IRL: Sarah Walker passes ''Rookie Orientation Program'' at Indy 500

INDIANAPOLIS, April 10, 2000 --- Walker Racing Indy Racing Northern Light Series rookie driver Sarah Fisher successfully passed all four phases of the Rookie Orientation Program at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, making her eligible to compete...

INDIANAPOLIS, April 10, 2000 --- Walker Racing Indy Racing Northern Light Series rookie driver Sarah Fisher successfully passed all four phases of the Rookie Orientation Program at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, making her eligible to compete for a starting position in the 84th running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 28. Rookie drivers who wish to compete in the "500" must complete four separate phases of the rookie orientation program under the watchful eye of veteran observers Al Unser and Johnny Rutherford. Fisher successfully finished all of the required phases, which included 10 laps each at all four of the following speed ranges:


Phase 1: 195 - 200 mph
Phase 2: 200 - 205 mph
Phase 3: 205 - 210 mph
Phase 4: More than 210 mph "Indianapolis is a challenging racetrack to learn and I think the most difficult thing I'm learning is that the line around the track is a very narrow line," said Fisher. "This track is also very unique in that it has four corners that are each different and that makes it different from other every other racetrack. There's a balance you have to find for each of those corners. "Every time I go around I gain more and more confidence. I still have some to gain from a driver's perspective and we still have some more work to do on the car, but it's definitely starting to come together. It just takes seat time in the car, but that will come with practice. Indy is the neatest place I've ever run and it's an honor to pass the rookie test here, especially with Derrick's return here and my beginning, and I'm really proud to be here." `Walker Racing owner Derrick Walker is a veteran of 20 Indianapolis 500 races and guided Fisher through her rookie orientation program at the Speedway. Other than it being bloody cold out here today, " said Walker. "I still think the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is as difficult as it ever was to run. What Sarah has done today is kind of like breaking the sound barrier, it's getting over that threshold. That's a big experience for any driver who has never raced on this kind of an oval. As long as the track is green you have to keep going and going, but you can't lose sight of the facts that it is a combination of things and confidence that make it work." Walker Racing will host a media luncheon at the race shop on Tuesday, April 11 from noon until 2 p.m. The luncheon will be catered by St. Elmo Steakhouse of Indianapolis. All accredited media are welcome to attend.

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Sarah Fisher , Johnny Rutherford , Al Unser