STEWART LEADS SECOND-DAY SPEEDS AT PEP BOYS IRL TEST AT DOVER DOVER, Del., June 16, 1998 - Tony Stewart upped the speed ante Tuesday during Pep Boys Indy Racing League open testing at Dover Downs International Speedway by recording a...
STEWART LEADS SECOND-DAY SPEEDS AT PEP BOYS IRL TEST AT DOVER
DOVER, Del., June 16, 1998 - Tony Stewart upped the speed ante Tuesday during Pep Boys Indy Racing League open testing at Dover Downs International Speedway by recording a speed of 183.299 mph, unofficially the fastest speed ever recorded at the 1-mile, high-banked concrete oval.
Stewart's fast lap came in the Glidden-Menards Special G Force/Aurora/Firestone. He was second-fastest Monday, the opening day of the test, at 180.379.
"We worked hard on the chassis to get the car to go through the bumps really well, and that was the secret," said Stewart. "But I think the key to winning this race will be who has the best motor, because everybody can run flat out here."
Teams and officials are very happy with the information they have gathered at Dover the last two days, said Brian Barnhart, Pep Boys IRL director of racing operations. "The drivers think it is a great place to race," said Barnhart. "There is plenty of room to pass and run two-wide in the corners, plus Firestone and Goodyear are pleasantly surprised at how well the tires are wearing on the concrete track." Barnhart added that Dover Downs will make improvements to the pit area, including widening the pit entrance and exit and adding concrete in the pit boxes.
The seven Pep Boys IRL drivers taking part in the test completed a total of 957 laps with no incidents.
Dover Mayor Jim Hutchison welcomed the Pep Boys IRL during a special lunchtime presentation. "We know the race here will be exciting and competitive," said Hutchison. "I hope those who come to watch NASCAR will come to see the IRL cars, because with the speeds they're running already, race weekend will be exciting."
Other notable events taking place Tuesday included a photo session with Hutchison, Delaware Gov. Thomas Carper, Lt. Gov. Ruth Ann Minner and the Pep Boys IRL drivers, and an autograph session which attracted more than 1,000 fans.
Pep Boys IRL testing concludes Wednesday with private tire testing by Goodyear and Firestone. The Pep Boys 400K at Dover Downs, the sixth race of the 1998 Pep Boys IRL schedule, gets underway at noon (EDT) Sunday, July 19. The next event on the IRL schedule is the New England 200 - the fifth race of the 1998 season - at New Hampshire International Speedway on Sunday, June 28.
TOP UNOFFICIAL TIMES, SPEEDS OF THE DAY**
Driver Team Car/Engine/Tire Time Speed Tony Stewart Team Menard G Force/Aurora/Firestone 19.630 183.393 Scott Goodyear Panther Racing G Force/Aurora/Goodyear 19.764 182.149 Arie Luyendyk Treadway Racing G Force/Aurora/Firestone 19.804 181.781 Buzz Calkins Bradley Mtrspts G Force/Aurora/Goodyear 19.864 181.232 John Paul Jr. Byrd/Cunningham G Force/Aurora/Firestone 19.957 180.338 Jeff Ward ISM Racing G Force/Aurora/Goodyear 19.975 180.225 Sam Schmidt LP Racing, Inc. Dallara/Aurora/Firestone 20.251 177.769
**Each driver recorded his overall top speed of the two-day open test on Tuesday, the second day.
Pep Boys 400K tickets: Tickets for the Pep Boys 400K at Dover Downs are available by calling Dover Downs at (800) 441-7223.