IRL: Ray quickest in busy test day at Atlanta

ATLANTA, Tuesday, April 10, 2001 -Defending Atlanta 500 Classic champion Greg Ray was quickest among six drivers April 10 during the early stages of a two-day private test at Atlanta Motor Speedway, posting a top time of 25.21 seconds on the ...

ATLANTA, Tuesday, April 10, 2001 -Defending Atlanta 500 Classic champion Greg Ray was quickest among six drivers April 10 during the early stages of a two-day private test at Atlanta Motor Speedway, posting a top time of 25.21 seconds on the 1.5-mile oval.

1999 Indy Racing champion Ray turned his best lap in the No. 2 Johns Manville/Menards Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone. Team Menard worked on solving an engine problem that plagued Ray in the season opener at Phoenix and in the race April 8 at Miami.

Ray, from Plano, Texas, won the MBNA Pole last July at Atlanta with a lap of 24.988 seconds.

"We haven't really worked on speed yet," Ray said. "This afternoon we did 221 laps straight, a full race, complete with hot fuel pit stops and everything. We are just trying to keep the problem from happening to us again."

The private test April 10-11 includes testing under the lights both nights in preparation for the Atlanta 500 Classic on April 28 at AMS, the first of three night races on the 2001 Indy Racing Northern Light Series schedule. Scott Goodyear was second fastest at 25.44 in the #51 Excite @Home Indy Race Car Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone driven by 1998 Indianapolis 500 winner Eddie Cheever Jr. in the Indy Racing Northern Light Series. Goodyear is the test driver for Cheever Indy Racing.

Defending Northern Light Cup champion Buddy Lazier was third fastest at 25.70 in the No. 91 Tae-Bo/Coors Light/Delta Faucet Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone.

Lazier's teammate, Stan Wattles, was fourth overall at 26.27 in the No. 92 Hemelgarn Racing Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone.

Rookie Felipe Giaffone, third in the Northern Light Cup point standings, was fifth fastest at 26.41 in the No. 21 Hollywood G Force/Oldsmobile/Firestone. USAC standout Ed Carpenter turned a best lap of 27.10 seconds in the No. 4 Pennzoil Panther Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone normally driven by Northern Light Cup points leader Sam Hornish Jr.

Hornish, 1999 Atlanta 500 Classic winner Scott Sharp and two-time series runner-up Davey Hamilton are expected to participate in the test either the evening of April 10 or April 11.

Testing will continue tonight and from 9 a.m.-10 p.m. on April 11 at AMS.

-IRNLS/IMS-

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Greg Ray , Felipe Giaffone , Buddy Lazier , Davey Hamilton , Scott Sharp , Scott Goodyear , Stan Wattles , Sam Hornish Jr. , Ed Carpenter