Pagan Racing Kobalt Mechanics Tools 500 July 15, 1999 Practice Driver: Jeff Ward Car: Pagan Racing Yahoo! No. 21 Dallara/Aurora/Goodyear Position (Afternoon Session)- 8th 25.285 seconds / 213.565 mph (Evening Session)-...
Kobalt Mechanics Tools 500 July 15, 1999 Practice
Driver: Jeff Ward
Car: Pagan Racing Yahoo! No. 21 Dallara/Aurora/Goodyear
Position (Afternoon Session)- 8th 25.285 seconds / 213.565 mph (Evening Session)- 11th 25.258 seconds / 213.794 mph Jeff Ward took a cautious approach to today's practice sessions for Saturday night's 500K race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The last time the Yahoo! team visited a high banked, one and a half-mile track, the car experienced some problems with excessive tire wear.
"We just did more of a race day setup on our car today," said Jeff Ward. "We had some tire problems at Texas and we wanted to be sure that wouldn't happen here. Atlanta is very similar to the track at Texas."
While other teams went in search of speed today, the Yahoo! team worked on setting the car up for race day conditions. "We'll go out and work on a qualifying setup in the last session tomorrow. Right now we're more concerned with having a car that will provide the best performance during the race," said Ward.
Some of the top runners today admitted to getting a tow, running in another driver's slipstream, when they set their fastest laps. Sam Schmidt, who set the day's fastest lap at just over 216 miles per hour said, "I had a tow, plain and simple. I got up under Greg Ray's gearbox and he pulled me around."
Ward admitted that he had a slight tow for a portion of his fastest lap. He still spent most of today running alone. "I couldn't find a dancing partner out there today. I ran by myself most of the time and found that I could run 212 (mph) all day long. 212 (mph) will be a good speed to run in the race. Race speeds are never as fast as those posted in practice and qualifying. We'll have a good race car on race day and if we don't have any trouble, we'll be running at the front at the finish."
Qualifying for the Kobalt Mechanics Tools 500 takes place at 6:00 p.m. EDT. Live coverage of Indy Racing League qualifying will start at 6:00 p.m. EDT on SpeedVision.