IRL: Michigan: Kelley Racing qualifying quotes

BROOKLYN, Mich (July 26, 2003) Today's qualifying for the Firestone Indy 400 at Michigan International Speedway played out well for the Kelley Racing team with both drivers qualifying in the top ten. Driver Al Unser Jr., driver of the No. 31 ...

BROOKLYN, Mich (July 26, 2003) Today's qualifying for the Firestone Indy 400 at Michigan International Speedway played out well for the Kelley Racing team with both drivers qualifying in the top ten. Driver Al Unser Jr., driver of the No. 31 Corteco entry, put together a quick lap that was good for fifth on tomorrow's starting grid while his teammate Scott Sharp, driver of the No. 8 Delphi entry, put together a fast lap that was good for 10th on the starting grid. Both drivers are looking forward to tomorrow's 200 lap event on the 2-mile oval of MIS and have commented that the starting position isn't the most important one in a long race like the Firestone Indy 400, but being there at the end is what really matters. Tomas Scheckter posted today's fastest lap at a speed of 222.450 mph while his teammate Scott Dixon qualified in the second position with a speed of 222.425 mph and Helio Castroneves rounded out the top three with a speed of 221.853 mph. The green flag for the Firestone Indy 400 will drop Sunday at 3:00 p.m. ET with the 200-lap race set to air live on ABC.

Al Unser Jr. -- #31 Corteco/Dallara/Toyota/Firestone

"It is important to start up front here at Michigan but in the IndyCar Series if you have a good handling race car and good strategy. you can win the race from anywhere. We made some changes to the Corteco car after the morning session and they seem to have worked well. All today shows is that the Corteco/Bryant special is running good and handling good so we need to go out there and do a good job on race day. The Corteco crew has been doing a fantastic job; they've been getting me in and out of the pits like nobody else. I'm really proud of the Kelley Racing team and I'm looking forward to tomorrow's Firestone Indy 400."

Al Unser Jr. Fast Facts

This will be Unser Jr.'s 318th career start and his 45th IRL start.

Unser Jr. is currently sixth in the IndyCar Series points standings with 227 points.

Michigan Record--

In 2002 Unser Jr. did not compete at Michigan, Tony Renna substituted for Unser Jr. starting 10th and finishing fourth. Unser Jr. has one previous win at Michigan, in 1989 while driving in the Champ Car Series.

His victory on June 7 at Texas Motor Speedway was his third IndyCar Series victory and his 34th career victory.

Unser Jr. has won two Indianapolis 500's (1992, 1994) and two open-wheel championships (1990, 1994).

Scott Sharp -- #8 Delphi/Dallara/Toyota/Firestone

"I think we're in really good shape. We have been spending quite a bit of time working on our race car set up for tomorrow but I'm relatively pleased where we ended up today in qualifying. We qualified pretty decently. At Michigan, qualifying doesn't play as an important role since it's a 400-mile race so I am pleased to be starting in the top-ten. It's a long race so hopefully we'll stay clean and be there at the end."

Scott Sharp Fast Facts

This will be Sharp's 76th career start and his sixth season with Kelley Racing.

Michigan Record--

In 2002, he started 16th and finished ninth

Sharp is currently in seventh place in the IndyCar Series with 193 points.

Sharp's victory in April at Twin Ring Motegi, Japan was his eighth career victory.

-www.kelleyracing.com-

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Tomas Scheckter , Al Unser Jr. , Scott Sharp , Helio Castroneves , Scott Dixon