IRL: Texas II: Kelly Racing Friday report

Kelley Racing teammates hit stride during first day practice at Texas Motor Speedway for season finale chevy 500. JUSTIN,TX -- September 13, 2002 -- Kelley Racing teammates Scott Sharp, Al Unser, Jr. and Tony Renna enjoyed two successful...

Kelley Racing teammates hit stride during first day practice at Texas Motor Speedway for season finale chevy 500.

JUSTIN,TX -- September 13, 2002 -- Kelley Racing teammates Scott Sharp, Al Unser, Jr. and Tony Renna enjoyed two successful practice sessions today in preparation for Saturday's qualifying for the Chevy 500, the Indy Racing League season finale at Texas Motor Speedway.

Sharp and his #8 Delphi crew ended the sessions third in the order with a speed of 220.833 MPH/ 23.7193 seconds bringing smiles and expectations of another good run in Sunday afternoon's race.

"We have a good car, not the fastest car, but a well-handling car," said Sharp. "At this track, speed is not necessarily important, so as long as the handles well, I am confident the #8 Delphi Dallara will have a good race weekend for Kelley Racing. We perhaps may not qualify as well as we would like but we will race good on Sunday and that is what sends a team into the winter with a positive attitude and momentum to get the next season off to a great start."

Al Unser, Jr. and his #7 Corteco/Bryant team were fourth in the order at day's end with a top speed of 220.696 MPH/23.7340 seconds picking up where they left off following the July 2002 race where Unser, Jr. finished second to Jeff Ward by a margin of only .0111 of a second.

"The Corteco/Bryant car is running awesome today," Unser, Jr. said. "We gathered a tremendous amount of good information today that will be very helpful in Sunday's race. We would like to qualify better than we did in July (Unser, Jr. qualified third) just to have that slight edge over the competition you get starting closer to the front. We will know more where we truly stand in the field in the final practice after qualifying. Right now you aren't sure where everyone else is with fuel loads, tire wear and the other variables. Everyone at Kelley Racing is starving for a win right now so you are looking at three teams with highly motivated drivers and crews. It will make for great racing on Sunday."

Tony Renna put the #78 Kruse Special/HomeMed car in 13th overall at the end of Friday's practice sessions with his fastest lap at 219.229MPH/23.8928 seconds Sunday's Chevy 500 will be Renna's first IRL race at Texas Motor Speedway.

"During both practices the #78 Kruse/HomeMed Special was great and I'm real happy with it," said Renna. "The second practice we were running through some qualifying style set-ups, but the traffic made it challenging as well as the shorted practice session. But I trust my Kruse/HomeMed Special crew to give me a high-speed car tomorrow. But at these tracks qualifying doesn't matter as much, the race does. Its hard to say where its going to end up."

Vitor Meira set quickest lap with a speed of 221.457 MPH/23.6524 seconds followed by Eddie Cheever, Jr.'s lap of 221.199 MPH/23.6800 seconds.

Qualifying for the Chevy 500 is scheduled for Saturday at 1:00 PM CDT. The green flag for Kelley Racing and the IRL season ending race will fly on Sunday at 2:00 PM CDT with live television coverage on ABC.

-kr-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Eddie Cheever , Jeff Ward , Scott Sharp , Tony Renna , Al Unser , Vitor Meira