Kelley Racing driver Mark Dismore was on top of the speed charts at the close of practice today posting the top speed with his ...
Kelley Racing driver Mark Dismore was on top of the speed charts at the close of practice today posting the top speed with his #28T Delphi Automotive Systems/Bryant Heating & Cooling Indy Racing car. During the final minutes of practice, Dismore hit 224.823 mph, his top speed of the month, edging out Arie Luyendyk at 223.986 mph. Last time Dismore posted fast speed of the day at Indy was on May 15, 1997, with a speed of 217.360 mph.
"I love this place," said Dismore. "The whole trick is to get a comfort level, and the only way you do that is by working on the car, making the car be underneath you and having the confidence to know what it's going to do when you get to each and every corner. We're still not there yet. It's only Tuesday so we've got a lot of time to still work on that. With that comes more speed and that's what we're counting on."
Three days of practice are remaining before Pole Day on Saturday, May 12, and Dismore is certain that his speed from today will not get him on the Pole.
"I think a lot of people are going to be surprised at what it's going to take to get on the pole," said Dismore. "I think it's realistic to say that the pole speed will be around 226 mph. But to be able to do it in four laps consecutively, and have the car stay under you and be able to pull it off four times in a row, I don't know if that's possible. But I think somewhere in the mix of your four laps you're going to have to do that (226 mph) to drag your average up if you want to be on the pole."
Dismore's teammate Scott Sharp had a roller coaster day reaching speeds in excess of 220 mph with his #8 Delphi Automotive Systems Indy Racing car. But the tides turned in the afternoon as an engine fire ended his day after completing only two laps in his backup car.
"It was a mixed feeling day," said Sharp. "Certainly we had elation after our morning run. We went out with full fuel and ran 35 laps to post our best speed of the month in race trim. We're quite happy with the car." Sharp noticed smoke coming from the rear of his #8T car only two laps into his practice run this afternoon. At the same time, Sharp lost radio communication with his crew and was not able to get a response on whether to pit or stay out. Sharp made the decision to pit, and by the time he arrived in his pit box, the fire had started and quickly burned up a lot of wires. "We're not sure what caused the fire," said Sharp. "Until the crew takes the undertray off and disassembles the car, we won't be able determine exactly where the fire began."
Having a two-car team is beneficial to Kelley Racing as Dismore's #28 Delphi/Bryant team can share setup information with Sharp's #8 crew who have spent little time on the track this May. Both teams are very happy with the overall setup of the cars and are looking forward to this weekend's qualifying runs.
"We'll enjoy what happened today, but keep it in perspective because it's only practice," said Dismore. "It's not going to get us on the pole. It's not going to be a pole speed. There's a lot more work to be done on the racecar. I think we've got a shot at it, but there's a lot of guys who aren't showing everything they have yet. That includes us."