SPARTA, Ky., Friday, June 30, 2000 - Quotes from selected Indy Racing Northern Light Series drivers and team officials about the Open Test on July 1-2 at Kentucky Speedway: JOHN BARNES (Team manager, ...
SPARTA, Ky., Friday, June 30, 2000 - Quotes from selected Indy Racing Northern Light Series drivers and team officials about the Open Test on July 1-2 at Kentucky Speedway:
JOHN BARNES (Team manager, #4 Pennzoil Panther Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone) (About testing Indy Racing rookie Sam Hornish Jr. and former CART driver Alex Barron this weekend at Kentucky as possible replacements for Scott Goodyear in 2001): "Sam has impressed us all year with his consistency and his ability to run up front. I have had my eye on Alex for quite awhile, and he was impressive in CART with equipment that wasn't necessarily the most competitive. We had not planned on attending the test at all this weekend. But after consulting with our chief engineer Andy Brown a couple of weeks ago, we decided this would be a good opportunity to test some drivers and build a baseline for our private testing that we plan on completing later this summer at Kentucky."
ROBBIE BUHL (#24 Team Purex Dreyer & Reinbold Racing G Force/Infiniti/Firestone): "Like the other teams in the Indy Racing Northern Light Series, we are anxious to see the fabulous new facility, and more importantly, see how our Purex G-Force/Infiniti performs on the new track and fresh pavement. Mr. (Jerry) Carroll and his staff seem to have studied other successful tracks and facilities very well, and we look forward to demonstrating our cars in front of the great Kentucky fans. The Kentucky fans love their racing, and we are confident that we all can put on a great show for them. We no doubt will be working on finding the right race setup for our race car. We will be looking at all of the normal things like balance, driveability and tire wear. We expect that our friends at Firestone will have a great tire for us there."
TYCE CARLSON (#20 Hubbard Racing Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone): "The continuing goals for Hubbard Racing at every test are to be smooth and consistent while learning as much as possible about the track and being very competitive. That's especially true this time as this track is brand new for everyone. We've raced and tested at every other circuit on the schedule for 2000, so there's an advanced learning curve we want to achieve for Kentucky Speedway. We're coming off a two-day test at Atlanta this past weekend, and we look to continue the momentum of that experience as well as the momentum of our successful comeback at the Texas and Pikes Peak races. Time will tell whether we come away with anything that gives us a competitive advantage, but we at least want to keep pace with the leading teams that we know will be at this Open Test or doing their own private testing at Kentucky. As always, we're going to the track with great equipment and great preparation. We don't usually try radically new setups, but since this track is pretty much an unknown, we might throw a few things at the car to see how it reacts."
RON PELFREY (Owner, Team Pelfrey Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone, driver #81 Billy Boat): "Team Pelfrey is excited about the upcoming test session at the Kentucky Speedway. After a couple setbacks the last couple of races, we will be searching for the right setup and becoming familiar with the track. This track is similar to Las Vegas, and hopefully our success there will transfer to the August race in Kentucky. Our primary goal the last three races is to have top-five starting positions and be in position for the win. We have the confidence of (driver) Billy Boat, and now it's a matter of supplying him the best equipment and personnel to get the job done."
OWEN SNYDER III (Chief mechanic, #51 Excite@Home Indy Race Car Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone, driver Eddie Cheever Jr.): "It definitely puts more of a premium on being able to go down there and test before the race weekend. So you try to go down with a very organized plan of changes. You go into it very open-minded and try to not get too focused on one problem that the driver gives you or that you see in the racecar. You try to make probabl y big changes on the first time down and see how it affects your lap time, and just go back with a lot of data, to go back to the shop, study and put another game plan together when you go down there for the race weekend. It's exciting. I think there again, it just shows the growth of the series and I think the key is if we hit it, if we do everything right and get a big fan base for this first annual event, then it's only going to get bigger and bigger. It's going to snowball into just massive crowds, and it'll be an event, an event that people in Kentucky and Ohio and Indiana want to go to every year, come around the same time of year."