FIRST ROUND BARBER DODGE PRO SERIES PRACTICE
BILL TICHENOR (# 2 Heftel Broadcasting) - Tichenor won the dubious honor of being the first car off course in the rain-delayed practice session. "I had a bit of an off down in turn one. I got in the water and went off into the gravel. I think the gravel got in and tore up the oil pump belt, and the car died on the back straight. Hopefully they'll have it fixed for the next session."
DEREK HILL (# 24 Co-Rookie of the Year 1996) - In spite of a late arrival, Hill managed to set the fastest time in today's first practice session. "They had rain in Boston or something, so we had to stop in Pittsburgh. I didn't get into Boston until 1:30 a.m., checked into the hotel at two o'clock, and then I had to go to the airport at six in the morning. So I didn't get much sleep."
ANDY BOSS (# 4 Cross Pens) - "It was good. I haven't been here in a while - it's been three years, I think - but it came right back. I think we had a little too much rear wing, because we had some understeer, but we should be able to work that out for the next session. It was slightly wet in one or two corners, but within three laps, with all the cars out there, it was fine. We have a little bit of work to do, but you don't want to make too many changes at once because then you don't know what works."
RINO MASTRONARDI (#20 Cauduro Driver's Management) - "I'm comfortable now, the car is good. Now, there is not the pressure, it's just a pre-practice. We are just starting to work. Sometimes I feel more comfortable when it's raining. Usually when it's raining I finish in a good position.
ALFONSO RIBEIRO (#33 Auto Nation) - Although Ribeiro had planned to go slowly in order to learn the course and be comfortable in the car, he earned the 15th spot in the first session. "I did go slow. I got up to speed a little quicker than I thought I would, but I actually made the car slow, which allowed me to feel more comfortable going fast. I felt comfortable enough to go out and start testing the window a little bit. I think this is a great track. This may become one of my 'funnest' tracks. You just go for it, it's really fun."