IRL: WDW test 97-01-10

For Immediate Release STEWART RAISES TOP SPEED TO 169.795 IN IRL WALT DISNEY WORLD TESTING ORLANDO, FLA., January 10, 1997 -- Tony Stewart boosted the top lap speed of winter testing to 169.795 miles an hour Friday as nine drivers took ...

For Immediate Release


ORLANDO, FLA., January 10, 1997 -- Tony Stewart boosted the top lap speed of winter testing to 169.795 miles an hour Friday as nine drivers took the track in preparation for the Jan. 25 Indy 200 at Walt Disney World Presented by Aurora.

Stewart drove Team Menard's G Force/Oldsmobile Aurora to the quick lap at 10:38 a.m., breaking the mark of 168.327 that he set Thursday around the one-mile oval. His time was 21.202 seconds.

In all, 867 were turned Friday, the most of any testing day to date. Fermin Velez, driving Team Scandia's Dallara/Aurora, turned 176 laps, second-most of any driver in one winter testing day to Arie Luyendyk's 179 on Dec. 13.

Dr. Jack Miller passed the first phase of his driver's test in PDM Racing's 1995 Lola/Buick. *** At 12:07 p.m., Eliseo Salazar in the Team Scandia Dallara/Aurora did a half-spin in the pit exit lane at the blend point in Turn 1, slid 180 feet to the infield grass, then continued backward 230 feet through the grass to a stop with no contact. *** QUOTES: TONY STEWART: "The cooler temperatures helped. Again, we made a couple more changes ... keep refining what we did the day before. Twenty-one (seconds) flat's going to be hard to get ... not impossible, but hard to get. We didn't set out to go fast. We baselined the car, put a new set of tires on it and went quick."

EDDIE CHEEVER: "The car ran problems with the engine. We've only done 300 miles. We're just tooling around. We haven't had one mechanical failure the whole time. You have to stand on the gas if you want to go fast in them. If you have a grandstand full of people and 20 of these going down into the first corner, the noise will get your heartbeat up."

MARTY FIOLKA (Nissan Motorsports): "It was a real up-and-down week. We came out and did the historic first run on Wednesday, but we only got 13 laps in due to problems beyond our control. Leading up to the last hour today was a little bit depressing. We needed the laps and didn't get up to any speed at all because of other problems ... brake systems today. We feel like we've gotten out of the stadium parking lot, we're kind of in the stands watching and we'll be on the playing field next week. From an engine perspective, the Nissan Infiniti Indy hasn't let us down at all at this point. It ran on the dyno perfectly for nine hours, it ran here without a problem. Our hat's off to the Clayton Cunningham team ... they always seem to find a way to overcome adversity and have the ability to pull out what we need at that time. It's a great feeling but we still have a ways to go."

MIKE GROFF: "It was good to get out and run a little bit. We've been chasing various gremlins, just little things. It's good that we ran what we did. Now we know what we need to address. The engine, really this whole test, hasn't let us down. It's been various other things that have limited us ... I guess you expect that with a new car. Just getting the laps under our belt was real important for us. We're coming back Tuesday and Wednesday."

SCOTT GOODYEAR: "Just know we aren't the quickest. We thought about running Arie's car again, like the first time here. Scratch that plan. This is a brand-new car. There was not a lot of productive work on it yesterday. The car wasn't completely done when we arrived here but the team managed to get it all put together. Today, we had problems with the head rest till late in the afternoon. It kept yanking my head to the left. For the most part, we are far behind some of the teams but ahead of some of the others. We'll go home with the stuff we learned and come back here with a more improved package."

DR. JACK MILLER: "Compared to an Indy Lights car, it's a dream to drive. The toughest part of the rookie test is going slow enough. It's tougher to do the first two phases than the last two phases. I was getting through the phases fine and the car had an electrical problem. They're going to make some changes tonight and we hope to finish the test tomorrow." *** Today 9 drivers turned 867 laps.

DRIVER TEAM CAR/ENGINE LAPS TIME SPEED Tony Stewart Menard G Force/Aurora 26 21.202 169.795 Scott Goodyear Treadway G Force/Aurora 141 21.586 166.775 Eddie Cheever Cheever G Force/Aurora 156 21.596 166.698 Buzz Calkins Bradley G Force/Aurora 29 21.829 164.918 Eliseo Salazar Scandia Dallara/Aurora 83 22.028 163.428 John Paul Jr. PDM Dallara/Aurora 91 22.691 158.653 Fermin Velez Scandia Dallara/Aurora 176 22.742 158.297 Mike Groff Byrd/Cunningham G Force/Infiniti 58 23.306 154.467 Jack Miller PDM 95 Lola/Buick 107 24.071 149.558 ***

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Tony Stewart , Buzz Calkins , Eddie Cheever , Eliseo Salazar , Arie Luyendyk , Scott Goodyear , Fermin Velez , John Paul , Jack Miller