IRL: Phoenix, Homestead private testing report

PHOENIX, Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2001 - High winds kept three Indy Racing Northern Light Series teams on their toes during a private test session at Phoenix International Raceway Wednesday; while across the country, a two-day private test ...

PHOENIX, Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2001 - High winds kept three Indy Racing Northern Light Series teams on their toes during a private test session at Phoenix International Raceway Wednesday; while across the country, a two-day private test session concluded at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Northern Light Series champion Buddy Lazier recorded 127 laps at Phoenix's 1-mile oval with an unofficial fastest lap of 20.9 seconds. "It's been a successful test," said Lazier. "The wind late in the day changed our strategy a little bit, but it's been a very productive day." Rookie Felipe Giaffone, the driver for Treadway-Hubbard Racing, turned 190 laps with an unofficial fastest lap of 21.3 seconds. Driving for PDM Racing, Scott Mayer and Jeret Schroeder also made laps. Lazier's teammate for 2001 Stan Wattles also turned laps Wednesday. Close to 20 drivers will ascend on Phoenix International Raceway Friday and Saturday for the annual Test in the West. On the East Coast, Shigeaki Hattori continued to improve in the Cunningham Racing car. "We've had a good test," said Hattori, a 1998 Indy Lights winner at Homestead. "We've gained good data and ran around 193 mph yesterday. Today the conditions were different. There's more temperature, and when the temperature goes up, we lose downforce. Our goal today was to work on long runs." This is the first year of solo car ownership for Clayton Cunningham, who has a history of successful IMSA sports car teams in addition to partnering on several Northern Light Series teams. Hattori is entering his second season of Indy Racing competition. His best-career Northern Light Series finish is seventh at the season-ending Excite 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. Kelley Racing drivers Scott Sharp and Mark Dismore, and Bradley Motorsports' Buzz Calkins also tested. Calkins escaped injury Wednesday morning in a Turn 4 crash shortly after he recorded a fast lap of 199.8 mph. "We were having a great test," said David Cripps, Bradley Motorsports engineer. "It's unfortunate. We were literally two hours from packing up today. At least Buzz is fine." Cripps said the team will return for the Feb. 23-24 open test at Homestead Miami Speedway.

-IRNLS/IMS-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Buzz Calkins , Felipe Giaffone , Shigeaki Hattori , Buddy Lazier , Scott Sharp , Mark Dismore , Jeret Schroeder , Scott Mayer , Stan Wattles