IRL: F3000 veteran Mueller passes rookie test

FONTANA, Calif., Thursday, Jan. 23, 2003 -- FIA Formula 3000 veteran Alex Mueller passed the speed phase of his Indy Racing League IndyCar Series rookie test Jan. 23 at California Speedway, driving for PDM Racing. Mueller, 23, from Germany,...

FONTANA, Calif., Thursday, Jan. 23, 2003 -- FIA Formula 3000 veteran Alex Mueller passed the speed phase of his Indy Racing League IndyCar Series rookie test Jan. 23 at California Speedway, driving for PDM Racing.

Mueller, 23, from Germany, turned 101 laps on the 2-mile, D-shaped oval, with Mark Bridges, technical manager for the Indy Racing League, supervising the test.

"He did very well," Bridges said. "He's got good car control and a good feel for the car. He's very intelligent, gives good feedback and has a lot of talent."

It was the first time on an oval for Mueller, who finished second in the German Formula 3 championship in 2000.

"I was quite happy," Mueller said. "I've got a big smile on my face; it was cool. The guys did a good job. The setup was very good. It was my first time at these speeds, but I adapted easily. I was quite happy with the speed."

Mueller said he would like to compete in the IndyCar Series.

"I'm trying to put a deal together," Mueller said. "That's the reason I'm here, to test this car and do a rookie test. I'm working hard on it to make something happen."

The IndyCar Series season starts with the Toyota Indy 300 on March 2 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The Toyota Indy 400 will be Sept. 21 at California Speedway. Both races will be broadcast live on ABC and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network.

For ticket information for the season opener at Homestead-Miami, call (305) 230-RACE or visit www.homesteadmiamispeedway.com. For tickets to the California event, call (800) 944-7223 or visit www.californiaspeedway.com.

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Series IndyCar