorsports, fifth-quick): "It was alright, I suppose. Crashing to start the day wasn't a good thing. That's for sure. I just tried to pick up the throttle earlier and earlier and earlier every time, getting faster and faster, and I just picked up a fraction too early. It just snapped on me, and the next thing I knew, I was sliding backwards and trying to recover it. Luckily, it was only classed as a little one. It wasn't too bad for the Sam Schmidt Motorsports boys to fix. Apart from that, it's just been an OK day. We're not where we want to be."

***

The 2006 IRL IndyCar Series continues with the SunTrust Indy Challenge presented by XM Satellite Radio at 8 p.m. (EDT) on June 24 at Richmond International Raceway. The race will be televised live by ESPN2 and the IMS Radio Network. A Spanish-language telecast of the race will be carried by ESPN Deportes. The IMS Radio Network broadcast also is carried on XM Satellite Radio channel 145 "IndyCar Racing" and www.indycar.com. The fifth season of Indy Pro Series competition continues with the Liberty Challenge on July 1 on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.

<pre> The top speeds of the day were:

    Driver              Time            Speed
1.  Wade Cunningham     25.1728         143.012
2.  Tom Wood            25.7558         139.774
3.  Alex Lloyd          26.0712         138.083
4.  Jaime Camara        26.0870         138.000
5.  Jay Howard          26.1661         137.583
6.  Tom Wieringa        26.2079         137.363
7.  Jonathan Klein      26.2616         137.082
8.  Bobby Wilson        26.2992         136.886
9.  Chris Festa         26.3664         136.537
10. Brett Van Blankers  26.5919         135.380
11. Sean Guthrie        26.7468         134.596
12. Geoff Dodge         27.1216         132.736

-irl-

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