Crown Royal IROC Series Wednesday Night Pit Notes
Fort Worth, TX (March 31, 2004) -- The Crown Royal International Race of Champions continued testing and driver practice on Wednesday evening in preparation for race two of the four race series this Friday Night Texas Motor Speedway.
The practice session participants included series competitors Helio Castroneves and Scott Sharp, representing the IRL IndyCar Series0x2122; J.J. Yeley, representing USAC; Steve Kinser and Danny Lasoski, representing the World of Outlaws; Travis Kvapil, representing the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series; Matt Kenseth and Kurt Busch representing the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series.
The practice sessions consisted of a mixture of short sessions to get the drivers acclimated to the Crown Royal IROC car set up and longer runs simulating race conditions. All the drivers swapped cars between sessions to get a feel for any small nuance that may exist between the practice cars.
Helio Castroneves: "It ismy first time here at Texas Motor Speedway with a roof over my head and, as expected it seems to be very different. It still feels fast even though it isnot as fast as we go in Indy cars. Running at night is a lot of fun here for me with the Crown Royal IROC series; I'm having a lot of fun so far.
Scott Sharp: "I'm really excited and it's great to be here early to lean on Jay (Sauter), Jim (Sauter), and Dave (Marcis) along with the series drivers to get as much advise and experience as I can in the Crown Royal IROC cars. Texas Motor Speedway is a track that I've won on but it's a hugely different car, but groove wise, it's not as off from the Indy cars as you might imagine. I got comfortable pretty quick and I know track position is going to be huge at this race."
J.J. Yeley: "I am very thankful that I have the opportunity to compete for the IROC Championship. It gives me an opportunity to gain more seat time at places where I will be racing this year and in future years. Being able to race under the lights at Texas should provide for a very exciting race for the drivers and the fans. I'm sure we will have a very close race, and I plan on hanging onto my front row starting spot and battling for the lead right from the beginning."
Steve Kinser: "Well I feel pretty comfortable after eight or 10 laps which right now would be a problem if we were racing because everybody would just run off from me. I still need to work on it a little bit, either that, or just let me start off eight laps before everybody else then let them go."
Danny Lasoski: "I'm really taken by how different it is running here under the lights then it is during the daylight, it's really going to be a fun and exciting race. As for me I'm sort of lucky to be starting on the front row, the only bad thing is the only way for me to go is back. But, I've been here since day one and I'm really happy with all the hard work the Crown Royal IROC guys have done with the cars. They feel very comfortable and we'll just wait to see what happens when Friday night rolls around."
Travis Kvapil: "I'm excited for all of us. It's definitely going to be a good race here at Texas Motor Speedway for the Crown Royal IROC series. I don't know if we can top the excitement of the first race at Daytona, but we going to do our best. Texas Motor Speedway puts a little more in the drivers hands then Daytona but I think all of have some experience here except for the Dirt Track drivers. So far so good, the cars feel real comfortable; we can run side by side pretty well. Actually, I was very impressed with how well you can run side by side in the Crown Royal IROC cars, they're real stable so it should be a good race."
Matt Kenseth: "I think the night racing for the Crown Royal IROC Series is going to be a really cool thing for the fans. They always seem to get more excited for the night racing anyway, so it was a great element to bring to the IROC Series to Texas Motor Speedway."
Kurt Busch: "These cars are so closely prepared, and the drivers are all at such a level that I think the racing is going to be similar to what it was at Daytona. I just want to get with whoever is going to the front and hopefully stay up there and hang on for the ride."
Happy Hour practice for the Crown Royal IROC Series will take place at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 1. The green flag will signal the start of round two at 8:00 p.m. Central Time on Friday April 2 at Texas Motor Speedway. Speed Channel will broadcast the Crown Royal IROC Race live.
Crown Royal, America's leading super premium whisky, has a tradition as long and distinctive as its taste. Specially blended to commemorate a grand tour of Canada made by King George VI and Queen Elizabeth of Great Britain in 1939, Crown Royal's smooth, elegant style reflects its aristocratic origins and is considered the epitome of Canadian whisky. In addition to its sponsorship of the Crown Royal IROC Series, the brand also sponsors Team Crown Royal, a professional fishing team; The Crown Royal Comedy Soul Fest and a number of other major regional and national events. For more information on Crown Royal, visit www.crownroyal.com.