Urban survives IRP, captures top five finish./ CLERMONT, IN (June 24, 2002) - Forrest Urban, Jr., driver of the No. 46 Insurance Doctor/Racers Pizza Chevrolet in the USAR Hooters ProCup North Series, survived the Kroger 250 presented by Lucas...
Urban survives IRP, captures top five finish./
CLERMONT, IN (June 24, 2002) - Forrest Urban, Jr., driver of the No. 46 Insurance Doctor/Racers Pizza Chevrolet in the USAR Hooters ProCup North Series, survived the Kroger 250 presented by Lucas Oil on Saturday night and brought home a fifth place finish at Indianapolis Raceway Park. Urban started 16th after the car was extremely tight in qualifying and eventually finished the event two laps down to eventual winner, Brian Ross. The fourth top-five of the year for Urban kept him fifth in the point standings going into Kil-Kare Speedway in Xenia, Ohio, in two weeks.
Extreme heat in Indianapolis took its toll on the Urban Racing crew before practice even began and it also affected the car setup for both qualifying and the race. After changing springs, tire pressures, wedge, and even the rear-end gear, the No. 46 team felt the car was adequate for the event, but the temperature sensitive .686-mile oval at IRP proved to be a tough track to get a handle on for Urban and his crew. A sub-par qualifying run forced the team to change air pressures between qualifying and the race, the only change allowed on the cars by the USAR rulebook between qualifying and race session.
"I don't know what it is about this place, but we haven't really found a good handle on it," said Urban after the event. "In the Busch car, we weren't fast, but we didn't have a whole lot to work with. I thought we'd be decent here, but we struggled all day. We've been close everywhere we've went this year, so I can't complain, but we were just way off. We just rode around and finished this race is all we did."
Starting on the outside line, Urban quickly moved up to within striking distance of the top ten just behind Jeff Agnew. The blistering pace of leader Brian Ross, however, allowed the driver of the No. 42 pass Urban less than 100 laps into the event and put him one lap down. Pitting within the fuel window for the event, near halfway, the Who Crew of Charlie Ford turned out an excellent pit stop and moved the track bar up in order to free Urban up from the center out in the corners. The adjustment worked, as Urban was unofficially within 0.2 second of Brian Ross in lap times for the majority of the rest of the night.
"At the beginning it wasn't too bad, but at the end, the tires were so worn and you couldn't get any bite up off the corner and the car was just sliding. If you got up under somebody, the best thing that could happen is that they'd let you go, and you could also get to the outside occasionally, but that's about the only way you could get by them," explained Urban, the 1999 Big Daddy's South Boston Speedway track champion. "On this track, everyone got really strung out. Some people were way off and some people were flying and lapped a lot of cars. Once that happened, we knew we just needed to get the car the best we could and get a decent finish."
In a race with few accidents but marred with mechanical failures, Urban turned a tenth place car into a top-five finish by avoiding the few late-race accidents that did occur and benefited from the misfortunes of his fellow competitors who broke parts late in the event. After not even planning on traveling to Indianapolis following the Jennerstown event, Urban made the most that he could out of a mediocre weekend and made the trip pay off.
"If that was a 300-lapper, it would have been tough to make it the other 50," Urban remarked, concerning the heat. "If the car would have handled good, it would have been easier, but I had to fight that thing all the way around the corner. We'd like to thank Racers Pizza for coming on board here and helping us out this weekend. I'd like to thank Charlie Ford and the Who Crew for pitting us, they do an excellent job and we haven't had a problem on pit stops. We'll get it to the shop and see what we think about it in two weeks."
Urban's survival in the No. 46 Insurance Doctor/Racers Pizza Chevrolet can be seen on SPEED Channel on Thursday, June 27, 2002, at 9 pm EDT. A total of two subsequent re-airings will follow; consult listings for times.