IRL: Nazareth: Friday notebook

Target duo tops speed chart at Nazareth. NAZARETH, Pa., Friday, Aug. 22, 2003 -- Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammates Tomas Scheckter and Scott Dixon led IndyCar Series practice session Aug. 22 at Nazareth Speedway. Scheckter posted the...

Target duo tops speed chart at Nazareth.

NAZARETH, Pa., Friday, Aug. 22, 2003 -- Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammates Tomas Scheckter and Scott Dixon led IndyCar Series practice session Aug. 22 at Nazareth Speedway.

Scheckter posted the fastest lap in his No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Panoz G Force/Toyota/Firestone at 19.8131 seconds, 169.888 mph. Dixon was second fastest at 19.9223, 168.956 mph in his No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Panoz G Force/Toyota/Firestone.


At 11:10 a.m., during the first practice session, Jaques Lazier, driver of the No. 2 Menards/Johns Manville Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone, spun in Turn 3 and made contact with the outside retaining wall in Turn 4 with the left side of the car. The car suffered moderate damage to the left side. Lazier was uninjured. Team Menard officials said they will not compete this weekend.

CHRIS SUMNER (General Manager, Team Menard): "We're going to regroup for Chicago. We've had a bad couple of weeks and just need to regroup. We'll do some testing this week and be ready for Chicago. It's been a tough few weeks on the team."

JAQUES LAZIER: "Honestly, I'm going to have to go back and ask the engineers if they noticed anything. We were warming up the car, I wasn't pushing it at all and came off the corner easy. I never jumped on the throttle, just came off the corner, and the thing swapped ends on me. It's not the way I wanted to start the weekend, and I'm very upset for the guys. "



GIL DE FERRAN (No. 6 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Toyota/Firestone): "It was OK. Certainly, the conditions are different than when we tested here a couple weeks ago. Most of the day we spent working on race setup. It's all right. We tried to learn a few lessons. I suppose they will translate to Sunday. Some lessons are valid and some are not."

SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Panoz G Force/Toyota/Firestone): "It was very good. I think we cruised around and tried to find little things. I think Tomas went to sticker (tires) there at the end and actually found some more as well with some setup changes. We just stayed on ours, and we didn't really get too far this morning. In the afternoon, I think the track was a little greasier and I think we picked up a bit. I think Team Target has a good car this weekend. Tomas (Scheckter) is right up there. Hopefully, it can be a 1-2 finish for both of us."

TOMAS SCHECKTER (No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Panoz G Force/Toyota/ Firestone): "The day was pretty good. I got out there and made a couple of changes, and it was good. Sometimes when the car is good, you drive it quick. Normally, this is not my sort of track, it's my teammate's track. I'm pleased to have gone that quick today."

SAM HORNISH JR. (No. 4 Pennzoil Panther Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "We did a lot of the race car racing stuff today, not too much on the qualifying run. We are pretty happy with where we are right now. The car is pretty consistent. We just have to work on it a little bit in traffic. I have a one-track mind when I am in the car. All I think about is how to make the car better, how to go faster. I don't think about all of that other stuff. I would drive myself nuts if I did. I just told everybody that next year is next year and that (driving for Panther) is one of the things I won't be doing. And while it was a tough decision, we have to focus on winning this race and winning the championship. It is hard to have to tell those guys that I wasn't going to be back, and it weighed on my mind a little bit during the Kentucky weekend, but when I am in the car, that (racing) is all that I am thinking about."

HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Toyota/Firestone): "We had the chance to work on both the qualifying and race setups today, and I think the Marlboro Team Penske car is handling fine. We still have some work to do on the car, but we're not too far off. Tomorrow we'll continue working on our qualifying setup in the morning. Hopefully, we'll get a good, clean qualifying run and be in solid shape for the race."

TONY KANAAN (No. 11 Team 7-Eleven Dallara/Honda/Firestone): "We're not real happy with the car, but we'll get it better for tomorrow. We tried different things, and it's not working out right now. That's why we tested a race setup today. You have to have a consistent car all the way around here. We try to make the car as good as it can get in every corner. It's just two corners anyway; you can't count this one (the dogleg after the start/finish line) as a corner. The heat is not really a factor. It's the same for everybody. We came here and tested, and it was the same conditions: very humid. And actually it's going to get cooler, I heard, by tomorrow and Sunday."

SCOTT SHARP (No. 8 Delphi Dallara/Toyota/Firestone): "Interesting day for the Delphi team. You know, it's the common theme. When you haven't had the chance to test and most of the other guys have, you've got to try some things that work and some things that won't. We're learning stuff, and hopefully, we can put all our heads together and come up with a better setup for tomorrow. I mean Al's (Unser Jr.) doing the same thing and learning some things. Some things are working and some of them aren't. Hopefully, we can all get together and have a better car for tomorrow. It's a lot different for us coming here for the first time with the '03 car, and it's about 40 degrees warmer ambient or maybe more. Certainly the cars produced a lot more downforce last year because the IRL took some downforce away from the cars to begin with, let alone with the temperature increase, and so I think the car was a little more settled than it is right now. It's a little cooler being in the car than when you're sitting in the pits you feel a little more heat. Luckily my team gave me a little fan."


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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Tomas Scheckter , Jaques Lazier  , Scott Dixon , Chip Ganassi
Teams Team Penske , Chip Ganassi Racing