August 19, 2000, Elkhart Lake, WI: American driver Memo Gidley had a fast car but a frustrating afternoon at beautiful Road America today. Running 12th in the morning practice, Gidley was confident he had a car fast enough for the top ten, yet a...
August 19, 2000, Elkhart Lake, WI: American driver Memo Gidley had a fast car but a frustrating afternoon at beautiful Road America today. Running 12th in the morning practice, Gidley was confident he had a car fast enough for the top ten, yet a disjointed qualifying session prevented him from completing a flying lap.
"The car was capable of going faster than it did yesterday, but we never got an opportunity to run a hot lap on fresh tires this afternoon," lamented Gidley. "It was just bad timing. At the beginning of the session we shortcutted it, trying to get a few clear laps on the track. We got black flagged for that little maneuver, and had to serve a drive-through penalty. The penalty which messed up our first set of tires, because you want to get your hot lap in while they're still new."
"We were just about to put a flyer together on the second set of tires when the red flag came out because somebody went off the track. The car feels really good, and the team has done a great job setting it up. We just gotta get a couple of breaks and we'll be running at the front. The goal gets closer each time, and that just makes me want it more and more. I want it to happen so bad."
Immediately after today's qualifying session, Gidley was critical of a few of his competitors. "It's more or less the same people who continue to go off and cause red flags during the sessions. It's like novice sportsmen at a Go Kart race right now, and I think something has to change. Once in a while, yeah, you go off the track, but there should be no reason why you should go off the track every session and mess it up for everyone else."
Having picked up at least ten spots in each of the last three races, Gidley hopes to use the same stamina and guile to move up the field in tomorrow's race. "You can find opportunities to move up once people start dialing back the fuel mixture, or their tires go off, or they get tired and lose concentration. I think I can race as hard at the end as at the beginning, so hopefully I can pick some people off as the race unfolds." Gidley will also be counting on his ace crew, newly named the RED MENACE, to help him charge up the standings tomorrow.