IRL: WDW testing notes 96-01-12

For Immediate Release BRAYTON PLEASED WITH PROGRESS; RAIN, WIND CURTAIL TESTING LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLA., January 12, 1996 -- Scott Brayton, the 1995 Indianapolis 500 pole winner, got a continued education at Walt Disney World Speedway ...

For Immediate Release

BRAYTON PLEASED WITH PROGRESS; RAIN, WIND CURTAIL TESTING

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLA., January 12, 1996 -- Scott Brayton, the 1995 Indianapolis 500 pole winner, got a continued education at Walt Disney World Speedway today.

Brayton had approached the 180-mile-per-hour barrier Thursday but could reach only 175 in 23 laps as rain and wind hampered testing efforts Friday.

"The wind was too strong for what we were trying to sort out with the car," Brayton said. "You need ideal conditions to do the testing program that we're trying to do...adapt the Menard V6 to a mile track.

"But it's supposed to be better tomorrow and Sunday...why would I want to go back to Michigan in snow?"

With cooler temperatures than the November-December testing period, Brayton made another observation.

"This track surface has more grip when it's warmer than when it's cooler," he said. "You lose more speed in the heat at Phoenix. Time will tell.

"If it's this windy on Race Day, there's going to be a lot of surprised people...primarily drivers."

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Rookie Butch Brickell joked that he was ready to go, even with the wind.

"I've run in eight-foot waves," said the offshore powerboat racer. "We had to have the Coast Guard call 'em off a couple of times."

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Robbie Buhl of Grosse Pointe, Mich., the national spokesperson for the "Racing for Kids" program in which drivers visit children's hospitals in their travels, has been named to drive the Beck Motorsports entry in the Indy 200 at Walt Disney World.

Buhl, 29, won the Detroit Indy Lights race and captured pole positions with track records at Detroit, Milwaukee and Loudon, N.H. in 1995.

He'll be making a "Racing for Kids" visit to children at Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children and Women Jan. 29 in connection with the Disney event. While at racing sites, Buhl has visited with more than 5,000 children at 70 hospitals since the program began in 1989.

He has nine career Indianapolis car starts with a best finish of sixth at Long Beach in 1993. He won the 1992 Indy Lights title and finished second last year.

Buhl joins Beck, for which Hideshi Matsuda qualified for the last two Indianapolis 500s, and will inherit the same car number -- 54. After Matsuda surprised railbirds by qualifying seventh fastest for 20th starting spot at Indy last year, people in Gasoline Alley were asking each other, "Car 54, Where Are You?", connecting the solid performance with the old TV show.

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Buddy Lazier of Vail, Colo., who has the top preseason testing speeds at both Walt Disney World Speedway and Phoenix, was formally announced by Hemelgarn Racing as driver of its second car.

The announcements of Buhl and Lazier bring the total of car/driver combinations for the Indy 200 to 21, with several more expected next week.

The Hemelgarn team arrived at WDWS Friday in preparation for Lazier and Stephan Gregoire to test again. In addition to Brickell and Brayton, Johnny Parsons and Blueprint Racing have also arrived for their first test days at the one-mile oval.

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Unofficial top speeds from USAC Timing and Scoring:

DRIVER        TEAM        NO. LAPS        FAST TIME        FAST SPEED
Scott Brayton        Team Menard        23                20.490        175.695

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Robbie Buhl , Buddy Lazier , Stephan Gregoire , Butch Brickell , Matsuda Hideshi