IRL: Loudon Saturday AM practice report

Jimmy Kite, who was fastest in friday's first session, set fast time in saturday morning's first session too. Kite's time was 23.815 at 159.933 mph. Tony Stewart was second fastest in saturday's early session at 24.286 seconds. Stewart was...

Jimmy Kite, who was fastest in friday's first session, set fast time in saturday morning's first session too. Kite's time was 23.815 at 159.933 mph.

Tony Stewart was second fastest in saturday's early session at 24.286 seconds. Stewart was not able to run as fast as his best lap set friday afternoon at 23.984.

Sam Schmidt crashed in turn two damaging the left rear corner of the car. Sam was uninjured but the car's suspension, rear wing and bodywork near the left rear was heavily damaged. The Hope Pre-paid Fuel Card Racing Special will not be repaired in time to qualify.

Mike Groff remains awake and alert at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, NH. Groff is expected to be released on Monday if his progress continues. Johnny Unser, who substituted for Groff at Texas, drove the car in this morning's practice. Unser was 22nd fastest in this morning's session, nine miles an hour off of Groff's fastest speed.

Thomas Knapp Racing has decided to skip the New Hampshire round in the IRL series to concentrate on a good result at the season ending event at Las Vegas. Greg Ray, the team's driver was very optimistic after a good showing at Charlotte three weeks ago. Ray qualified the car 17th at Charlotte with very little practice. Ray was 6th quickest in the warm-up at Charlotte and moved up to sixth before crashing while making a move for fifth.

Thomas Knapp Racing had secured sponsorship to run at New Hampshire but decided to use that funding to test at Las Vegas prior to the season's finale. Greg Ray expects to benefit from the team's testing and says that he should be fast enough to make the front row.

Daily Practice 8/16/97 (top ten) 1. Kite 2. Stewart 3. Brack 4. Buhl 5. Greco 6. Salazar 7. Goodyear 8. Guerrero 9. Hamilton 10. Cheever

David Reininger - Motorsport News International

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Tony Stewart , Greg Ray , Jimmy Kite , Sam Schmidt , Johnny Unser