KANSAS CITY, Kansas (July 4, 2003)--- Today was the opening day of practice for Sunday's Kansas Indy 300 at the 1.5-mile Kansas Speedway. Kelley Racing drivers Scott Sharp, driver of the No. 8 Delphi entry, and Al Unser Jr., driver of the No. 31...
KANSAS CITY, Kansas (July 4, 2003)--- Today was the opening day of practice for Sunday's Kansas Indy 300 at the 1.5-mile Kansas Speedway. Kelley Racing drivers Scott Sharp, driver of the No. 8 Delphi entry, and Al Unser Jr., driver of the No. 31 Corteco entry, battled the high temperatures today and finished in sixth and 14th position respectively. Tomas Scheckter paced the field for both of today's practice sessions with a quick time of 25.0706 seconds/ 218.624 mph while his teammate, Scott Dixon was second quick with a time of 25.1310 seconds/ 217.739 mph. Practice will continue tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. with qualifying set to begin at 11:00 a.m. The green flag for the Kansas Indy 300 will drop Sunday at 12:00 p.m. CDT with the 200-lap race set to air live on ABC.
Al Unser Jr. -- #31 Corteco/Dallara/Toyota/Firestone
"It's great to be in Kansas but it's awful hot here! The Corteco special ran really, really good today. We've doing a lot of testing on different setup combinations today and running a lot of fuel. So we've spent most of our time getting ready for Sunday's race. The weather is a factor here too, because triple digits are triple digits--it's hot!"
Friday Combined Practice
Speed: 215.409 mph
Time: 25.4028 seconds
Al Unser Jr. Fast Facts
This will be Unser Jr.'s his 316th career start and his 43rd IRL start.
Unser Jr. is currently fifth in the IndyCar Series points standings with 187 points.
In 2002 Unser Jr. started 17th and finished 17th after a mechanical failure. In 2001 he started 15th and finished 20th after an electrical failure.
His victory on June 7 at Texas Motor Speedway was his third IndyCar Series victory and his 34th career victory.
Unser Jr. has won two Indianapolis 500's (1992, 1994) and two open-wheel championships (1990, 1994).
Scott Sharp -- #8 Delphi/Dallara/Toyota/Firestone
"Today was a good day for the Delphi team. We rolled out of the truck good. I think we all have a motivation as a team, with only nine races left, to really start catching back up and getting our momentum going. I'm pleased with the way we've started the weekend. We've been in the top five in each session and that is a really good start for us. We worked on the race car most of the day, which I think is going to be the most important for Sunday. I'm not really sure where the Delphi team stacks up as a qualifier. The heat really isn't as bad as it's been here in the past. On the track, we've got a 225 mph breeze so I think it's harder on the crew, the car and the tires more than the driver."
Friday Combined Practice
Speed: 216.679 mph
Time: 25.2540 seconds
Scott Sharp Fast Facts
This will be Sharp's 74th career start and his sixth season with Kelley Racing.
In 2002, he started 13th and finished sixth, while in 2001 he started from the pole and finished 17th after an accident.
Sharp is currently in seventh place in the IndyCar Series with 162 points.
Sharp's victory in April at Twin Ring Motegi, Japan was his eighth career victory.