Fort Worth, June 9, 2000 - In her best qualifying effort to date, 19-year old Walker Racing rookie driver Sarah Fisher in the ...
Fort Worth, June 9, 2000 - In her best qualifying effort to date, 19-year old Walker Racing rookie driver Sarah Fisher in the #15 Cummins Special /Oldsmobile /Dallara/Firestone clocked a lap at 209.052 mph, (25.056 sec) which put her in the starting field in 11th place, but her qualifying position would not hold up, thanks to Mother Nature.
After Fisher's qualification run, a heavy rainstorm began falling at the Texas Motor Speedway with eight drivers waiting in line to qualify for Saturday's Casino Magic 500 and canceled the remainder of IRL qualifying. According to the IRL Rulebook, if qualifying is halted before all drivers have a chance to try and make the field, the starting grid will be based on the current IRL point standings. That puts Fisher in 25th position for the first night race of the Indy Racing season.
Fisher made her Indy Racing Northern Light Series debut at the 1.5-mile oval at Texas Motor Speedway in October of 1999, with another IRL team, and the Walker Racing driver definitely felt being here before helped her with this race weekend.
"I think being here before helps," said Fisher. "We didn't get a whole lot of practice time yesterday with the shortened sessions, and it was definitely an advantage to already know where the groove is on the track. We've been focusing on freeing up the car a little bit, and our end result was a 209-plus mile an hour. It's a shame that qualifying didn't get completed and we have to start the race based on our points standings, but it's a long race and we are determined to finish this one."
This is team owner Derrick Walker's first visit to the Texas Racetrack, where he agreed that his rookie driver's previous experience at the oval in Fort Worth helped out during the race weekend.
"Definitely with Sarah having been here before helps a lot," said Walker. "Had rain not interrupted qualifying, we would have been able to start in 11th instead of 25th position. It's a long race, we have a good car and we should make up a lot of ground on our pit stops and be there at the end." The Casino Magic 500 will be broadcast live on ESPN at 8 p.m. (ET) on Saturday, June 10.
Walker Racing's corporate sponsors partners are Cummins, Mead, SpeedWRX.com, Dell Computers, Emlrockfort, St. Elmo Steakhouse, Dallara and Firestone.