HOMESTEAD, Fl. (March 1, 2003)--- Today has been an up and down day for the Kelley Racing team at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In the morning practice session Scott Sharp, driver of the No. 8 Delphi car, made contact with the wall in Turn 4, causing...
HOMESTEAD, Fl. (March 1, 2003)--- Today has been an up and down day for the Kelley Racing team at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In the morning practice session Scott Sharp, driver of the No. 8 Delphi car, made contact with the wall in Turn 4, causing damage that could not be repaired in time for this afternoon's qualifying session. The Delphi team went to the back-up car, getting it ready in a hurry, to give Scott an opportunity to get comfortable with the car in the final five minutes of morning practice. The team's efforts paid off with Sharp qualifying a solid sixth for tomorrow's Toyota Indy 300 with a time of 26.7672 seconds/ 201.739 mph. Al Unser Jr., driver of the No. 31 Corteco car, had a better morning and also fared well in qualifying with a solid effort that put him in 11th place for the tomorrow's season opener. Unser Jr., two-time Indianapolis 500 Champion, qualified with a time of 26.9507 seconds/ 200.366 mph.
IndyCar Series newcomers, but open-wheel racing veterans, Tony Kanaan and Michael Andretti took the top two spots for tomorrow's event with Kanaan qualifying first with a time of 26.5278 seconds/ 203.560 mph and Andretti at 26.5992 seconds/ 203.014 mph. Tomorrow's green flag will drop at 1:00 p.m .ET for the Toyota Indy 300 and will be shown live on ABC.
Al Unser Jr. -- #31 Corteco/Dallara/Toyota/Firestone
"I think we helped the car some for qualifying but I'm not really happy with my run. We do have a good racecar and we tried to help it some for qualifying but after watching what happened to Scott (Sharp) this morning, we just wanted to make sure we put the car in the show solidly. The Corteco car has been running really well all weekend and the crew has been doing a great job. I think we'll be competitive tomorrow because this team has been working very hard on our race set-up. I think we'll be ok."
Speed: 200.366 mph
Time: 26.9507 seconds
Scott Sharp -- #8 Delphi/Dallara/Toyota/Firestone
"I'm so thrilled for the Kelley Racing Delphi team right now. To come out and run so well this weekend and to get this back-up car ready in such a hurry, they've been great. I really believe in my heart that we had a shot at the pole today had it not been for my accident in the morning practice session. I still don't why the incident happened this morning but the crew did a great job getting me back out in the back-up car. I hadn't driven this car since the open test so I'm pleased where we ended up in qualifying and we'll just go racing from there."
Speed: 201.739 mph
Time: 26.7672 seconds