Fort Worth, TX (October 16, 2004) With qualifying taking place on Friday instead of the traditional Saturday session, Indy Racing League IndyCar Series teams had a full day to prepare for tomorrow's Chevy 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. Alex Barron...
Fort Worth, TX (October 16, 2004) With qualifying taking place on Friday instead of the traditional Saturday session, Indy Racing League IndyCar Series teams had a full day to prepare for tomorrow's Chevy 500 at Texas Motor Speedway.
Alex Barron piloted the No. 51 Red Bull Cheever Racing machine to the 13th quickest time in the combined practice session results, lapping the 1.5-mile oval at 212.186 mph.
"Our car was very well-balanced in traffic today" Barron explained. "We made some big changes from the morning session to the afternoon session with both the springs and the bars and improved our setup. Despite our car being good, we still have to be optimistic that it will be just as good tomorrow for the race. The weather conditions are going to change and the temperature is supposed to be really warm, so that will really affect the way our car runs and we have to be prepared for these changes."
The No. 52 Chevy-powered entry with rookie Ed Carpenter behind the wheel earned the 20th fastest overall time with a 210.874 mph fast lap.
"I feel more confident with my race car after today's practice sessions," Carpenter said. "Our race car was really good, but it's going to be a lot warmer tomorrow than it was for this last practice session. We'll have to keep an eye on the temperature, but I'm pretty sure we know where we're at. I'm starting from the back tomorrow, so it will be a battle to the front, but I'm ready for it."
Sunday's race will determine whether 23-year-old Carpenter or competing rookie Kosuke Matsuura clinches the Rookie of the Year title. Here's a look at the points scenario:
If Ed wins the race and leads the most laps at Texas, Kosuke must finish 11th or better to win the Rookie of the Year.
If Ed wins the race but does not lead the most laps, Kosuke must finish 14th or better to win.
If Ed finishes 2nd or worse, Kosuke wins the Rookie of the Year no matter where he finishes in the race.
Tune in to tomorrow's Chevy 500 live on ABC at 12:00 pm (EST) to watch Red Bull Cheever Racing compete in their last IndyCar race of the 2004 season.