IRL: Phoenix testing 97-02-25

For Immediate Release SHARP HITS 169.731 IN IRL'S "TEST IN THE WEST" PHOENIX, Tuesday, February 25, 1997 -- Scott Sharp, driving a G Force chassis for the first time, claimed the fastest speed on Day Two of the Indy Racing League's "Test...

For Immediate Release

SHARP HITS 169.731 IN IRL'S "TEST IN THE WEST"

PHOENIX, Tuesday, February 25, 1997 -- Scott Sharp, driving a G Force chassis for the first time, claimed the fastest speed on Day Two of the Indy Racing League's "Test in the West". Sharp's quick lap at 21.21 seconds, 169.731 miles per hour came at 3:56 p.m. The Conseco/AJ Foyt driver was the first to take a Dallara chassis on to the Phoenix International Raceway's one-mile oval on February 4, and today he became the first IRL driver to pilot both of the IRL's new chassis around the track.

SCOTT SHARP: "Things went really great this afternoon. We didn't get a chance to compare the cars really at all. Yesterday we ran five laps (with the Dallara) and had oil pressure problems. The G Force happened to have a fresh motor in it. Goodyear has been doing its homework and I think that may have more to do with it than anything. There's a lot that plays into it. I feel the Dallara can certainly be close to the G Force in overall lap time. If one car is a little easier on tires, if one car is more placeable on the racetrack...there's a lot that enters into it. We're going to Indy and run both cars and the faster one, we'll race with. We'll go to Dallas and run both cars, and the faster one we'll race with."

AJ FOYT, JR: "Conseco is one of my sponsors and the other is Power Team. They're paying me money to try to win races. I'm going to try to win races, whether it's with a Dallara or a G Force. Today is the first day we brought it from the shop and tested. I think there's a little bit more left in it. With any luck at all, we can be back in the 20-second bracket. Both cars are great cars, sanitary cars. When you look at the Conseco car and the other Conseco car, if you don't know what you're looking for, you can't tell the difference. It wasn't in the budget to buy these cars, but I didn't want to get caught." (About running the G Force chassis at Phoenix) "We haven't even run this car a hundred miles. Tomorrow will tell the tale of what we're going to do." *** IRL rookie Sam Schmidt took his first laps in an Indianapolis-style car today, and then completed three of the four phases of his rookie test. Schmidt won the Formula Ford 2000 race here last year during the Indy Racing League's Dura-Lube 200 race weekend. Schmidt's teammate Jim Guthrie was fourth-quick at the Desert Mile today.

JIM GUTHRIE: "165,166 is not too far out of the question. We're taking small steps and whittling away at it. I'm real happy with 164 with the limited amount of miles we have so far. The guys have done a great job setting up the car. They make me look real good." *** Race fans can get their first up-close-and-personal look at the new IRL cars on Thursday, February 27, during a special Fan Appreciation day at Phoenix International Raceway. Admission to the track is free, and the main entrance (Gate 7) will be open from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. From noon until 1 p.m. fans will be allowed on to the track surface at the start/finish line where the IRL cars will be displayed.

TOP UNOFFICIAL TIMES FROM USAC TIMING AND SCORING

CAR DRIVER CAR NAME C/E/T LAPS TIME SPEED 1T Scott Sharp Conseco AJ Foyt Racing G/A/G 63 21.21 169.731 2T Tony Stewart Glidden/Menard/Special G/A/F 82 21.29 169.093 4 R Kenny Brack Monsoon Galles Racing G/A/G 130 21.65 166.282 27 R Jim Guthrie Blueprint Racing D/A/F 74 21.76 165.441 51 Eddie Cheever, Jr. FirstPlus Team Cheever G/A/G 94 21.86 164.680 6 Scott Goodyear Treadway Racing/NORTEL G/A/F 74 21.88 164.534 18 John Paul, Jr. Tnemec Earl's Performance Products V-Line D/A/G 46 21.97 163.860 12 Buzz Calkins Bradley Motorsports G/A/G 86 22.12 162.749 33 Fermin Velez Mi-Jack Scandia Alta Xcel Royal Purple D/A/G 86 22.16 162.454 5 Arie Luyendyk Treadway Racing/WavePhore G/A/F 86 22.17 162.381 21 Roberto Guerrero Pennzoil Racing D/I/G 80 22.20 162.162 10 Mike Groff Jonathan Byrd's Cafeteria Bryant Heating&Cooling G/I/F 52 22.49 160.071 22 Marco Greco Int'l Sports Ltd/Scandia/Alta/Xcel/Royal Purple D/A/G 117 22.55 159.645 30 R Jeret Schroeder McCormack Motorsports G/A/G 91 22.81 157.825 91 Buddy Lazier Delta Faucet-Montana-Hemelgarn Racing D/I/F 7 23.04 156.250 16 R Sam Schmidt Blueprint Racing D/A/F 90 23.71 151.834

Chassis Legend: D-Dallara; G-G Force Engine Legend: A-Oldsmobile Aurora; I-Nissan Infiniti Tire Legend: F-Firestone; G-Goodyear

...97TEST-28...

For ticket information to the March 21-23 Indy Racing League Phoenix 200 call 602/252-2227

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Tony Stewart , Buzz Calkins , Eddie Cheever , Buddy Lazier , Scott Sharp , Arie Luyendyk , Jim Guthrie , Scott Goodyear , Jeret Schroeder , Roberto Guerrero , Kenny Brack , Sam Schmidt , Fermin Velez , John Paul