IRL: Pikes Peak: Kelley Racing race report

FOUNTAIN, Colorado (June 15, 2003)---Today was a tough day for both Kelley Racing drivers because, as usual, the one-mile oval at Pikes Peak International Raceway was a formidable opponent. Driver Scott Sharp in the No. 8 Delphi car started the...

FOUNTAIN, Colorado (June 15, 2003)---Today was a tough day for both Kelley Racing drivers because, as usual, the one-mile oval at Pikes Peak International Raceway was a formidable opponent. Driver Scott Sharp in the No. 8 Delphi car started the race in 10th position and worked hard trying to stay with the leaders. As the drivers know, on a one-mile oval the lead pack comes around quickly and it's tough when you don't start up front to hold on to your position and not get a lap down. By the end of the race only five cars of 16 running were on the lead lap. Both Sharp and Unser Jr., who started 20th, finished two laps down. But despite the tough day, both drivers collected points and the cars were rolled back on the transporters, which is always a positive on a tough track like Pikes Peak. Today's winner was Scott Dixon, while Tony Kanaan finished second and Gil deFerran finished third.

The Kelley Racing team will now return to Indianapolis and prepare for a test at Kentucky Speedway on June 20. Their next race event will be the SunTrust Indy Challenge on June 28 at 8:00 p.m. ET in Richmond, VA.

Al Unser Jr. -- #31 Corteco/Dallara/Toyota/Firestone

"We didn't have as good a day as we wanted to with the Corteco car. But we finished the race, we got some points and we learned some more about the Dallara chassis. My Corteco guys gave me great pit stops and a great car to drive out there and I really think we got the most out of it that we could. We'll go on to Richmond and try to figure out some of the short track problems we've been having lately. We still don't have a strong handle on the short tracks. I'd like to congratulate Scott Dixon and the Target team on a job well done and Tony Kanaan, he's right there in second place again so I'm sure he's got a good point lead. So we've got to do something to stop Tony, because they seem to be the ones finishing right there consistently."

Start: 20th
Finish: 14th
Status: Running
Laps Led: 0
Laps Completed: 223 of 225
Points Earned: 16 for 167 total

Scott Sharp -- #8 Delphi/Dallara/Toyota/Firestone

"Overall it was a tough day. It was really tough at the beginning; we tried to hang in there with the rest of the field because we had great fuel mileage with our Toyota engine. We really wanted a yellow and because we didn't get one we just lost too much time at the end of the first stint and that caused us to get a lap down and we just couldn't make it up. We worked all day on the car and at the end we had a top-five car -- I definitely could run with Gil De Ferran and the guys ahead of him. So yes, it ended up being disappointing but there was some definite positives."

Start: 10th
Finish: 11th
Status: Running
Laps Led: 0
Laps Completed: 223 of 225
Points Earned: 19 for 149 total

Al Unser Jr. Fast Facts

* This was Unser Jr.'s fourth start at Pikes Peak International Raceway, his 314th career start and his 41st IRL start.

*Unser Jr. has two top-ten finishes at PPIR in 2000 (10th) and 2002 (6th).

*His victory last weekend at Texas Motor Speedway was his 3rd 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 Fast Facts

*This was Sharp's eighth start at Pikes Peak International Raceway, his 72nd career start and his sixth season with Kelley Racing. In 2002, he started fifth and finished fifth.

*At PPIR Sharp has three top-ten finishes and four top-five starts.

*Sharp's victory in April at Twin Ring Motegi, Japan was his eighth career victory.

-www.kelleyracing.com-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Al Unser Jr. , Scott Sharp , Gil de Ferran , Scott Dixon , Tony Kanaan