Kelley Racing wraps final pre-race test at Homestead. INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana (February 18, 2003)--Kelley Racing got the maximum out of their final two-day test (Monday and Tuesday) at the Homestead-Miami Speedway before the season opener that...
Kelley Racing wraps final pre-race test at Homestead.
INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana (February 18, 2003)--Kelley Racing got the maximum out of their final two-day test (Monday and Tuesday) at the Homestead-Miami Speedway before the season opener that will be held there on March 2. The No. 8 and No. 31 entries ran a total of 510 laps on the 1.5-mile oval with driver Scott Sharp turning the third fastest lap of the test at 26.1843 seconds/206.230 mph, while driver Al Unser Jr. turned the 15th quickest lap at 26.7777 seconds/201.660 mph.
Kelley Racing vice president of racing operations, Steve Newey, was very pleased with the progress in the two-day test and felt both Kelley Racing entries achieved their testing goals. "We have had a great couple days of testing," said Newey. "We were quick with the No. 8 Delphi car and Scott was very happy with its balance. In the No. 31 Corteco car we were working on race setup with Al and he did several full tank runs and accumulated almost 500 miles on the engine. We were very pleased with the Toyota engine and it's reliability, it ran flawlessly. All in all it's been a very good test for us and we're looking forward to coming back here at the end of the month for the Toyota Indy 300."
Scott Sharp, driver of the No. 8 Delphi/Dallara/Toyota/Firestone entry, ran a total of 236 laps and was third quickest of the test with a lap time of 26.1843 seconds/206.230 mph on Tuesday afternoon. "I'm really happy with the way we ended the test today," said Sharp. "We learned so much and the Delphi crew really worked their tails off making changes to make this car better. But that's all in the course of learning about a new car and for the engineers and team learning about each other as well." Sharp then discussed the upcoming season opener. "We made a few race runs that gave us very valuable feedback that we will be able to use at the season opener," he said. "In the meantime, we have a ton of data to sort through and hopefully we can learn from it and put it into a good plan for when we come back for the race."
Al Unser Jr., driver of the No. 31 Corteco/Dallara/Toyota/Firestone entry, ran a total of 274 laps during the course of the test and his primary focus was on getting a good race setup for both Kelley Racing entries. "This has been the game plan, I work on race setup and Sharpie (Scott) works on the qualifying setup," explained Unser Jr. "Scott ended the day up front and we're all pretty happy because Kelley Racing is looking competitive. The way we've ended this test has me really excited for this season. I logged a lot of test miles and the Toyota engine ran perfectly and my teammate is running fast--Things look good for us."
Michael Andretti set the pace for this final test in his Dallara/Honda/Firestone entry with a quick lap of 26.0394 seconds/207.378 mph and was the only driver to break the 207 mph barrier. Gil de Ferran was second quickest in his Dallara/Toyota/Firestone entry with a time of 26.1178 seconds/206.756 mph while Scott Sharp rounded out the top three with his top time of 26.1843 seconds/206.230 mph.
The Kelley Racing team will now return to Indianapolis to prepare for the season-opening Toyota Indy 300, which will take place March 2 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The race will be broadcast live on ABC and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network. For Toyota Indy 300 ticket information, call (305) 230-RACE or log onto www.homesteadmiamispeedway.com.