Ft. Worth, TX (September 19, 1998) - Kenny Brack, driving the A.J. Foyt Power Team Racing Dallara, will attempt to become the first person to win three consecutive Pep Boys Indy Racing League races when the green flag drops for Sunday's Longhorn...
Ft. Worth, TX (September 19, 1998) - Kenny Brack, driving the A.J. Foyt Power Team Racing Dallara, will attempt to become the first person to win three consecutive Pep Boys Indy Racing League races when the green flag drops for Sunday's Longhorn 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. Brack's teammate, Billy Boat, will start from the pole position with Brack starting back in tenth position.
Both of Foyt's drivers will set IRL records if they can win Sunday's race. If Billy Boat wins the 208 lap race around the mile and a half superspeedway, it will be the first time a driver has won back to back races at the same venue. A victory for Boat would be worth an extra $100,000 in the Texas Two Step, an award that pays an extra bonus to the top two drivers after combining the results from the June and September races at Texas Motor Speedway.
In today's first practice session Kenny Brack ran a tenth of a second faster than Boat, with a lap at 221.757 mph. Brack was 15th overall while Boat was 20th. "We just did a full-tank run in the car," said Boat, "working on race setup and seeing how the car handles in the heat. We were not really worried about speed. The race track is liable to change so much between now, after the ARCA race and tomorrow."
Scott Sharp set the fastest time of the session with a lap at 223.686 mph. Sharp's teammate, Mark Dismore, was fourth overall, six one-hundedths of a second off Sharp's time. "So many teams spend so much time getting ready for qualifying, just two laps of the weekend, when it's the race we're all here for," said Sharp. "Our team's philosophy is to spend as much of practice as possible to get ready for the race."
Greg Ray hit the wall in the second dogleg after he lost control of the car on the grass as he came off turn four. "I was just coming out of the pits. I was behind Robbie Buhl in (turns) three and four. I was on fresh tires, so I was just warming up," sai d Ray. "I was going into the dogleg, and the car suddenly pulled left. It's still a big question mark as to what happened because I was only going 150 mph."
Ray was examined and released without injury by Dr. Henry Bock at the infield care center. He is cleared to drive.
Rookie driver Dave Steele set the third fastest time in today's early practice session turning in a lap at 223.427 mph, his fastest lap of the weekend. "The car really felt good," Steele said. "We made some changes. It's tough on my crew with my limited knowledge and feedback, but they're doing a great job. For one, I probably ran more laps out there in practice than anybody else. This car is probably faster than I am."
Steele looks forward to the race but understands that he has a lot to learn. "It takes seat time to get really good. You can't expect experience to come easy. I'm really happy with the opportunity, but I know practice doesn't pay much. What happens Sunday is what really shows what I can do."
The green flag drops at 2:00 p.m. local time for the Longhorn 500. ABC Television will provide tape delay coverage starting at 4:00 p.m. EDT.
David Reininger - Motorsport News International