GRECO RUNS WITH 'BIG DOGS' DURING TRUE VALUE 500 QUALIFYING FORT WORTH, Texas, June 5, 1998 - Marco Greco squeezed his way into the lineup among the big dogs Friday for the Pep Boys Indy Racing League True Value 500 Saturday night at...
GRECO RUNS WITH 'BIG DOGS' DURING TRUE VALUE 500 QUALIFYING
FORT WORTH, Texas, June 5, 1998 - Marco Greco squeezed his way into the lineup among the big dogs Friday for the Pep Boys Indy Racing League True Value 500 Saturday night at Texas Motor Speedway, qualifying fifth.
"I run very big, too," Greco said with a laugh.
Greco turned a fast lap of 219.736 mph during qualifying even though his International Sports Ltd. team has only one engine for practice, qualifying and the race. That put him behind only pole winner Tony Stewart, A.J. Foyt's charger Billy Boat, Stewart's teammate, Robbie Buhl, and last year's race winner, Arie Luyendyk.
"I am very pleased," said Greco, a Brazilian who lives in southern California. "We came here with only one engine. We don't have other engines. Our budget is very short. We blew two engines at Indy."
In Thursday's first practice session, team manager Dick Simon restricted Greco to two hot laps and 12 laps total. In the second session, again the running was limited, but improvements were made to the G Force/Aurora/Firestone car.
"I wish I could run more, because I think it is possible to improve a little bit more," Greco said. "But unfortunately that's the way it is. The speed was there, and that was the maximum we could get.
"It's a long race. I hope our engine lasts."
Greco thinks Simon put a good setup on the car. He and Simon have good communication, and the crew is performing well, Greco said. He also noted that the team has become better integrated since start of the season.
The Indianapolis 500 provided a fine example. An engine change was made, and Greco qualified without practice. Simon had the motor purring and car handling for the day's conditions.
"Working for Dick is a great satisfaction for me," he said. "And Diana (Simon's wife) also. And all the people we put together. It's not a big team, not a lot of mechanics, but we try to get better." Greco's previous best start this year was 14th at Indy, and he finished in the same position. After three races he is tied for 23rd with Buhl in the Pep Boys IRL standings after completing 317 of a possible 600 laps.
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