For Immediate Release KITE FASTEST AT NEW HAMPSHIRE; BOAT NAMED TO CHARLOTTE RIDE LOUDON, N.H., July 9, 1997 Rookie Jimmy Kite turned the fastest lap today of the three-day test for Indy Racing League cars, touring the one-mile...
For Immediate Release
KITE FASTEST AT NEW HAMPSHIRE; BOAT NAMED TO CHARLOTTE RIDE
LOUDON, N.H., July 9, 1997 Rookie Jimmy Kite turned the fastest lap today of the three-day test for Indy Racing League cars, touring the one-mile New Hampshire International Speedway one-mile oval at a top circuit of 153.126 miles an hour.
Kite's lap came before rain ended the test in mid-afternoon as part of a Goodyear tire test.
The top five drivers today were separated by just .19 of a second. Davey Hamilton, the series points leader was second fastest at 152.349, followed by Tony Stewart at 152.284. Stewart was second fastest of the test with a lap at 152.672 on Tuesday.
Billy Boat was named today to replace the sidelined Scott Sharp in the #1 Conseco AJ Foyt Racing entry for the July 24-26 Charlotte 500 weekend. Boat ran 99 laps in the test at NHIS today.
"A.J. is tremendous to work with the whole Conseco team is great and we get along well together," said Boat. "I haven't been to North Carolina before. But since the track is similar to Texas, I feel the Conseco/Foyt entry will be competitive at Charlotte. I love the high banks of Texas and adapted well to them. We had a great run there."
Driver Buzz Calkins was released in good condition from Concord Hospital this morning, according to Dr. Mike Olinger, IRL assistant medical director.
QUOTES: JIMMY KITE: "They changed a little bit (on the car from Tuesday). We're close enough now that we're just fine-turning it. The best part is for me to get laps. We heard we might have a little bit better tire for the race. We could've had it perfect today, but when we heard that there really wasn't a reason to. I feel comfortable in the car now, so we parked it."
ARIE LUYENDYK: "We had a pretty good test for the amount of laps we got in. I think we learned enough that it will be very helpful for the race. I think we can do a high 22 (-second lap in qualifying)." (About the new IRL cars): "They're different (than the previous cars) every place, really. When it comes to setting up these cars, you have the same problems, the same solutions. You have to get the car to work for you. I think these cars have a tendency to push more so you have to change your lines. You don't left-foot brake as much with these cars as the old cars. Everybody's different, but I've never been one to really use the brakes a lot." (About the competition): "As the season progresses, people are getting to understand these cars better. A lot of the engine programs have come along. The series is getting closer. They (the races) aren't going to be won or lost in the pits but it's going to be very important. Track position is important."
TOP SPEEDS OF THE DAY (FROM TEAM CLOCKS):
Car Driver Team C/E/T Laps Time Speed 33 Jimmy Kite Team Scandia D/A/G 68 23.51 153.126 14 Davey Hamilton AJ Foyt Enterprises G/A/G 89 23.63 152.349 3T Tony Stewart Team Menard G/A/F 68 23.64 152.284 1 Billy Boat AJ Foyt Enterprises G/A/G 99 23.69 151.963 6 Arie Luyendyk Treadway Racing G/A/F 71 23.70 151.899 7, 7T Eliseo Salazar Team Scandia D/A/G 117 23.74 151.643 22 Vincenzo Sospiri Team Scandia D/A/G 36 NT NS