RAHAL LETTERMAN RACING FIGHTS THROUGH TOUGH WEATHER DAY IN INDY PRACTICE INDIANAPOLIS - Thursday saw Rahal Letterman Racing drivers Scott Sharp ( ...
RAHAL LETTERMAN RACING FIGHTS THROUGH TOUGH WEATHER DAY IN INDY PRACTICE
INDIANAPOLIS - Thursday saw Rahal Letterman Racing drivers Scott Sharp (#8 Patron Dallara/Honda/Firestone) and Jeff Simmons (#17 Ethanol Dallara/Honda/Firestone) greeted by cloudy and cold weather conditions in Indianapolis for the second consecutive day, but the duo fought through the meteorological maladies and continued preparations for this year's Indianapolis 500.
The conditions slowed things down across the board, with speeds failing to break the 220-mph barrier for the first time this year. Both RLR drivers were in the top dozen on the day, on an afternoon where only 19 cars turned as many as 10 laps.
Sharp ended up ninth on the speed sheets after posting a quick lap of 41.3480 seconds (217.680 mph), while turning a team-high 46 laps. Simmons was two spots back in the order, carding a top trip around the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway of 41.3622 seconds (217.590 mph).
The team combined to run nearly 200 miles in the breezy conditions, taking the opportunity to check on the car changes made yesterday in similar conditions.
"We solved the trouble we had yesterday in Turn One, and made the car a lot more stable," Simmons said. "Things like that show that we are making progress and as long as we continue checking things off the list, the car continues to get better."
Sharp hooked up with some of the faster cars on the charts to gauge how his car reacted in traffic, slipping into the turbulence of the lead car in order to see what it takes to make a pass in tough conditions.
"You have to run in these conditions, because you never know what Race Day will bring, which is why some cars came out for at least a little while today," Sharp said. "We got to run with some pretty quick cars today and we seemed to be pretty stable, so we're pretty happy with where we are at the moment."
Timing did not work out as well for Simmons, as he did not get the chance to run behind anyone else, leaving that item on the Team Ethanol to-do list for Friday.
"We needed to get more time in traffic and we didn't get that because there really weren't that many cars out later in the day," Simmons reported. "We need to have a car that is good in traffic, no matter what the conditions, so we are working on being ready for anything that happens."