PHOENIX, Arizona (March 22, 2003)---Kelley Racing completed qualifying for tomorrow's Purex Dial Indy 200 at Phoenix International Raceway (PIR). PIR is legendary for being a tough track and today it lived up to its' reputation. Temperature ...
PHOENIX, Arizona (March 22, 2003)---Kelley Racing completed qualifying for tomorrow's Purex Dial Indy 200 at Phoenix International Raceway (PIR). PIR is legendary for being a tough track and today it lived up to its' reputation. Temperature changes and changing track surface conditions were the biggest challenges and the Kelley Racing Corteco and Delphi teams did their best to adapt. The team ended up with an 11th place effort for driver Scott Sharp in the No. 8 Delphi entry and a 20th place for driver Unser Jr. in the No. 31 Corteco entry.
Today's top qualifying effort came from Tony Kanaan with a quick time of 20.1667 seconds/ 178.512 mph with Felipe Giaffone qualifying second at 20.2513 seconds/ 177.766 mph. Scott Dixon rounded out the top three with a time of 20.2633 seconds/177.661 mph.
The green flag for the Purex Dial Indy 200 will drop Sunday at 1:30 p.m. local time with the 200-lap race set to air live on ABC or one if their sister stations, ESPN/ESPN2.
Al Unser Jr. -- #31 Corteco/Dallara/Toyota/Firestone
"I just wish we would have had a better qualifying session. The Corteco car was really loose on me so we were just basically hanging on. I'm very proud of the Corteco team; they've worked their tails off this weekend. We qualified my back-up car because the primary car was just not getting through the corners, so we made the switch this morning to the back-up car and that is a lot of work for the crew. It's a long race and we're going to have to try a different pit strategy to try to gain position. It's extremely tough to pass here but we're just going to have to go out and give it our best shot."
Speed: 171.001 mph
Time: 21.0525 seconds
Speed: 169.611 mph
Time: 21.2251 seconds
Scott Sharp -- #8 Delphi/Dallara/Toyota/Firestone
"You hear drivers talk about a tough one-mile oval and Phoenix is definitely it. The temperature is rising, there is other rubber on the track from different series and it really becomes a challenge going into qualifying to catch your set-up just right. We weren't quite as fast in qualifying as we were in the morning session, but it was still a good time. We've spent a lot of this weekend working on our car for the race and hopefully that will pay off for us tomorrow."
Speed: 175.463 mph
Time: 20.5172 seconds
Speed: 174.814 mph
* Kelley Racing drivers have made 122 starts, scored seven victories and eight poles in IRL competition.
* Tomorrow will be Al Unser Jr.'s 310th career start, his 37th IRL start and his second season with Kelley Racing. At Phoenix, Unser Jr. has 16 total starts, nine top-ten, six top-five and three second place finishes. Unser is currently 13th in the points standings with 17 points.
* Tomorrow will be Scott Sharp's 68th IRL start and his sixth season with Kelley Racing. Sharp has one victory in Phoenix, 1998, and a second place finish in 1996.