IPS: Nashville open test notes

Medeiros fastest in Infiniti Pro Series Open Test at Nashville. LEBANON, Tenn., Friday, April 25, 2003 - Brazilian rookie Thiago Medeiros set the pace during the IRL Infiniti Pro Series Open Test April 25 at Nashville Superspeedway. Medeiros,...

Medeiros fastest in Infiniti Pro Series Open Test at Nashville.

LEBANON, Tenn., Friday, April 25, 2003 - Brazilian rookie Thiago Medeiros set the pace during the IRL Infiniti Pro Series Open Test April 25 at Nashville Superspeedway.

Medeiros, second in the 2003 Infiniti Pro Series point standings, topped the speed chart with a fastest lap of 26.7301 seconds, 175.084 mph on the 1.33-mile concrete oval in the No. 36 Genoa Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone.

"It's the first time I've driven on a concrete track," Medeiros said. "We found a very good setup. We found some good tricks, and I feel more comfortable driving this track.

"I'm very happy with the day. It's very nice when everything goes right."

Western Union Speed Team/Duesenberg Racing driver Jeff Simmons was second fastest overall at 26.7770, 174.777, while Infiniti Pro Series points leader Mark Taylor was third fastest at 26.7872, 174.710 in the No. 4 Fulmar/Panther Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone.

"We got up to speed fairly quickly," Simmons said. "It was a matter of really trying to trim the car out and free it up, figure out how far we could go before it got loose. My last run, we were really close to loose.

"The track is fun. I can't wait to come back and race here."

Hemelgarn 91/Johnson Motorsports teammates Aaron Fike and defending Nashville 100 champion Cory Witherill rounded out the top five.

Teams completed a total of 764 incident-free laps in preparation for the sixth round of the 2003 Infiniti Pro Series, the Nashville 100 on July 18.

Infiniti Pro Series Executive Director Roger Bailey was pleased with the one-day session, which was halted one hour early due to heavy rain.

"It was a perfect day," Bailey said. "More than half of the drivers were running here for the first time, and judging by the speeds today, they obviously learned a lot. The cars were much better balanced than last year, and it resulted in a trouble-free test."

The IRL Infiniti Pro Series serves as an essential stepping-stone for drivers striving to reach the pinnacle of open-wheel, oval-track racing in America - the IRL IndyCarTM Series.

The third event of the Infiniti Pro Series season, the inaugural Freedom 100 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, will take place May 17. The event will mark the first time in IMS history that another automobile race will share the famed 2.5-mile oval with the Indianapolis 500 during the month of May.

Tickets for the Freedom 100 are $5, which is the normal Month of May practice day ticket price. The day will include the final IndyCar Series practice leading up to Bump Day, the final day of qualifying for the 87th Indianapolis 500.

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Series Indy Lights
Drivers Mark Taylor , Cory Witherill , Aaron Fike , Jeff Simmons , Roger Bailey