Joliet, Illinois (September 6,2003)---The racing today at the Delphi Indy 300 lived up to its spectacular reputation with three cars fighting for the win and finishing within one-tenth of a second of each other. Unfortunately for the Kelley Racing...
Joliet, Illinois (September 6,2003)---The racing today at the Delphi Indy 300 lived up to its spectacular reputation with three cars fighting for the win and finishing within one-tenth of a second of each other. Unfortunately for the Kelley Racing team they were not one of the three at the front of the field at the end of the 200-lap event. Scott Sharp, driver of the No. 8 Delphi entry, struggled with a loose car early in the race but persistence by Scott and his engineer paid off and they were able to bring the No. 8 car home in 11th place. Al Unser Jr., driver of the No. 31 Corteco entry, didn't fare as well today. Unser Jr. ran into problems after his first pit stop when they had trouble with the fueling and then stalled leaving the pits. When Unser Jr. returned the track he then lost fourth gear. So at a track where staying the lead pack is key, Unser Jr. just wasn't able to stay up front. Today's race was won by Sam Hornish Jr. while Scott Dixon was second and Bryan Herta was third. The Kelley Racing team will now return to their shop in Indianapolis where they will begin preparations for the Toyota Indy 400 on September 21 at California Speedway.
Al Unser Jr. -- #31 Corteco/Dallara/Toyota/Firestone
"We just didn't find the speed today. We haven't been able to find the speed all weekend long, and it showed up on race day today. We just didn't have the speed and then we lost fourth gear, which is why we just had to let the leaders go from that point on, there was nothing I could do. At Chicago you really have to be able to stay up front in the lead pack if you even want a chance at a podium finish and we just couldn't get up there today. It's disappointing but I know the Corteco team will regroup for Fontana."
Laps Led: 0
Laps Completed: 198 of 200
Al Unser Jr., No. 31 Corteco/Dallara/Toyota/Firestone--Fast Facts and Quote
Today was Unser Jr.'s 322nd career start and his 49th IRL start.
Chicago Record--In 2002 Unser Jr. started 3rd and finished 2nd in 2001 he started 12th and finished 3rd.
His victory on June 7 at Texas Motor Speedway was his third IndyCar Series victory and his 34th career victory.
Unser Jr. has won two Indianapolis 500's (1992, 1994) and two open-wheel championships (1990, 1994).
Scott Sharp -- #8 Delphi/Dallara/Toyota/Firestone
"I love this racing, it is so exciting especially when you have a car that can compete up front. However, we didn't have the package today on the Delphi car. We made changes all day but never gained more speed. The Delphi guys did a great job on the pit stops all day today and just did a great job in general. The car was really loose and I'm just disappointed we didn't do a better job since it was the Delphi Indy 300. Now we'll move on and look forward to running better at Fontana."
Laps Led: 0
Laps Completed: 200 of 200
Scott Sharp, No. 8 Delphi/Dallara/Toyota/Firestone---Fast Facts and Quote
Today was Sharp's 80th career start, his 72nd consecutive IndyCar start--an IRL record-- and his sixth season with Kelley Racing.
Chicago Record--In 2002, Sharp started 16th and finished 7th and in 2001 he started 3rd and finished 25th after an accident.
Sharp's victory in April at Twin Ring Motegi, Japan was his eighth career victory.