IRL: Pikes Peak: Kelley Racing Saturday report

FOUNTAIN, Colorado (June 14, 2003)---Bad weather put an end to today's events at Pikes Peak International Raceway and the starting grid has now been set by today's combined practice times. Despite the bad weather in the late afternoon, two...

FOUNTAIN, Colorado (June 14, 2003)---Bad weather put an end to today's events at Pikes Peak International Raceway and the starting grid has now been set by today's combined practice times. Despite the bad weather in the late afternoon, two practice sessions were held earlier in the day with Kelley Racing driver Scott Sharp, No. 8 Delphi entry, turning a fastest combined lap of 20.2378 seconds/177.885 mph which was tenth quickest overall. Al Unser Jr., driver of the No. 31 Corteco entry, posted his best speed of the day in the afternoon session with a time of 20.8314 seconds/172.816 mph, good for 20th position overall.

Practice will resume tomorrow at 9:30 a.m.; weather permitting and the green flag for the Honda Indy 225 will drop Sunday at 2:00 p.m. MT with the 225-lap race set to air live on ABC.

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

"In this mornings practice session we ran a lot of fuel because it's a two-day show and we wanted to get some full fuel runs done for the race. So in the first session I didn't have anything less than 25 gallons of fuel in the car and spent my time doing that. Now, near the end of the session we let the fuel run down to match the tires but I still had old tires on so that was the situation in our first session. This afternoon, we made some changes to the car and we ran the fuel down since it was before qualifying and I never got the car comfortable to run wide open around the track so my lap times just weren't there. So it's a shame that it rained on the fans and us but hopefully we've done some full tank running that will help us in the race. Although I've run reasonably well here, I've never started from this far back. So it's going to be really tough for us since we're so far back. Those first few laps are going to be really critical for us to try and stay on the lead lap and not to get a lap down and not to get caught up in any accidents. We're just going to really have to use our heads tomorrow."

Saturday Combined Practice
Position: 20th
Speed: 172.816 mph
Time: 20.8314 seconds

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

"We're pretty pleased with the day today. We had a good test here earlier in the month so we made some changes to the car today based on what we thought the next step from testing would be and it backfired on us a bit in the first practice session. But the Delphi team rebounded nicely in the second practice session and got ourselves down to a pretty good speed and we're only two-tenths of a second off the fastest time, yet we're 10th so it's a very competitive field. We've made some good steps and gained quite a bit of time there at the end of the session and we had actually made a few more changes for qualifying that we think might have even moved us closer. We did some long runs when we were here at the test so hopefully it will payoff for us tomorrow."

Saturday Combined Practice
Position: 10th
Speed: 177.885 mph
Time: 20.2378 seconds

Al Unser Jr. Fast Facts

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

Unser Jr. is currently second in the IndyCar Series points standings with 151 points.

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 will be 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 is currently in sixth place in the IndyCar Series with 130 points.

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