IRL: Indy Open Test 98-04-17

DEFENDING CHAMP LUYENDYK EMERGES AS FASTEST IN TEST INDIANAPOLIS, April 17, 1998 - Two-time and defending Indianapolis 500 champion Arie Luyendyk turned the fastest lap ever at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in a new-formula IRL car,...

DEFENDING CHAMP LUYENDYK EMERGES AS FASTEST IN TEST

INDIANAPOLIS, April 17, 1998 - Two-time and defending Indianapolis 500 champion Arie Luyendyk turned the fastest lap ever at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in a new-formula IRL car, 222.657 mph, Friday during the final day of the inaugural Open Test.

Luyendyk set the one-lap track record on the 2.5-mile track, 237.498 mph, during qualifying for the 1996 Indianapolis 500. That lap was turned in a car powered by a turbocharged engine. The Pep Boys Indy Racing League changed its formula to normally aspirated engines at the start of 1997. Luyendyk captured the pole at Indy last year at 218.263 without any pre-race testing at the Speedway.

"Things are going well," Luyendyk said. "This test is pretty important for most teams, I would say, to come back and have a feel for what kind of speeds they can run, how good they are. It's good preparation. It's necessary."

Luyendyk ran the fast lap in the Sprint PCS-Radio Shack-Qualcomm G Force/Aurora/Firestone despite problems with the wind buffeting his racing helmet.

Scott Sharp, winner of the Dura-Lube 200 last month at Phoenix, was second fastest at 222.310 in the Delphi Automotive Systems Dallara/Aurora/Goodyear. Sam Schmidt was third fastest at 221.893 in the Best Western Gold Crown Special Dallara/Aurora/Firestone.

Defending Pep Boys IRL season champion Tony Stewart was fifth fastest at 220.550 in the Johns Manville-Menard Special Dallara/Aurora/Firestone normally driven by his teammate, Robbie Buhl. Nineteen cars completed 727 laps Friday. Twenty-seven cars combined to complete 1,854 laps during the two days of open testing.

Firestone and Goodyear will conduct private tire tests Saturday at the Speedway.

The Indianapolis 500 is scheduled for May 24. Pole Day is May 16; the final day of qualifying is May 17.

PERFORMANCE HISTORY OF THE DAY FROM OPEN TESTING Car No. Driver C/E/T Laps Top Speed 5 Arie Luyendyk G/A/F 84 222.657 8 Scott Sharp D/A/G 38 222.310 99 Sam Schmidt D/A/F 65 221.893 51 Eddie Cheever Jr. D/A/G 40 221.228 3 Tony Stewart D/A/F 43 220.550 4 Scott Goodyear G/A/G 44 220.146 6 Davey Hamilton G/A/G 67 219.346 28 Mark Dismore D/A/G 65 218.118 77 Stephan Gregoire G/A/G 33 218.092 10 Mike Groff G/A/F 76 217.881 15 Eliseo Salazar R/A/G 32 217.553 91 Buddy Lazier D/A/G 30 215.791 21T Roberto Guerrero G/A/G 44 214.972 97 Greg Ray D/A/F 33 214.235 35 Jeff Ward G/A/G 10 210.743 30 Raul Boesel G/I/G 3 207.617 33 Billy Roe D/A/G 10 206.318 19 Stan Wattles R/A/G 8 177.760 20 Tyce Carlson D/A/G 2 75.779

OVERALL PERFORMANCE HISTORY FROM OPEN TESTING Car No. Driver C/E/T Laps Top Speed (Day) 5 Arie Luyendyk G/A/F 149 222.657 (Friday) 8 Scott Sharp D/A/G 110 222.310 (Friday) 99 Sam Schmidt D/A/F 147 221.893 (Friday) 51 Eddie Cheever Jr. D/A/G 86 221.228 (Friday) 3 Tony Stewart D/A/F 112* 220.550 (Friday) 4 Scott Goodyear G/A/G 154 220.146 (Friday) 6 Davey Hamilton G/A/G 88 219.346 (Friday) 28 Mark Dismore D/A/G 159 218.118 (Friday) 77 Stephan Gregoire G/A/G 33 218.092 (Friday) 10 Mike Groff G/A/F 124 217.881 (Friday) 15 Eliseo Salazar R/A/G 86 217.553 (Friday) 91 Buddy Lazier D/A/G 85 215.791 (Friday) 21T Roberto Guerrero G/A/G 70 214.972 (Friday) 1 Tony Stewart G/A/F 35 214.761 (Thursday) 97 Greg Ray D/A/F 56 214.235 (Friday) 21 Roberto Guerrero G/A/G 30 213.129 (Thursday) 40T Dr. Jack Miller D/I/F 21 211.894 (Thursday) 55 J. Ward/J. Guthrie G/A/G 87 211.516 (Thursday) 52 Eddie Cheever Jr. D/A/G 32 210.956 (Thursday) 35 Jeff Ward G/A/G 10 210.743 (Friday) 20 Tyce Carlson D/A/G 11 210.182 (Thursday) 30 Raul Boesel G/I/G 47 207.617 (Friday) 52 Robby Unser D/A/G 14 206.911 (Thursday) 17 Brian Tyler D/A/G 58 206.740 (Thursday) 40 Dr. Jack Miller D/I/F 9 206.555 (Thursday) 33 Billy Roe D/A/G 10 206.318 (Friday) 19 Stan Wattles R/A/G 31 199.791 (Thursday) * -- Robbie Buhl also drove the #3 car Thursday Key: D-Dallara; G-G Force; R-Riley & Scott; A-Aurora; I-Infiniti; F-Firestone; G-Goodyear

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Tony Stewart , Greg Ray , Eddie Cheever , Robbie Buhl , Eliseo Salazar , Buddy Lazier , Stephan Gregoire , Jeff Ward , Davey Hamilton , Scott Sharp , Arie Luyendyk , Mark Dismore , Scott Goodyear , Roberto Guerrero , Raul Boesel , Billy Roe , Sam Schmidt , Tyce Carlson , Brian Tyler , Stan Wattles , Robby Unser , Jack Miller