INDIANAPOLIS (May 24, 2000) - There was good and bad news for Team KOOL Green drivers Jonny Kane and Jeff Simmons during a two day Dayton Indy Lights test at the Milwaukee Mile on May 22 and 23. The good news is that Kane and Simmons turned ...
INDIANAPOLIS (May 24, 2000) - There was good and bad news for Team KOOL Green drivers Jonny Kane and Jeff Simmons during a two day Dayton Indy Lights test at the Milwaukee Mile on May 22 and 23. The good news is that Kane and Simmons turned competitive times on both days of the test, and logged a total of more than 630 miles in the process.
The bad news is that Simmons crashed on Tuesday afternoon. Although the two-time Barber Dodge Pro Series champion escaped injury, the KOOL Lola-Buick was extensively damaged in the accident. The incident ended what had been a productive test for Simmons, who was fourth quickest of more than a dozen drivers on track Monday with a fast lap of 25.53 seconds.
The following day, Simmons got down to a time of 25.39s before the KOOL Lola/Buick developed an understeer. Shortly after making some chassis adjustments, he hit the wall in Turn Two.
"I had done a lap at 25.89s and got a gap in traffic, so I tried to go quicker," said Simmons. "But entering Turn One the car snapped around. I tried to keep it off the wall and got out of the throttle, but I wound-up going into the wall in Turn Two almost straight on."
Kane's test was considerably less dramatic. Fifth fastest on Monday, he got down to a best lap of 25.29s on Tuesday (three-tenths slower than Scott Dixon, who posted than the fastest time of the test) and left Milwaukee in a confident frame of mind.
"I found it to be a productive test," said Kane. "We did a lot of work on the chassis set-up and achieved a good overall balance. Also, my car feels a lot more positive entering the turns than it has in the past here at Milwaukee, and that gives me a lot more confidence in traffic and race conditions."
"Although Jeff's crash was a setback, I think as a team we made good progress at the test," said team manager Lou Schollum. "Jonny and Jeff both ran competitive speeds and I think the gains we made, particularly in terms of Jonny's car and his confidence factor, will pay off for us, not only at Milwaukee but in the other oval races during the rest of the season."
Following the test, Team KOOL Green returned to its shop in Indianapolis to continue preparations for Round Two of the 2000 Dayton Indy Lights Championship at Milwaukee on June 4.