IRL: Lazier fastest in Miami Open House

MIAMI (Feb. 24) -- Defending Indy Racing champion Buddy Lazier turned in the fastest speed of Saturday's Infiniti Grand Prix of Miami Open House. Lazier turned a lap of 196.970 mph in the Tae-bo/Coors Light/Delta Faucet Dallara Oldsmobile fielded...

MIAMI (Feb. 24) -- Defending Indy Racing champion Buddy Lazier turned in the fastest speed of Saturday's Infiniti Grand Prix of Miami Open House. Lazier turned a lap of 196.970 mph in the Tae-bo/Coors Light/Delta Faucet Dallara Oldsmobile fielded by Hemelgarn Racing. While windy conditions prevented 200-miles speeds, such as the lap of 200.134 mph turned in by Sam Hornish in Friday's opening round of the Indy Racing Northern Lights Series Open Test, Lazier didn't mind. "Really, we ran out fastest time today in the wind this afternoon," said Lazier. "We learned a lot. We tested here one time before (at over 200 mph), and we feel good because we ran our fastest today in the wind. This was a huge learning curve for us. We took in a lot of data. It's been a very productive test." Lazier was followed by Airton Dare, 196.650; Jeff Ward, 192.739; and Greg Ray, 191.970. Two drivers, Sam Hornish and Sarah Fisher, were unhurt in separate incidents in turn four. On Friday, Lazier was second with a fast lap of 198.127 mph, followed by Felipe Giaffone, 197.696; Greg Ray, 197.463; and Stan Wattles, 197.029. Fans enjoying the free day had the opportunity to choose their seats for the April 6-8 Infiniti Grand Prix of Miami presented by 123.com Americatel. Fans who purchased grandstand seats received a t-shirt and Infiniti pace car ride with two legends of Indy Racing, Johnny Rutherford and Al Unser. Fans also had the opportunity to sign up for an Indianapolis 500 trip for two, including tickets, air fare and lodging. Fans also got to meet Indianapolis 500 winners Al Unser Jr., Buddy Lazier and Eddie Cheever Jr., along with other Indy Racing drivers including Eliseo Salazar, Sarah Fisher, Robbie Buhl, Casey Mears and Greg Ray at an autograph session. Other activities for the free Open House included the opportunity to sign a tribute to Dale Earnhardt, rock climbing, pony rides, kayaking demonstrations by the Florida Bay Outfitters Paradise Paddlers, and the Cub Scouts Thunderbird District's Pinewood Derby. "It was greast to see all the families out here at the track today," said Lazier. I think we are a good series for this track, and this track is good for our series." Family-friendly priced tickets for the April 6-8 Infiniti Grand Prix of Miami begin at $10 for Friday and $20 for Saturday, with reserved Sunday grandstand seats ranging from $25 to $45. Youth 12 and under are free Friday and Saturday when accompanied by a paying adult. Grandstand seats for youth 18 and under are $15 on Sunday, if purchased in advance. Weekend paddock tickets are $20, with youth 12 and under free. Individual weekend passes, including a reserved grandstand seat and Paddock pass, cost $70, a $25 savings. Parking is free all weekend. For additional information or to order tickets, call (305) 230-RACE or order on-line at www.homesteadmiamispeedway.com.

-Homestead Miami Speedway

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Sarah Fisher , Greg Ray , Felipe Giaffone , Eddie Cheever , Al Unser Jr. , Casey Mears , Robbie Buhl , Buddy Lazier , Jeff Ward , Airton Daré , Stan Wattles , Johnny Rutherford , Al Unser , Sam Hornis