DALLAS (June 5, 2003)---Rain dictated the schedule for most of the day at the Texas Motor Speedway today as practice was repeatedly moved back due to scattered rain showers. At 6:30 p.m., the IndyCar Series finally took to the track for a split...
DALLAS (June 5, 2003)---Rain dictated the schedule for most of the day at the Texas Motor Speedway today as practice was repeatedly moved back due to scattered rain showers. At 6:30 p.m., the IndyCar Series finally took to the track for a split practice session of 40 minutes. After the practice session, qualifying was held at 9:00 p.m. with driver Al Unser Jr. taking the top spot for Kelley Racing with a speed of 216.043 mph that was good for seventh on the grid and Scott Sharp qualifying in 12th position with a speed of 215.016 mph.
Today's top qualifying effort came from Tomas Scheckter with a speed of 219.300 mph, while his teammate, Scott Dixon, qualified second with a speed of 218.654 mph and Tora Takagi rounded out the top three with a speed of 218.027 mph, making it a Toyota sweep of the top three qualifying positions.
Practice will resume tomorrow at 1:45 p.m., weather permitting and the green flag for the Bombardier 500 will drop Saturday at 7:00 p.m. CT with the 200-lap race set to air live on ESPN.
Al Unser Jr. -- #31 Corteco/Dallara/Toyota/Firestone
"Tonight's qualifying was okay but I thought we had a little bit more than what we ended up with. But we're in, we're qualified, it's not raining and now we can start working on our race setup to get a good racecar for the Corteco team. I think for me to win here it comes down to being a foot ahead of the other guy at the end of the race. So our plan is to be there at the end and be in a position to win this race."
Speed: 218.0820 mph
Time: 24.0185 seconds
Speed: 216.043 mph
Scott Sharp -- #8 Delphi/Dallara/Toyota/Firestone
"I'm a little disappointed with my run tonight, but not surprised. We didn't have a lot of practice time today and we worked on our racecar quite a bit so I think we ended up pretty close to what we expected. We're going to put our stronger motor in for the race and we didn't want to put a lot of miles on it today. We felt we might be off a bit from the faster guys but hopefully we'll get that back tomorrow. I seem to qualify better at other places than I do here, in fact I've started more from the back here than I have from the front yet the Delphi team always seems to come through at race time."
Speed: 217.6470 mph
Time: 24.0665 seconds
Speed: 215.016 mph
Al Unser Jr. Fast Facts
* This will be Unser Jr.'s seventh start at Texas Motor Speedway, his 313th career start and his 40th IRL start.
*Unser Jr. is currently sixth in the IndyCar Series points standings with 101 points.
*At Texas I in 2002, he started third and finished second to Jeff Ward by only .0111 seconds, the third closest finish in IRL history. In Spring 2000 he started ninth and finished third by less than a car length.
*Unser Jr. has finished on the podium at Texas on two previous occasions (2nd--2002 Spring and 3rd --2000 Spring) and has four top-ten finishes. Unser Jr. has also led 221 laps at Texas.
Scott Sharp Fast Facts
*This will be Sharp's 11th start at Texas Motor Speedway, his 71st career start and his sixth season with Kelley Racing. In Spring 2002, he started 16th and finished 14th.
*Sharp is currently in third place in the IndyCar Series with 116 points.
*Sharp won this event in 2000 and 2001 and he has also seven top-ten starts at Texas and five top-five finishes. In Spring 2002 Sharp started 16th and finished 14th.
*Sharp's victory in April at Twin Ring Motegi, Japan was his eighth career victory.