IRL: Richmond: Kelley Racing qualifying report

Kelley Racing set for Saturday night shootout. Kelley Racing is set for their Saturday night shootout at the shortest track on the Indy Racing League schedule, Richmond International Raceway. Scott Sharp and Al Unser Jr. qualified 6th and ...

Kelley Racing set for Saturday night shootout.

Kelley Racing is set for their Saturday night shootout at the shortest track on the Indy Racing League schedule, Richmond International Raceway. Scott Sharp and Al Unser Jr. qualified 6th and 13th, respectively for tomorrow night's SunTrust Indy Challenge on the ¾-mile oval.

Sharp is currently ninth in the 2002 Drivers Championship and is looking for his second win of the season. He qualified sixth for tomorrow's event with a speed of 164.790 mph.

"We made some minor changes to the Delphi car before qualifications and it gave us our fastest lap of the day," said Sharp. "This track is so physical that it's critical to keep balance in the car. It's possible to go 80 to 90 laps here on fuel, so if you have a strong car you'll be able to pull away from the field. This is the most physical place we run. You work harder here than at Indy --- physically, but not mentally. This place is like a two hour roller coaster ride."

Unser agrees that Richmond is a physical track, but it also provides a great show for the fans. His fastest speed during qualifying was 162.736 mph, which put him 13th in tomorrow's grid. Unser is currently fifth in the Drivers Championship and is looking forward to earning his first victory of the season.

"We tested here and thought we were pretty good, but when we got here some of the guys were a little faster," said Unser. "We'll be okay for the race. We have a good car, but we just didn't qualify as well as we would have liked. We had an understeer we thought we had fixed, but didn't. This track is what it's all about. It is tight and fast. We run really close to each other here, which makes for great racing for the fans. The Corteco/Bryant team did a great job. We'll be fine tomorrow night."

The SunTrust Indy Challenge will be broadcast live on ESPN and the IMS Radio Network at 7:30 p.m. EDT Saturday, June 29.

-kr-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Al Unser Jr. , Scott Sharp