Nazareth, PA. (August 24, 2003)--Today was a day of patience for the Kelley Racing team on the tough one-mile oval of Nazareth Speedway. Nazareth is historically a very difficult track to pass on and today it was no different. Al Unser Jr.,...
Nazareth, PA. (August 24, 2003)--Today was a day of patience for the Kelley Racing team on the tough one-mile oval of Nazareth Speedway. Nazareth is historically a very difficult track to pass on and today it was no different. Al Unser Jr., driver of the No. 31 Corteco entry, had a car that was handling decently but most importantly he was able to make up four spots in the pits on his first stop. That was key for Unser Jr. making a run from 13th to his eventual finish position of sixth. For Scott Sharp, driver of the No. 8 Delphi entry, he was also patient today but had a bit more handling issues that kept him from really making any type of run. Sharp felt lucky that he was able to hang on and bring home a finish of 12th today on the tricky oval. Helio Castroneves won today's event while Sam Hornish Jr. finished second and Bryan Herta finished third. The Kelley Racing team will now return to Indianapolis to prepare for their next race event on September 5 in Chicago.
Al Unser Jr. -- #31 Corteco/Dallara/Toyota/Firestone
"We just had to play the patience game and it was very difficult to pass. I think I might have passed one car all day and my Corteco crew passed the rest in the pits. They had great pit stops and I'm really proud of the crew. Now we're off to Chicago and to some of the tracks the team does better at so I'm looking forward to that. Today was tough, your car had to be spot-on to handle the speed and my car just wasn't quite as equal and I think that's why Kenny (Brack) got the jump on me on the last restart."
* Today was Unser Jr.'s 321st career start and his 48th IRL start.
*Unser Jr. is currently sixth in the IndyCar Series points standings with 291 points.
*Nazareth Record--In 2002 Unser Jr. started 21st and finished 12th. Unser Jr. has 13 previous starts at Nazareth as a Champ Car driver. Of those starts he has five top-five finishes and seven top-ten finishes.
*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
"It was a rough day for the Delphi team. We struggled all weekend long trying to develop a set-up in only three practices, but it just wasn't enough time for us. Our team has excelled on bigger tracks all season long, and though I love to race these small tracks, I'm glad they're over for the season."
*Today was Sharp's 79th career start, his 71st consecutive IndyCar start--an IRL record-- and his sixth season with Kelley Racing.
*Nazareth Record--In 2002, Sharp scored a victory at the inaugural event after starting 11th.
*Sharp is currently in ninth place in the IndyCar Series with 262 points.
*Sharp's victory in April at Twin Ring Motegi, Japan was his eighth career victory.