Robby McGehee opened his bid to clinch 1999 Pep Boys Indy Racing League Rookie of the Year honors today by clocking the 12th and 16th-quickest practice times in this afternoon's opening two practice sessions for Sunday's Mall.com 500 at Texas...
Robby McGehee opened his bid to clinch 1999 Pep Boys Indy Racing League Rookie of the Year honors today by clocking the 12th and 16th-quickest practice times in this afternoon's opening two practice sessions for Sunday's Mall.com 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. McGehee's practice time in the #55 Energizer Advanced Formula Dallara/Aurora/Firestone entry was plagued by fuel line problems during both sessions. Nonetheless, he recorded a fast time of 24.601 seconds (an average of 212.918 mph) over the 1.5-mile Texas Motor Speedway high-banked tri-oval during the early afternoon session. He was just a tick slower -- 24.691 (212.142 mph) in the late-afternoon session. His closest competitor in the season-long Rookie of the Year battle, Scott Harrington, who trails by just one point in the standings, encountered even more serious problems as he was 29th and 26th fastest on the time sheets today. Qualifying is set for Saturday at noon CDT, and race time is 1 p.m. CDT Sunday, with a tape-delayed broadcast set for ABC-TV at 4 p.m. EDT.
ROBBY MCGEHEE -- "We had something wrong with the fuel system all day, so it cost us the end of the (late-afternoon) session. We didn't get to run any qualifying speeds all day as we had full to half (fuel) tanks through both sessions. We've definitely got a good race car. We'll just see how we do in qualifying tomorrow. (As for the Rookie of the Year battle,) we just have to try and do our best in the race, just like we have all year, and the Rookie of the Year situation will take care of itself."
DAVE CONTI (Chief Engineer) -- "We never really got going because of our fuel system problems. We'll just have to give it another try in the morning (practice session Saturday) and see if we can get it all going. It's frustrating because we know the car is good, but we never really got it going."