Kelley Racing teammates Scott Sharp and Tony Renna know race setup more important than qualifying positions-- Priestley continues qualifying consistency. BROOKLYN, MI -- JULY 27, 2002 -- Kelly Racing teammates Scott Sharp and Tony Renna worked...
Kelley Racing teammates Scott Sharp and Tony Renna know race setup more important than qualifying positions-- Priestley continues qualifying consistency.
BROOKLYN, MI -- JULY 27, 2002 -- Kelly Racing teammates Scott Sharp and Tony Renna worked with their crew chiefs and crew members on race setup during the three practice sessions prior to qualifying for Sunday's IRL Michigan Indy 400 at Michigan International Speedway.
Renna put the #7 Corteco/Bryant Dallara Chevrolet in 10th starting on the outside of row five. Sharp with start his #8 Delphi Dallara Chevrolet from the outside of the eighth row in the 16th starting spot.
"I think certainly the drafting game is going to play an important role in tomorrow's race," said Renna. "But from what I gathered so far in traffic it doesn't seem like guys can pull away from you if you have a pretty decent draft. It's going to be probably a little bit of working together from other drivers to stay in line and not to be duking it out too much to let the top three or four Infinitis pull away. We are going to run a smart race and do all we can to have the Corteco/Bryant car right up there at the end. I like this track and am looking forward to getting a chance to run the Corteco/Bryant car here tomorrow."
""It's not as strong of qualifying effort as we hoped," said Sharp. "I don't think I have the speed, really, or the power on our own. We sort of knew that coming here. We decided to work on the racecar during practice, and we were really good yesterday. We could draft well and run various lines, so we'll be fine in the Delphi car in tomorrow's race."
Jason Priestley continued the consistency he has demonstrated by qualifying the #7 HomeMed car fifth to start on the inside of the third row for Sunday's Michigan 100 for the Indy Racing Infiniti Pro Series.
"Our first lap was a solid time," said Priestley. "On our second lap, I think we had a better lap going, but we had a little problem. We've been in a bit of a quandary all weekend as to whether to run in fifth gear or sixth gear because as our speeds have increased I've been walking the line between fifth and sixth gear.
"I was sort of torn whether I should go in sixth or stay in fifth and feather it. So I decided to stay in fifth and feather it because I was about to go into Turn 3 and scrub some speed anyway. Unfortunately I just crossed that 25-rpm line, and the limiter came on. It was my fault. I just didn't feather the throttle quite right. This field is so tightly packed together, the speeds are so close that you're trying to get every little bit of advantage that you can. An error in judgment of 25 rpm was the difference between being on the pole and being fifth, and that's exactly what happened. The car's real good. I feel real confident about the car tomorrow. I think we have a real good race car. I'm in the top-five cars; we're all really close together. I think we're in for a really good race tomorrow."
Sunday's events are the inaugural races for both series at Michigan International Speedway. Renna has competed at MIS previously in Indy Lights garnering one win and a second place. The MIS races will be the first time in competition for both Sharp and Priestley.
"It is a great track and I really like how smooth and fast it is," said Sharp. "It is a great venue for the IRL series. I think we will put on a great show for the fans tomorrow with drafting and dicing.