IRL: Scott Harrington Pikes Peak Friday Notes

Harrington Leads the Field In Practice Friday at PPIR FOUNTAIN, Colo., Aug. 27 - Scott Harrington and the CertainTeed Dallara Aurora ...

Harrington Leads the Field In Practice Friday at PPIR

FOUNTAIN, Colo., Aug. 27 - Scott Harrington and the CertainTeed Dallara Aurora #66 topped the speed charts Friday during practice sessions for Sunday's Colorado Indy 200 Pep Boys Indy Racing League event at Pikes Peak International Raceway. Harrington, who is leading the Sprint PCS Rookie of the Year point standings in the Pep Boys IRL series, recorded his fastest lap in the morning practice session when he toured the 1-mile oval in 20.544 seconds for an average speed of 175.234 mph. That was the 16th lap he turned in the session and no one did any better all day. In fact, Harrington had the second-fastest lap of the day too, as his fastest lap during the afternoon session ended up being the second-fastest turned all day. That was a lap at 20.659 seconds or 174.258 mph. Sam Schmidt ended up as the second-fastest driver of the day (posting the third-fastest lap overall) with his fastest lap of the morning, which was 0.149 seconds or 1.262 mph slower than Harrington's top lap. Jeff Ward was third-fastest of the day. Times were recorded for 25 cars Friday, and the morning times were faster than the afternoon ones. "Once again, [chief mechanic] Darrell Soppe and the CertainTeed crew gave me the best car out there," Harrington said. "The car is great. It's the most user-friendly car we've had all year. We're looking for a great weekend here. "It's especially gratifying to be running so well because we only have one engine and no testing budget, and yet we're able to run ahead of teams with multiple engines and much bigger budgets," Harrington said. "We've been running the same Aurora engine since the race at Charlotte in May, which is really a testament not only to the Oldsmobile Aurora but also to our engine preparer, Jim Wright of Brayton Engineering, and the entire CertainTeed team." Harrington wasn't surprised that the three fastest laps were turned in the morning. "The conditions were a little worse in the afternoon than they were in the morning, or we may have picked up another tenth or two," he continued. "The wind picked up some in the afternoon and the track was a little greasy, so we didn't push it. We want to be in good shape for qualifying tomorrow and the race on Sunday. But the CertainTeed car and the CertainTeed crew were awesome today." When the series appeared here June 27 Harrington almost won the race despite competing with a broken right leg and foot, torn ligaments in his left leg and three cracked ribs suffered in a crash during practice two weeks earlier at Texas Motor Speedway. He had to use crutches to maneuver to the side of his car just to clamber inside the cockpit. Harrington's injuries have healed significantly since then, and he says he's "about 95 percent" this weekend physically. The crutches are gone but he still wears a brace on his left leg when he isn't in the CertainTeed #66. Harrington went on to post a stellar drive in the June race. He ran as high as second and he was third, ready to make a final charge, when he brushed the wall lapping another driver and was forced to retire with only 17 laps remaining. Indy car fans hadn't seen anything like Harrington's drive since Buddy Lazier won the Indy 500 in 1996 with a broken back. "I definitely feel that we have some unfinished business here at Pikes Peak, and I hope that we can take care of that on Sunday," Harrington concluded with a smile. Qualifying will be covered live on Speedvision tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. EDT. The race will be broadcast live on FOX Sports Net at 4 p.m. EDT Sunday.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Buddy Lazier , Jeff Ward , Sam Schmidt , Scott Harrington