JOLIET, Ill., Friday, Aug. 31, 2001 - Robbie Buhl led both practice sessions for the Delphi Indy 300 on Aug. 31 at Chicagoland Speedway, posting a top lap of 24.7600 seconds, 221.002 mph during the morning practice. Buhl was fastest in...
JOLIET, Ill., Friday, Aug. 31, 2001 - Robbie Buhl led both practice sessions for the Delphi Indy 300 on Aug. 31 at Chicagoland Speedway, posting a top lap of 24.7600 seconds, 221.002 mph during the morning practice.
Buhl was fastest in the afternoon practice at 24.7859, 220.771 in the No. 24 Team Purex Dreyer & Reinbold Racing G Force/Infiniti/Firestone as he seeks his first Indy Racing Northern Light Series victory of the season.
"I think it is no secret, the hard work the Infiniti Motorsports guys have done to improve this motor," Buhl said. "Ever since we got it in March, it has only gotten better and better.
"Me and the Team Purex Dreyer & Reinbold Racing guys haven't had the black-and-white results to show how fast we've been this year with the Infiniti engine. It's always good to be at the top of the charts, but our team needs to be in that place on Sunday." The Delphi Indy 300 starts at 4 p.m. (EDT) Sunday. MBNA Pole Qualifying starts at 1 p.m. (EDT) Saturday.
Scott Sharp was second fastest overall today at 24.8249, 220.424 in the No. 8 Delphi Automotive Services Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone. 1998 Indianapolis 500 winner Eddie Cheever Jr. was third at 24.8298, 220.380 in the #51 Cheever Indy Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone.
Defending Northern Light Series champion Buddy Lazier was fourth fastest at 24.8969, 219.786 in the No. 91 Tae-Bo/Coors Light/Delta Faucet Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone. His younger brother, Jaques Lazier, was fifth at 24.9136, 219.639 despite engine problems in the second practice in the No. 2 Johns Manville/Menards Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone.
The 220-mph speeds posted on the new 1.5-mile Chicagoland oval were the fastest ever for the series outside of Indianapolis since the 3.5-liter engine was introduced at the start of the 2000 season.
"This is a first-class facility, there is no question about that," Buhl said. "It is smooth out there, and there is going to be some great racing."
Northern Light Series points leader Sam Hornish Jr. could clinch his first Northern Light Cup on Sunday in the No. 4 Pennzoil Panther Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone. Hornish leads Buddy Lazier by 45 points and needs to hold a 53-point lead after this race to secure the title.
Hornish was ninth fastest overall today at 25.0014, 218.868.
"We've got a really good race car," Hornish said. "We've been working on a setup that lets me run strong anywhere I want to go on the track with good grip. (Team co-owner) Jim Harbaugh was nicknamed 'Captain Comeback' for his great fourth-quarter play. This is the fourth quarter. We're ready."