For Immediate Release LAZIER TAKES POLE FOR INAUGURAL INDY 200 AT WALT DISNEY WORLD LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., January 26, 1996 -- Buddy Lazier piloted a Hemelgarn Racing entry around the one-mile Walt Disney World Speedway oval in 19.847...
For Immediate Release
LAZIER TAKES POLE FOR INAUGURAL INDY 200 AT WALT DISNEY WORLD
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., January 26, 1996 -- Buddy Lazier piloted a Hemelgarn Racing entry around the one-mile Walt Disney World Speedway oval in 19.847 seconds, 181.388 miles per hour, to capture the pole position today for Saturday's Indy 200 at Walt Disney World Presented by Aurora, the inaugural event of the Indy Racing League.
Saturday's IRL opener will be aired live on ABC Sports and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network.
For Lazier, who had been the fastest in preseason testing at both the Walt Disney World and Phoenix one-mile ovals, it was the first pole of his career in Indianapolis-type cars.
"It was a good run for us," Lazier said. "It's been a successful week. It's been great."
Lazier edged rookie Richie Hearn, who was .053 of a second behind at 19.900 seconds, 180.905 miles per hour in a Della Penna Motorsports entry.
Roberto Guerrero, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway track record holder, was third fastest at 178.130 miles per hour in a Pagan Racing entry, followed by 1990 Indianapolis 500 winner Arie Luyendyk at 177.296 in a Jonathan Byrd/Leberle-Treadway machine and Scott Sharp at 176.211 in an A.J. Foyt Enterprises entry.
In all, 20 drivers qualified for the inaugural at Walt Disney World.
Eliseo Salazar, who had been among the leaders in practice in a Scandia/Simon Racing entry, was listed in stable condition at Orlando Regional Medical Center after an accident in the morning practice session. Salazar underwent surgery at ORMC to remove a front suspension piece that had penetrated his right leg, according to Dr. Henry Bock, IRL medical director.
In the final practice session, Hearn and Eddie Cheever collided in Turn 1, with both cars going into the wall. Both drivers were uninjured but both cars were heavily damaged. John Menard, owner of Cheever's car, said that Team Menard would start a backup car at the rear of the field in Saturday's race.
At 6 p.m., John Della Penna said his team was still assessing damages and looking at options to remain in the Indy 200 field.
In a preliminary event, Sam Schmidt of Long Beach, Calif., outlasted a field of 35 other competitors to capture the U.S. Formula Ford 2000 race, a 40-lap season opener for the FF 2000 championship series. Nick Holt of Seattle was second, followed by Allen May of Dallas, Texas, Bruno Bianchi of Canada and Steve Knapp of Salem, Wis.