Wednesday pit notes at Fontana

True Value IROC 26 Round 2, California Speedway, Wednesday Pit Notes FONTANA, Calif. (April 24, 2002) - The day ended no sooner than it began for the True Value IROC team. The cars made it out onto pit road and within a few minutes, the rain...

True Value IROC 26
Round 2, California Speedway, Wednesday Pit Notes

FONTANA, Calif. (April 24, 2002) - The day ended no sooner than it began for the True Value IROC team. The cars made it out onto pit road and within a few minutes, the rain came. The day was thought to be a complete washout until the California sun muscled through the clouds and assisted the track vehicles in drying the track.

Scott Sharp, fresh from his IRL victory in Nazareth last weekend, made it to the track on time to get some late day laps in with the help of True Value IROC veteran test driver, Dave Marcis. Sharp said, "It was great to get out there once the sun came out. It was nice to get back into the groove, which takes a little time, just coming from an open wheel car. Once you get re-acclimated to the IROC cars, you start consistently picking up the pace. Running with Dave (Marcis) is huge; he has so much experience. He would run in front of me, then behind me, we'd go around each other, then run side by side -- you feel so much better prepared after running with someone like that."

Marcis likes what he sees in the drivers who put in the time to prepare for True Value IROC series events, which matches drivers from different disciplines in equally prepared cars. "We had Danny Lasoski here all week, Sam Hornish and Al Unser Jr. were here this morning. The dedication you see in drivers like Scott Sharp says a lot for the series, for Scott as a professional and for the different series' these drivers represent," Marcis said. "He's doing a great job and is very serious about doing well here."

While Marcis and Sharp ran together, test drivers Jim Sauter and Dick Trickle ran all the racecars for a final speed check. Jay Signore and the True Value IROC crew will go through all the lap times and notes recorded, making sure the racecars have no handling problems and are all running as equally as possible for Saturday's race.

Starting Thursday, the NASCAR Winston West series cars will begin preparation for their event this weekend and will be joined by the Busch series cars on Friday, limiting track time for True Value IROC practice. The remaining IROC sessions will be for the series' competitors to get practice in the IROC cars. Four of the True Value IROC cars are dedicated for driver practice only and are not used in the race. The drivers get up to speed in the practice cars and never drive the car they will actually race until the green flag drops.

True Value IROC practice will resume Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to 11:20 a.m. and again from 1:40 p.m. to 3:20 p.m., PT. Drivers expected Thursday are IRL participants, Helio Castroneves, Sam Hornish Jr., Al Unser Jr., Buddy Lazier and Scott Sharp. Also expected are Pennzoil World of Outlaws champion, Danny Lasoski and NASCAR's, Kevin Harvick, Bobby Labonte and Jack Sprague: Sterling Marlin, Tony Stewart and Dale Jarrett complete the field, but are not expected until Friday.

The draw for car color assignments will take place Thursday and be hosted by Mike Massaro of ESPN. The segment will be taped at the True Value Motor Sports Experience show trailer on the grounds of the Speedway and broadcast on ESPN2, RPM 2Night, Thursday, April 25, at 6:30 p.m. ET.

Round 2 of the True Value International Race of Champions will take place on Saturday, April 27 at California Speedway and be broadcast the next day, Sunday, April 28 at 1:00 p.m. EDT on ESPN.

-iroc-

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Series IROC
Drivers Dale Jarrett , Bobby Labonte , Tony Stewart , Dick Trickle , Kevin Harvick , Al Unser Jr. , Buddy Lazier , Scott Sharp , Helio Castroneves , Jack Sprague , Dave Marcis , Danny Lasoski , Jim Sauter , Sam Hornish Jr. , Sam Hornis