IRL: Phoenix Friday practice

For Immediate Release STEWART FASTEST IN OPENING PRACTICE FOR SUNDAY'S PHOENIX 200 PHOENIX, Friday, March 21, 1997 -- Tony Stewart reeled off the fastest lap at 165.983 miles an hour Friday during the opening practice...

For Immediate Release

STEWART FASTEST IN OPENING PRACTICE FOR SUNDAY'S PHOENIX 200

PHOENIX, Friday, March 21, 1997 -- Tony Stewart reeled off the fastest lap at 165.983 miles an hour Friday during the opening practice sessions for Sunday's $1,146,400 Phoenix 200, the fourth event of the 1996-97 Indy Racing League season.

Stewart piloted the same Glidden/Menard Special G Force/Oldsmobile Aurora on Friday that carried him to the pole position for the Indy 200 at Walt Disney World Presented by Aurora, the January race that unveiled the IRL's new cars for the first time.

Arie Luyendyk was second fastest Friday at the one-mile P.I.R. oval with a lap at 164.009 miles an hour in the Treadway Racing/WavePhore G Force/Aurora, followed by Jim Guthrie at 163.547 in the Blueprint Racing Dallara/Aurora. Rookie Kenny Brack, bidding for his first start in Indianapolis-style cars, was fourth fastest at 163.347 in the Monsoon Galles Racing G Force/Aurora.

In all, 22 drivers took the track, running 1,579 laps during the two sessions.

Stewart set his fastest lap in the morning session, then came back to lead the afternoon practice with a lap at 164.865.

"We missed on some things after lunch," Stewart said. "...tried some new things with the tires and screwed everything up. We spent the last 20 minutes of practice just getting back to where we were. With the temperature the way it is, speeds will be down. These speeds don't pay anything today."

Two accidents occurred during the day but neither driver was injured. Veteran Roberto Guerrero and rookie Affonso Giaffone hit the wall in separate incidents at the Turn 2 crossover during the final session.

Track temperatures reached 130 degrees, according to Firestone tire engineers.

Saturday's IRL qualifying session will be televised by Speedvision at Noon Phoenix time (2 p.m. EST).

Sunday's race will be televised live by ABC Sports and also aired live by the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network. Race start is 2 p.m. Phoenix time (4 p.m. EST).

...97IRL-13...

Friday Practice                        :------Session-----: :--Event
Combined--:   Date
 R Car Driver                C/E/T    Laps    Time   Speed Laps    Time
Speed   Best
 1  2  Stewart, Tony         G/A/F      41  21.836 164.865   88  21.689
165.983  3/21/97
 2  5  Luyendyk, Arie        G/A/F      50  21.938 164.099   91  21.938
164.099  3/21/97
 3 27  Guthrie, Jim          D/A/F      31  22.012 163.547   77  22.012
163.547  3/21/97
 4  4  Brack, Kenny          G/A/G      64  22.039 163.347  147  22.039
163.347  3/21/97
 5  1  Sharp, Scott          G/A/G      22  22.061 163.184   27  22.061
163.184  3/21/97
 6  3  Buhl, Robbie          G/A/F      51  22.178 162.323  112  22.178
162.323  3/21/97
 7 16  Schmidt, Sam          D/A/F      31  22.366 160.959   79  22.366
160.959  3/21/97
 8  6  Goodyear, Scott       G/A/F      51  22.383 160.836  106  22.352
161.059  3/21/97
 9 12  Calkins, Buzz         G/A/G      41  22.424 160.542   82  22.320
161.290  3/21/97
10 17  Giaffone, Affonso     D/A/G      27  22.427 160.521   79  22.427
160.521  3/21/97
11 77  Gregoire, Stephan     G/A/G      32  22.503 159.979   67  22.503
159.979  3/21/97
12 18  Paul, John            D/A/G      36  22.520 159.858   79  22.520
159.858  3/21/97
13 14  Hamilton, Davey       G/A/G      34  22.528 159.801   48  22.528
159.801  3/21/97
14 21  Guerrero, Roberto     D/I/G       4  22.668 158.814   33  22.668
158.814  3/21/97
15 91  Lazier, Buddy         D/I/F      31  22.836 157.646   47  22.593
159.341  3/21/97
16 10  Groff, Mike           G/I/F      42  22.892 157.260   83  22.892
157.260  3/21/97
17 51  Cheever Jr, Eddie     G/A/G      33  23.047 156.203   65  22.961
156.788  3/21/97
18 30  Schroeder, Jeret      G/A/G      50  23.120 155.709   99  22.817
157.777  3/21/97
19 40  Miller, Jack          D/I/F       3  44.662  80.605   67  23.327
154.328  3/21/97
20 33  Velez, Fermin         D/A/G       0   0.000   0.000   75  22.301
161.428  3/21/97
21 22  Greco, Marco          D/A/G       0   0.000   0.000    8  24.141
149.124  3/21/97
22 50  Roe, Billy            D/A/F       0   0.000   0.000   20  25.359
141.961  3/21/97
       Total Laps:                     674                 1579

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Tony Stewart , Arie Luyendyk , Jim Guthrie , Roberto Guerrero , Kenny Brack