IRL: WDW testing 97-01-22

For Immediate Release STEWART TOPS AMONG NINE DRIVERS ON FINAL WINTER TESTING DAY ORLANDO, FLA., January 22, 1997 =97 Tony Stewart ran a lap at 165.975 miles an hour Wednesday in the Glidden/Menard Special to top the speed chart on the final...

For Immediate Release

STEWART TOPS AMONG NINE DRIVERS ON FINAL WINTER TESTING DAY

ORLANDO, FLA., January 22, 1997 =97 Tony Stewart ran a lap at 165.975 miles an hour Wednesday in the Glidden/Menard Special to top the speed chart on the final day of Indy Racing League winter testing at Walt Disney World Speedway.

Thursday marks the first day of practice for the $1 million-plus Indy 200 at Walt Disney World Presented by Aurora, the third race of the 1996-97 Indy Racing League season.

Stewart wound up with the fastest speed of winter testing at 169.795 on Jan. 10 in a Team Menard G Force/Oldsmobile Aurora at Disney World.

Buddy Lazier turned the fastest lap to date in a Nissan-powered car Wednesday when he reached 165.138 miles an hour in The Delta Faucet-Hemelgarn Racing Dallara.

Nine cars ran 337 laps Wednesday, moving the total to 5,533 for the Indy Racing League winter testing period at both Walt Disney World and Phoenix International Raceway.

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At 11:04 a.m., Mike Groff in the #10 Jonathan Byrd's Cafeteria Bryant Heating & Cooling G Force/Nissan Infiniti Indy brushed the wall on the front straight, then did a half-spin 320 feet to hit the inside wall with the rear. The car sustained rear and right front suspension damage. Groff was examined and released from the track emergency center and cleared to drive.

At 1:30 p.m., Greg LeMond in the #83 Miller Brothers Racing Formula Ford 2000 car got in the grass at the exit of Turn 2 and did a complete spin 270 feet to hit the outside wall. The car sustained moderate rear wing and left-side damage. LeMond was examined and released from the track emergency center and cleared to drive.

At 1:44 p.m. during Formula Ford 2000 testing, #98 Dana LaLiberte did a half-spin off the exit to Turn 3 and slid 340 feet to hit the outside wall. #21 Jon Newberg and #24 Carson Combs were also involved., Combs stopping just short of the start/finish line. LaLiberte's car sustained left side and rear wing damage. Newberg's had right front damage. Combs' car had damage to all four corners. LaLiberte and Newberg were examined and released from the track emergency center uninjured and cleared to drive. Combs had a bruised right thigh and was released from the track emergency center and cleared to drive.

At 3:40 p.m. during Formula Ford 2000 testing, #26 Mike Williams did a half-spin in Turn 1 175 feet to hit the outside wall and came off 80 feet to a stop in the middle of the track. The car sustained rear-end damage. Williams was transported by helicopter to Orlando Regional Medical Center, awake and alert, with a concussion and a cut lip, according to Dr. Henry Bock, track medical director.

At 3:59 p.m. during Formula Ford 2000 testing, #84 John Miller did a 3/4 spin 175 feet to hit the outside wall in Turn 1, then came off the wall 30 feet to a stop. The car sustained left front corner damage. Miller was examined and released uninjured from the track emergency center.=20

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QUOTES: TONY STEWART: "The track seems to have changed a little bit since the truck race. The good thing is everybody's slowing down evenly. We're hoping, as we run more laps, it'll get some of their rubber off and ours back down." BUDDY LAZIER: "We're just continuing the process. We have to take shortcuts. I think we know what we're doing. I don't think we're out of the game yet. I think we still have a shot at winning it. (About the pole position...he's the track record holder): "A real high 20 (seconds) or low 21s, depending on the day." GREG LeMOND: "I was totally dedicated to the corner, had my foot planted and the next thing I knew I was spinning. I think they can fix it. I hit it maybe 40-50 miles an hour. I'd sure hate to hit that at 100."

Wednesday's lap totals and top speeds from team scoring charts:

DRIVER         TEAM             CAR             LAPS   TIME    SPEED
Tony Stewart   Menard           G Force/Olds      61  21.69  165.975
Buddy Lazier   Hemelgarn        Dallara/Nissan    25  21.80  165.138
Davy Jones     Galles           G Force/Olds      53  21.84  164.835
Jim Guthrie    Blueprint        Dallara/Olds      26  22.10  162.896
Fermin Velez   Scandia          Dallara/Olds      65  22.17  162.352
Buzz Calkins   Bradley          G Force/Olds      30  22.28  161.580
Mike Groff     Byrd/Cunningham  G Force/Nissan    23  22.81  157.826
John Paul Jr.  PDM              Dallara/Olds      20  22.90  157.205
Marco Greco    Scandia          Dallara/Olds      34  23.40  153.846

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Tickets for practice and qualifying sessions and Saturday's Indy 200 at Walt Disney World Presented by Aurora are available at the Walt Disney World Speedway ticket trailer, Race Rock (8986 International Drive in Orlando, I-4 to the Sand Lake exit), Pleasure Island, the Seminole Towne Center and Florida Mall.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Tony Stewart , Buzz Calkins , Buddy Lazier , Jim Guthrie , Davy Jones , Fermin Velez , John Paul
Teams Williams