Nazareth test notes 2003-07-15

Top Midget car series drivers take on Nazareth Speedway Nazareth, PA (July 15, 2003) - Three of the top four drivers in the USAC National Midget Car Series point standings made their way to the Lehigh Valley today for a one-day test in...

Top Midget car series drivers take on Nazareth Speedway

Nazareth, PA (July 15, 2003) - Three of the top four drivers in the USAC National Midget Car Series point standings made their way to the Lehigh Valley today for a one-day test in preparation for next month's Firestone Indy 225 weekend. The second annual event, scheduled for August 22-24, not only features the Midget Series, but also the Indy Racing League IndyCar Series, USAC National Sprint Car Series and the USAC Weld Racing Silver Crown Series. Taking on the tough one-mile oval were teammates JJ Yeley and Bobby East, as well as AJ Fike.

Yeley, the Midget Series points leader, is fresh off his record-setting weekend at Indianapolis Raceway Park where he became the first driver to record 15 national USAC wins in a season before July 15, winning his first sprint car race at IRP and second career feature at the 5/8-mile paved oval.

Making his first trip to Nazareth, East took a few laps at a lower speed, but it didn't take him too long to find the racing line and clock in some strong lap times.

Fike, who made his first Midget Series start at Nazareth last year, is currently fourth in the point standings, 118 points behind third-place East.

All three teams were focused on setting up the car with a new tire compound this year. "This will be the first time that we'll be here with this tire," said Yeley, driver of the No. 9 Lewis Racing entry. "At the rest of the mile tracks, it really seems to slow the car down and they have a lot less grip, so we've been working on shock packages and different chassis setups to compensate for the tire having less grip."

Yeley's team didn't just stop with the tires. "We struggled a little bit at Pikes Peak (International Raceway) with our fuel system on restarts, so that's something else that we've been playing on."

When it was all over, Yeley offered a look ahead for fans on next month's race. "For the fans, they are going to see one of the better races that come to this racetrack because the cars are small and they handle well enough that they are able to race two and three abreast. All three divisions are going to be able to put on a good show and race side by side."

The chase for the IRL IndyCar Series Championship takes center stage at Nazareth Speedway as the fastest growing open-wheel series in the United States returns to the Lehigh Valley, August 22-24. Will the new AndrettiGreen Racing entry, with car owner and Nazareth native Michael Andretti, dethrone two-time IRL champ Sam Hornish Jr.? Or, will Team Penske drivers Helio Castroneves and Indy 500 winner Gil de Ferran fend off Sarah Fisher, Scott Sharp and Al Unser Jr. for the crown? Find out August 22-24 when Indy racing returns to Nazareth. The action-packed weekend is capped off with the USAC Silver Crown, Sprint Car and Midget Series' races.

Tickets for the 2003 Firestone Indy 225 weekend, August 22-24, are still available. For tickets and additional information, please contact the Nazareth Speedway ticket office at 1-888-629-RACE(7223) or online at www.nazarethspeedway.com.

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Series USAC
Drivers Sarah Fisher , Al Unser Jr. , Scott Sharp , Helio Castroneves , Gil de Ferran , Bobby East , Sam Hornish Jr.