IRL: Pikes Peak: Kelly Racing qualifying report

Unser Jr. to start 12TH in Radisson Indy 225 at Pikes Peak International Raceway. FOUNTAIN, CO ~ Al Unser Jr. will start the Corteco/Bryant Kelley Racing Chevrolet Dallara from the outside of the sixth row Sunday in the Indy Racing League...

Unser Jr. to start 12TH in Radisson Indy 225 at Pikes Peak International Raceway.

FOUNTAIN, CO ~ Al Unser Jr. will start the Corteco/Bryant Kelley Racing Chevrolet Dallara from the outside of the sixth row Sunday in the Indy Racing League Radisson Indy 225, the seventh event of the 2002 season at Pikes Peak International Raceway.

"We just ran out of time to get the car completely trimmed for qualifying," said Unser Jr., "Scott (Sharp) our team mate got farther along in that last practice session than we did. We were headed in right direction with our setup but were just a little short when we went out for qualifying."

Unser was 22nd in the order of the 24 cars vying for the top starting spot. He followed Sharp on the track hoping to equal or better his teammates fifth place time.

"We ran wide open all the way around," Unser explained. "The car had great balance but we had too much drag. We had hoped to start closer to the front of the field but it doesn't really matter where we start, we have a great race car and will be able to take the #7 Corteco Bryant to the front.

"The biggest danger of a one-mile track like Pikes Peak (International Raceway) is staying on the lead lap when you aren't starting right up front. But this crew is motivated after our second at Texas last week to improve our finish by one spot. We will race smart and stick to our race strategy. My plan for the race is to give the whole Unser family our first win here at PPIR to complete the success we have always enjoyed in the Pikes Peak Auto Hill Climb."

Unser's two previous PPIR events, 2000 and 200l, netted the Albuquerque native 11th and 10th place finishes respectively.

"A win in the Radisson Indy 225 would have special meaning with race day also being Father's Day," Al Jr. concluded. "Not only is my Dad going to be at the track, but my son Joey and daughter Shannon are here plus other special friends and family that would add great excitement to a victory celebration."

The green flag will fly at 2:00 PM (MDT) with live television coverage on ABC.

-kr-

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Al Unser Jr.