IRL: Fisher back in the grove at Phoenix

INDIANAPOLIS, Feb. 13, 2001 -- Walker Racing driver Sarah Fisher got right back in the racing groove during her first test session of the 2001 season at Phoenix International Raceway, logging a total of 282 miles and a fast time of 20.687...

INDIANAPOLIS, Feb. 13, 2001 -- Walker Racing driver Sarah Fisher got right back in the racing groove during her first test session of the 2001 season at Phoenix International Raceway, logging a total of 282 miles and a fast time of 20.687 sec. (174.016 mph) on the 1-mile oval. 20-year old Sarah's fastest time was only three-tenths of a second off the time of the fastest driver during the "Test in the West." She was sixth quick on the boards out of a total of 14 drivers who participated in the two-day Indy Racing Northern Light series test session.

Veteran open-wheel owner Derrick Walker attended his sophomore driver's test session and remarked on her progress from her first test for his team in February of 2000 up to now. "We got a late start to the season's testing, but I was very pleased to see Sarah and the team pick up right where we left off from last season," said Derrick. "It was a very useful test for us, and its good too, having Gilbert Lage (IRL team manager) on-board running our IRL program. After the two-day IRNLS test ended, the Walker Racing team stayed an extra day for a private team session. On Sunday, Sarah's totals were 171 miles and a quick unofficial time of 20.599 seconds. "It felt really good to get back in the racecar after such a long time," said Sarah. "I feel that I'm much better prepared this year than at the start of last season. I've spent a lot of time in the gym and it has paid off. Overall, this was a good start for everyone on our team to get back in the rhythm. Our main focus on Sunday was on race configuration. We ran a couple of long stints that will help me be better prepared for the race in March. There are some things we didn't get to cover in Phoenix that I'm looking forward to testing next week at Homestead."

Sarah and the Walker team's next test session will be on the 1.5-mile oval at Homestead/Miami Speedway on Feb. 23 -- 24. *** Live Chat: Log on to talk.usatoday.com on Thursday, Feb. 15 at 4 p.m. (ET) for a live on-line chat with Sarah. *** Featured Driver: Check out ESPN.com's Driver Forum in 2001 as Sarah will be one of the regularly featured drivers who will be answering fan questions throughout the season.

***

Guest of Honor: Sarah will be a guest of honor at the Muscular Dystrophy Association Muscle Team Gala at the Westin Hotel in Indianapolis on March 3.

-Waler Racing

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Sarah Fisher