Richmond, VA. (June 25, 2004)--Rain played the lead role in today's efforts to get in practice and qualifying for tomorrow's Indy SunTrust Challenge at Richmond International Raceway. Morning practice was abbreviated by moisture and then practice...
Richmond, VA. (June 25, 2004)--Rain played the lead role in today's efforts to get in practice and qualifying for tomorrow's Indy SunTrust Challenge at Richmond International Raceway. Morning practice was abbreviated by moisture and then practice resumed at 4:00 p.m. allowing both practice groups to get in the required green flag running time. Qualifying then started at 6:30 p.m. Scott Sharp, driver of the No. 8 Delphi car, posted a time of 16.1521-seconds/167.121 mph good for a 17th starting position. Sharp wasn't entirely pleased with their qualifying effort because the Delphi team had run much better in the practice sessions and had also tested well here earlier in the month. "We tried to make improvements to the car this afternoon but we just got it way too tight," explained Sharp. "It's disappointing because we had a fast car in the test and in practice."
Helio Castroneves will start from the pole for tomorrow's 250-lap event after posting a speed of 171.202 mph. Buddy Rice will start second with a speed of 170.782 mph and Mark Taylor will start third with a speed of 170.683 mph. The green flag will drop tomorrow evening at 7:55 p.m. ET and be shown live on ESPN2.
Scott Sharp, No. 8 Delphi/Dallara/Toyota/Firestone--- Quote
"We were just really, really tight. We were chasing the car a little bit. The Delphi guys and my engineer, Andy Borme, did a great job at the test here and we had a real fast car. This morning we were seventh quick and got very close to where we tested. We tried to improve the car for the afternoon session and that really didn't work, so we backed off those changes for qualifying and the car was just really too tight."
*This will be Sharp's fourth start at Richmond International Raceway, his 87th career start, his 79th consecutive IRL IndyCar start and his seventh season with Kelley Racing.
*In 2003 Sharp started 17th and finished 17th. In 2002, he started tenth and finished fifth, while in 2001 he started sixth and finished 21st after an accident.
*Sharp is currently in 13th place in the IndyCar Series standings with 90 points.
*Sharp's victory in April 2003 at Twin Ring Motegi, Japan was his eighth career victory.