IRL: WDW rookie orientation notes 96-01-24

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 24 For this afternoon's USAC Rookie Orientation Program, chief steward Keith Ward has designated five drivers to demonstrate capability through a 40-lap test. The test includes 10 laps each at 23.5 seconds, 23 seconds, ...

IRL: WDW rookie orientation notes 96-01-24

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 24

For this afternoon's USAC Rookie Orientation Program, chief steward Keith Ward has designated five drivers to demonstrate capability through a 40-lap test. The test includes 10 laps each at 23.5 seconds, 23 seconds, 22.5 seconds and 22 seconds (all plus-or-minus two-tenths of a second) around the one-mile Walt Disney World Speedway oval. The drivers scheduled to participate are Johnny O'Connell, Bill Tempero, Dave Kudrave, Jim Buick and Rick Delorto. First-year IRL drivers previously cleared to drive through observation at testing sessions are Richie Hearn, Buzz Calkins, Stan Wattles, Michele Alboreto, Davey Hamilton and Tony Stewart. Stewart will also be allowed to practice during the ROP period.

First driver out for Indy 200 rookie practice was Bill Tempero in the #25 Tempero/Giuffre entry when practice opened at 1:46 p.m.

Dave Kudrave of La Canada/Flintridge, Calif., a veteran of seven Indianapolis-car races in 1993, has been assigned to the #15 Tempero/Giuffre Racing entry, according to car owner Bill Tempero.

INDY 200 ROOKIE ORIENTATION: 2:13 p.m. -- #20 Tony Stewart reached 165.631 miles an hour, fastest of session. 2:17 p.m. -- #20 Tony Stewart reached 166.259 miles an hour, fastest of session. 2:19 p.m. -- Yellow for track inspection. 2:27 p.m. -- Green. 2:32 p.m. -- #20 Tony Stewart again reached 166.259, tying fastest of session. 2:44 p.m. -- #4 Richie Hearn reached 175.936, fastest of session. 2:49 p.m. -- #4 Richie Hearn reached 177.550, fastest of session. 2:57 p.m. -- #4 Richie Hearn reached 177.743, fastest of session. 3:31 p.m. -- Yellow, track inspection.

RICHIE HEARN: "I'm happy with today. I came here with the same setup as December and I ran well. It's kind of weird with the wind, though. I'm not going to change anything on Wednesday but if it's going to be windy on Race Day, then we'll see."

TONY STEWART: (about his late driver assignment): "Not this early. It just came along pretty quick. We just signed a stock-car deal. That is what our program is going to be this year. Later on last week, we got the announcement from Menard and camea down and signed a deal." (about the car): "Larry Curry has made the car real comfortable. I have to go through the learning curve all over again. In midgets and sprint cars, you have the motor in front of you and you go to a rear engine, it's a big change." (about gaining speed from last Friday): "There is a lot more car than me. Right now, the car is ahead of me. I have to learn a little bit...crawl before I walk. There's plenty of race car left. Each time we go out, we learn a little bit more and a little bit more. We make small changes." (Was today's practice valuable?): "Yes, it was a valuable day."

The Automatic Fire Sprinklers team headed by Paul Diatlovich has acquired a 1993 Lola/Menard for John Paul Jr. to run this weekend in the Indy 200 at Walt Disney World Presented by Aurora. Also, legendary car builder A.J. Watson, originally scheduled to join Pagan Racing here, has now joined AFS as team manager. "We couldn't be here without the support of A.J. Watson," said Diatlovich.

Johnny Parsons and the #16 Blueprint Racing entry experienced problems during practice today and will change engines tonight to prepare for Thursday's practice.

A total of 49 Formula Ford 2000 cars and eight Indianapolis cars practiced today.

Top Drivers of the Day Best Best Car Driver Entrant Laps Time Speed ======================================================================== 1 4 Richie Hearn Della Penna Motorsports 30 20.254 177.743 2 20 Tony Stewart Team Menard 96 20.823 172.886 3 21 Roberto Guerrero Pagan Racing 25 20.868 172.513 4 17 Stan Wattles Leigh Miller Racing 20 22.116 162.778 5 75 Johnny O'Connell Cunningham Racing, Inc. 83 22.549 159.652 6 25 Bill Tempero Tempero/Giuffre Racing 71 23.696 151.924 7 16 Johnny Parsons Blueprint Racing 29 25.755 139.779 8 15 David Kudrave Tempero/Giuffre Racing 36 26.218 137.310

--WDWS--

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