IRL: WDW testing notes 96-01-11

For Immediate Release 'LOGICAL LARRY' PREPS TEAM MENARD FOR '96 IRL SEASON LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLA., January 11, 1996 -- They call him "Logical Larry." He doesn't exactly remember when he got the handle, but it fits Larry Curry to a "T" in ...

For Immediate Release

'LOGICAL LARRY' PREPS TEAM MENARD FOR '96 IRL SEASON

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLA., January 11, 1996 -- They call him "Logical Larry." He doesn't exactly remember when he got the handle, but it fits Larry Curry to a "T" in preparing an Indianapolis car.

On Wednesday, Curry, as director of racing for Team Menard, had to make a phone call to team owner John Menard regarding a minor accident at Walt Disney World Speedway.

"I have my own way of doing it," Curry said Thursday. "First, I tell an owner that the driver is okay. Then I tell him three things, in order: The tub is okay, the bell housing and transmission are okay and the engine is okay. By that time, he knows about the driver and the expensive pieces and knows the rest is bolt-on stuff and feels better."

Curry is starting his 20th season in the Indianapolis car ranks and will be one of the elder statesmen on pit road when the Indy 200 at Walt Disney World unfolds Jan. 27 as the inaugural event for the Indy Racing League.

His driver, Scott Brayton, reached a top speed of 179.820 miles per hour Thursday in the team's third day of second-round preseason testing at WDWS.

"If there's anybody in the world this series suits, it's me," Curry said. "I love oval racing."

And as a pit road veteran, he'll help others along the way.

"The thing I have to say to the new people is, to really be good in this series, they have to be committed to succeed," Curry said. "Team Menard can be successful. For the IRL to be successful, we have to be successful as a group.

"Anything we can do to help one another...show people the reality of the hour-and-15-minute engine change...the way to make a good, quick, safe pit stop. Run within yourself, keep your program in perspective. Get in the field, run a solid race.

"Ultimately, if we put on a good show on Race Day and at Phoenix, people have the equipment and money left to go to the Indianapolis 500 and doors will open up for their programs."

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Word reached the WDWS today that Buddy Lazier is now the fastest unofficially in testing at both WDWS and Phoenix International Raceway.

Lazier drove a Hemelgarn Racing machine to a lap at P.I.R. Tuesday at 19.47 seconds, 184.900 miles per hour, the fastest a car has ever traveled around the Desert Mile. Bryan Herta qualified an Indianapolis car April 1, 1995 at P.I.R. at 19.785 seconds, 181.952 miles per hour for the official track mark.

Lazier is the fastest in preseason testing at Disney World with a lap at 19.713 seconds, 182.621 miles per hour on Dec. 2.

"We had perhaps 30 laps in the 19.7s," said Brian Nott, chief engineer for the car. "That was at legal weight, with 25 gallons of fuel and a popoff valve...no cheating."

Nott said he didn't expect a 19.4, though.

"I was hoping secretly, but I actually didn't (think it would happen)," Nott said. "We haven't been to these places lately, but I guess we haven't forgotten how."

The Hemelgarn team is scheduled to test again Saturday at Disney World.

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Unofficial Fastest Speeds From USAC Timing & Scoring:

DRIVER TEAM LAPS FAST TIME FAST SPEED ======================================================================= Scott Brayton Team Menard 91 20.02 179.820

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Buddy Lazier , Bryan Herta