OLDSMOBILE MOTORSPORT REPORT Thursday, June 10, 1999 Contact: Rick Voegelin/831-761-2201 KELLEY RACING AND OLDSMOBILE SWEEP TEXAS FRONT ROW Mark Dismore Wins First Pole as IRL Aurora V8 Powers 25 of 26 Qualifiers at Longhorn 500 FORT WORTH...
OLDSMOBILE MOTORSPORT REPORT Thursday, June 10, 1999 Contact: Rick Voegelin/831-761-2201
KELLEY RACING AND OLDSMOBILE SWEEP TEXAS FRONT ROW
Mark Dismore Wins First Pole as IRL Aurora V8 Powers 25 of 26 Qualifiers at Longhorn 500
FORT WORTH - In the first event conducted with the Pep Boys Indy Racing League's new 10,000 rpm rev limit in effect, Oldsmobile's IRL Aurora V8 maintained its perfect pole qualifying record tonight at Texas Motor Speedway. Kelley Racing teammates Mark Dismore and Scott Sharp qualified first and second respectively for the Longhorn 500 with Oldsmobile engines built by Comptech Machine of Eldorado Hills, Calif.
Dismore rebounded from a wallbanger in practice to win his first career IRL pole with a 215.272 mph lap on the high-banked 1.5-mile oval with his backup MCI WorldCom Oldsmobile Dallara. Sharp, polewinner at the season-opening race at Walt Disney World Speedway, turned a lap at 214.837 mph in Kelley Racing's Delphi Automotive Systems Oldsmobile Dallara to earn a starting spot on the outside of the front row.
Dismore, 42, of Greenfield, Ind., put Oldsmobile's IRL Aurora V8 on the pole for the 23rd consecutive IRL race. Twenty-five of the 26 qualifiers used Oldsmobile engines. Tyce Carlson was the surprising third qualifier in Blueprint-Immke Racing's Oldsmobile Dallara at 214.417 mph, while local hero Grey Ray of Plano, Texas, was fourth fastest in Team Menard's Oldsmobile Dallara at 213.805 mph. Eddie Cheever, the lone Infiniti driver in the field, qualified fifth at 213.430 mph.
"We had a water line break in practice and I got into the wall with my primary car," Dismore reported. "It's not been an easy day, but this sure makes up for it. We missed a couple of poles last year by a tenth of a second or less. This is really good for the team. I haven't been the luckiest guy in the world, so maybe the monkey's off my back.
"I didn't even look at the lap speed on the dashboard until after my second lap," Dismore continued. "I was so focused on trying not to scrub off any speed. When I looked at the dash, I yelled inside my helmet because I was so happy.
"The lower rpm definitely slowed the cars down, which is a good thing. 215 mph is plenty fast - we don't need to go any faster as far as I'm concerned. The rev limiter has had a big effect. In the evening the air gets heavier and it takes more power to go through the air just like a boat going through water. Generally we run faster during the day than we do at night, so I was surprised at how quick the speeds were tonight.
"The lower rpm translates into a lot of miles per hour and a lot of momentum in the corners. You enter the corner with less rpm so the drop is more dramatic because you're not carrying the momentum. I don't know how the racing could get any closer than it is, but I think the lower rpm limit will equalize the competition even more."
Billy Boat won the pole at last year's event with a 225.979 mph lap in A.J. Foyt's Oldsmobile powered entry. "Last year we turned the motors 10,500 rpm here," recalled Scott Sharp. "You notice that extra 500 rpm not so much on the straightaway but pulling out of the corners. Now with the 10,000 rpm limit we're running a taller gear to keep the speed up, so that affects the acceleration out of the corners. I think the racing will be even tighter and the engines will last longer, so it's a good move all around. This track is all about using the draft. I think it's going to be a freight train in the race."
Dismore put a Comptech-prepared Oldsmobile engine on the pole for the third time in four races. "Since the new rpm limit was announced two weeks ago, we really haven't had time to work on engine development," said Comptech's Doug Peterson. "We're testing some intake runner tuning at this race, but since the engines were already finished we didn't make any internal changes."
The Longhorn 500 presented by MCI WorldCom will start on Saturday night at 6:30 p.m. CDT. The race will be televised live on Fox Sports Net at 7:30 p.m. EDT. Live radio coverage will be broadcast on the Indy Racing Radio Network.
LONGHORN 500 TOP FIVE QUALIFIERS Driver Entrant Engine Speed 1. Mark Dismore Kelley Racing Oldsmobile 215.272 mph 2. Scott Sharp Kelley Racing Oldsmobile 214.839 3. Tyce Carlson Blueprint-Immke Oldsmobile 214.417 4. Greg Ray Team Menard Oldsmobile 213.805 5. Eddie Cheever Team Cheever Infiniti 213.430