Phoenix: Friday practice report

PIERCE FASTEST IN FIRST PHOENIX SILVER CROWN PRACTICE AVONDALE, Ariz. -- Aaron Pierce led Friday's two-hour Silver Crown practice at Phoenix International Raceway, as nine cars took times in preparation for this weekend's "Copper World ...

PIERCE FASTEST IN FIRST PHOENIX SILVER CROWN PRACTICE

AVONDALE, Ariz. -- Aaron Pierce led Friday's two-hour Silver Crown practice at Phoenix International Raceway, as nine cars took times in preparation for this weekend's "Copper World Classic."

Pierce, formerly of Daleville, Ind. who now calls this Valley area home, clocked in at 27.372 seconds (131.521 mph) on the one-mile, leading veterans Bud Kaeding and Jerry Coons Jr. in a session which featured more than 260 completed laps for the new generation cars.

"The car was really good," said Pierce, who made 45 trips around the track in his No. 26 Sam Pierce Chevrolet/Bigelow Trailer Sales Riley/Chevy. "Once the track got some rubber down, times started to get quicker. It was pretty much just getting laps under our belts for everybody.

"The PDM Racing guys should be commended for getting the car prepared as well as they did," he added.

Pierce said the car's drivability was close, if not unchanged, to the old-style Silver Crown car.

"I don't feel the difference," Pierce said. "They drive, I think, exactly like the old cars did. You can't be so tough on the right rear, but all in all, they're great. They handle good and seem like they're going to be safe. Hopefully we can keep all of them together and put on a good show."

Donoso, of Santiago, Chile, who has extensive time in the car, completed the most laps of any driver with 50.

"Today was a good test," Donoso said. "I needed to get back in the car because the last test was so long ago, but it was a good test. At first, the car was very loose, but we came in and made a change, and the car improved."

Kaeding, whose crew was forced to load the car for Phoenix with a hot engine due to a time crunch, felt the cars drove differently than the old-style machines, but was pleased with its drivability.

"It drives, steers and accelerates a little differently," he said, "but it still has four wheels, a steering wheel, brakes, you know, the works. I think it's going to be a lot of fun. I'm definitely looking forward to the year.

"The test was good, a lot better than I thought it would have been," he added. "We're a lot closer than we thought we'd be at this stage too."

Practice and qualifying for the "Copper World Classic" Silver Crown cars is scheduled for Saturday with the 50-lap Silver Crown feature set for Sunday afternoon.

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About this article
Series USAC
Drivers Bud Kaeding , Aaron Pierce , Jerry Coons Jr.