For Immediate Release CALKINS, GUERRERO, PAUL JR., BUHL TEST AT SPEEDWAY; LAZIER FIRST TO DRIVE WITH NISSAN POWER AT BRICKYARD INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, April 10, 1997 -- Buzz Calkins, Roberto Guerrero, John Paul Jr., and Robbie Buhl ...
For Immediate Release
CALKINS, GUERRERO, PAUL JR., BUHL TEST AT SPEEDWAY; LAZIER FIRST TO DRIVE WITH NISSAN POWER AT BRICKYARD
INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, April 10, 1997 -- Buzz Calkins, Roberto Guerrero, John Paul Jr., and Robbie Buhl tested Thursday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as temperatures warmed enough to allow track activity for the first time in three days.
Guerrero and Calkins took the track for the first time this year and with Paul, Jr., assisted in a Goodyear tire test.
Buhl, in a Team Menard test, was the fastest of the group, running 90 laps in the Menard/Quaker State/Special G Force/Oldsmobile Aurora/Firestone with a best circuit of 217.654 miles an hour. The lap made Buhl the second fastest driver of pre-May testing to the 218.436 turned by Tony Stewart, his Menard teammate, on April 4.
Paul, Jr., ran 79 laps with a best of 214.352 miles an hour in the Lipsch-Tnemec-Overhead Door-Pyledriver-V-Line-Earl's Dallara/Aurora. Guerrero ran 47 laps with a best of 210.723 in the Pennzoil-Pagan Racing Dallara/Nissan Infiniti Indy. Calkins reached a top lap of 204.704 while running 72 laps in the Bradley Food Marts G Force/Aurora.
On Monday, Buddy Lazier became the first driver to take the track with Nissan power, piloting the Delta Faucet-Montana-Hemelgarn Racing Dallara. The system-check laps represented his first at the Speedway since he captured last year's "500" by .695 of a second in a last-lap duel with Davy Jones. The teams are preparing for the 81st running of the Indianapolis 500 scheduled May 25. The track opens officially with USAC's Rookie Orientation program on May 3 and opens to all drivers May 6.
*** QUOTES: ROBERTO GUERRERO: "We got it pretty much where we were wide open, then trimed it out. It's the same challenge to getting the car to work at Phoenix. You have less downforce and less power but you have the same problems and the same challenges to go slower (than last year's cars)."
BUZZ CALKINS: (about his return to the Speedway after being a rookie last year): "It's kind of strange to be a veteran. Right after the race last year, I couldn't wait to get back. You have more experience. You aren't clueless as to what's going on. You feel more comfortable with everything." (about advice he would give to rookies): "Be careful. Respect the place. It can bite you in a hurry. Don't get too frustrated when things go wrong because that's the nature of this place. Keep your head on straight."