IRL: Kansas: Kelley Racing qualifying report

KANSAS CITY, Kansas (July 5, 2003)--- Qualifying for Sunday's Kansas Indy 300 is now complete on the 1.5-mile oval at Kansas Speedway. Kelley Racing drivers Al Unser Jr. and Scott Sharp will start the race from the seventh and ninth positions ...

KANSAS CITY, Kansas (July 5, 2003)--- Qualifying for Sunday's Kansas Indy 300 is now complete on the 1.5-mile oval at Kansas Speedway. Kelley Racing drivers Al Unser Jr. and Scott Sharp will start the race from the seventh and ninth positions respectively. Today's qualifying was held at 11:00 a.m. under sunny skies and very warm temperatures. Scott Dixon took the top position in today's qualifying with a speed of 218.085 mph, while his teammate Tomas Scheckter was second with a speed of 217.892 mph and Tora Takagi rounded out the top three with a speed of 217.538 mph. The drivers will have their final practice today at 4:15 p.m. and 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

"The Kelley Racing team and the Corteco special have been doing really well on these one and half mile tracks. I think we've had pretty decent qualifying effort and will keep us in the top ten and from there we'll go racing. Kelley Racing and my Corteco crew just do a great job in preparing a good race car for me. My guys, John Worth, Pat, every guy on the team just do a great job. My engineer, Mike Colliver, has been giving me a good setup to go out there and be competitive. For me the heat is not so bad, it's the humidity. So you have to keep lots of fluids going in and go racing from there."

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.

Kansas Record--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

"We found ourselves a little down today in qualifying but we worked pretty hard on the race car yesterday. We spent quite a bit of time with our race setup and working the car in traffic and getting the car happy there, which is probably what you will be doing all day on Sunday. So yes, maybe we gave up a little bit of outright speed today but ultimately tomorrow is what is important for the Delphi team. It's hot here too, no doubt and that takes its toll on everything: the crew, the tires, the engine but I've actually felt pretty good. I think for tomorrow in the first half, two-thirds of the race I'll feel fine and the heat will really kick-in in the final stint of the race."

Scott Sharp Fast Facts

This will be Sharp's 74th career start and his sixth season with Kelley Racing.

Kansas Record--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.

-www.kelleyracing.com-

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Tomas Scheckter , Al Unser Jr. , Scott Sharp , Scott Dixon , Tora Takagi