OPEN TEST PIT NOTES FOR FRIDAY, FEB. 23 PAGE ONE BUZZ CALKINS (No. 12 Bradley Food Marts/Sav-O-Mat Olds Dallara) â€“ This car is new from the ground up. We crashed here last time, but you get to a point where you have to look past that stuff. ....
OPEN TEST PIT NOTES FOR FRIDAY, FEB. 23 PAGE ONE
BUZZ CALKINS (No. 12 Bradley Food Marts/Sav-O-Mat Olds Dallara) – This car is new from the ground up. We crashed here last time, but you get to a point where you have to look past that stuff. . . The trick here is, with no banking and tight corners, it’s difficult to get the car set up. This is one of the more challenging places we’ve been to. I think a lot of teams will be able to go fast for a lap, but to get it to go fast an entire race is going to be a challenge.
SARAH FISHER (No 15 Walker Racing Olds Dallara) – We’ve got a new engineer and we’re just starting to jell. There’s a big understeer in the corner that keeps me from going full throttle. The car is stable right now, but maybe a little too stable. The track is smooth, but it’s a car-handling track. It’s tough.
BUDDY LAZIER (No. 91 Tae-Bo/Coors Light/Delta Faucet/Hemelgarn Racing Olds Dallara) – It’s nice to come here and test. It’s a very challenging track to set up the car. It’s very fast and very wide and you might see a lot of 2-by-2 and it should make for some great racing.
SAM HORNISH, JR. (No. 4 Pennzoil Panther Dallara Olds Dallara) – The track is great, but we’re still looking for more speed. We’re not giving up just yet. You can never really be satisfied with your speed.
JON HERB (No. 18 PDM Racing Olds Dallara) – I’ve haven’t been in an Indy car in a year because I was racing ARCA last season, but it feels good to get back in. Indy cars are a lot better to drive and a lot more fun and exciting to drive and to watch.
GREG RAY (No. 2 Johns Manville/Menards Olds Dallara) – Passing here is going to be very difficult. There’s going to be a definite premium on a great set up and a premium on working traffic. It might not matter where you qualify as long as you can run in a lot of traffic.
EDDIE CHEEVER, JR (No. 51 Excite@Home Indy Race Car Infinity Dallara) – This track is very tricky. We’re using last year’s set up and we’re here so I can learn the circuit. Race strategy is going to be just as important here as it is in Indianapolis and you can’t say that about every track..
SARAH FISHER (No. 15 Walker Racing Olds Dallara) – This track is very flat, but it is smooth. It’s hard to get around. You have to have a certain set-up on the racecars to get around the racetrack. That’s something we’ve been working on this morning and something we constantly need to work on.
ROBBIE BUHL (No. 24 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing/Team Purex Infiniti G Force) – I’ve been down here before, but I’ve never raced here. I’ve been down here probably five, six years ago with some Indy Lights guys and spent a little bit of time on the track. It’s a great facility. The one thing about this track is it’s fast, it’s flat, it’s wide, so it’s going to be challenging and you’re going to have to be on top of everything you do out there. It will produce some good racing. That’s for sure. It really will. All the teams and drivers are going to have to be aware of everything that happens here because everything is exaggerated just with it being so flat, so fast when it comes to dirty air from other cars, which way the winds blowing. It will be exciting.
AIRTON DARE (No. 88 Team Xtreme 1-800-BAR NOTE/switchboard.com Olds G Force) – It’s really nice. I’ve been here before with the Indy Lights and I always love this racetrack. With the IRL cars and having a bit more horsepower, it’s a lot more fun. Most of the places we go, the tracks are really rough … there’s a lot of bad bumps around. This place is fantastic. It doesn’t have any bumps around. The track is really smooth and its just the way that the drivers would like.
BUDDY LAZIER (No. 91 Helmgarn Racing Tae-Bo/Coors Light/Delta Faucet Olds Dallara) – I think the track is very, very fast. It’s very tricky because it’s so flat. It’s unlike a lot of other racetracks in that it’s flat and very fast, very wide. I think it’s a challenging racetrack. You need to really stay on top of your car and on top of your driving, because you’re constantly in a four-wheel drift. Having said that, I think its going to be a great place for us to race. I think it’s going to be a very exciting race, one that anybody in the field could win.
STAN WATTLES (No. 92 Helmgarn Racing Olds Dallara) – I actually drove here back in the inaugural race here which was the SCCA National Regional through the road course, about five or six years ago, and I never got a chance to run the full oval. I’ve run the Toyota Atlantics here when they ran down here on part of the oval. Now, finally, I’m getting to run the track as a true oval, and it is a blast. It’s a lot of fun. It’s pretty tricky when it comes to weather. Wind plays a lot of factor with these cars on this track, but it’s a great facility and it’s a lot of fun.