IRL: CHAMPCAR/CART: Sarah qualifies in second row at Kentucky; Shinji tests at Laguna Seca

Sparta, KY. August 26, 2000 - Walker Racing rookie sensation Sarah Fisher really likes the 1.5-mile Kentucky Speedway racetrack. And the racetrack seems to like her right back. Fisher was fourth-fastest of all the Indy Racing Northern Light Series...

Sparta, KY. August 26, 2000 - Walker Racing rookie sensation Sarah Fisher really likes the 1.5-mile Kentucky Speedway racetrack. And the racetrack seems to like her right back. Fisher was fourth-fastest of all the Indy Racing Northern Light Series drivers during qualifying for the Belterra Resort Indy 300, and she will be starting Sunday's race on the outside of the second row alongside 1999 IRL Champion Greg Ray. Qualifying took place during the hottest part of the day, and Sarah drove a blazing fast lap of 217.672 mph, 24.808 sec., only 16-hundredths of a second behind the time of polesitter Scott Goodyear. "We were able to do some testing at this track before this weekend and that has definitely helped us out with a good baseline for this race," said Sarah. "This racetrack really seems to suit my driving style. I also think another reason we're doing well here is that the communication between myself and Rob (Edwards, team manager and race engineer) has really gotten good as the season has gone along. At every track we go to, I learn more and more about the car and how it reacts, so I'm able to give him a lot more specific information to help make the car better and better." Sarah was the fastest driver during the IRL's open test at Kentucky in early July. She also had the second-fastest time of the day during Friday's practice session for all drivers. "The testing we did here definitely benefited us, both here and at the Atlanta race," said Edwards. "It was the first time this year that we were able to test on a 1.5-mile track. Also, the more Sarah and I work together, the better the communication is. The more she drives the car, the more interest she has in the technical aspects of it. We've also been learning more about how to make the car better suited for her style of driving. For instance, some of the changes we made this morning were first-order changes and those initiated other changes. She's able to pick those sorts of things up and communicate them back, which helps everyone." The Belterra Resort Indy 300 will be televised live on ESPN at 2:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, Aug. 27. Team owner Derrick Walker spoke about the team's strategy for the race. "It may come as no surprise to anyone, but our strategy for tomorrow is finish -- finish, finish, finish," said Derrick. "It's a long race and a new racetrack, so there may be some unknowns because we haven't raced here before. We'll have to manage the situations on the racetrack as they present themselves, and also manage tires and fuel during that time since it's quite a long race. We'll probably have at least four pit stops, depending on yellows, and as I said earlier, our goal is to be there at the end." ***

Shinji tests at Laguna Seca - Walker Racing driver Shinji Nakano participated in a two-day CART FedEx Championship Series open test at Laguna Seca, Calif., on Thursday and Friday. Shinji had a fastest lap of 69.842 sec., 115.358 mph in the #5 avex/Honda/Reynard Firestone car. The test on the 2.238-mile permanent road course was in preparation for the Sept. 8 - 10 Honda Grand Prix of Monterey. "We had a productive two days at Laguna, said Shinji, "and got a lot of miles on the racetrack. When we come back in a few weeks, we'll be able to use what we learned and hopefully have a good finish in the race."

Walker Racing's corporate sponsor partners are Cummins, Mead, SpeedWRX.com, Valvoline, emlrockfort, freeinternet.com, Dell Computer Corporation, St. Elmo Steakhouse, avex, Alpine, Mitsuba, NGK, Honda, Reynard and Firestone.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Sarah Fisher , Greg Ray , Scott Goodyear , Shinji Nakano