For Immediate Release KUNZMAN ON HEMELGARN TESTS: =91HARD TO HAVE BETTER' LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLA., January 14, 1996 -- Lee Kunzman is an Indianapolis 500 veteran who's been in the championship wars for 25 years. For the last 12 years, he's...
For Immediate Release
KUNZMAN ON HEMELGARN TESTS: =91HARD TO HAVE BETTER'
LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLA., January 14, 1996 -- Lee Kunzman is an Indianapolis 500 veteran who's been in the championship wars for 25 years.
For the last 12 years, he's been team manager for Hemelgarn Racing, which completed its preseason testing today in preparation for the Jan. 27 Indy 200 at Walt Disney World Presented by Aurora.
The Hemelgarn team leaves here with the lead in the clubhouse on the speed charts with Buddy Lazier's Saturday lap of 19.450 seconds, 185.089 miles an hour.
Lazier ran "full tank" tests today with a best lap of 176.991 miles an hour. His Hemelgarn teammate, Stephan Gregoire reached 173.997.
"We got in 300 miles in two cars over two days," Kunzman said. "We had absolutely no mechanical problems. Anytime that happens after a two-day test, you've had a good test.
"It's hard to have a better test but our Phoenix test was equal."
Kunzman said it's still to be determined what "cruising speed" will be during the race.
"I'm still perplexed about how fast one has to run for 200 miles," he said. "This track is very demanding. Us, and everyone else, are going to have to decide how fast to run and keep the car together."
In any case, Kunzman and car owner Ron Hemelgarn are buoyed by preseason testing going into the inaugural Indy Racing League season.
"I'm excited," Kunzman said. "He (Hemelgarn) is excited. People are smiling. People are working hard. People are cooperating with each other. I've had more fun in the preseason with our group and drivers. I enjoy watching new people try to develop.
"It's exciting for me again and I'm have a great time."
### Indianapolis people at Walt Disney World Speedway today did their jobs with one eye or ear toward the Indianapolis Colts' bid for a Super Bowl berth. For example, Bill York, the Indy 200's press room manager, had Colts banners in the windows of his motel room shortly after he arrived.
Kunzman and the Hemelgarn crew wrapped up testing in time to gather around a radio at their transporter to listen to the last 1=BD minutes.
After the Colts lost, 20-16, to Pittsburgh, Kunzman, a fan, said, "I'm very proud of =91em. No one could expect more."
Gregoire, who moved to Indianapolis from France on Dec.1, said he wasn't a Colt fan -- yet.
"He doesn't know it, but he is," joked Lazier.
"I like but I don't understand," Gregoire said. "I like basketball because I can understand easier."
### Update on Butch Brickell, injured in an accident Saturday: According to an Orlando Regional Medical Center spokesperson, Brickell is in serious but stable condition at ORMC with two fractured vertebrae in his lower neck, no indication of paralysis and no other significant injuries.
### Robbie Buhl and Johnny Parsons made their first appearances on the track late in the afternoon. Buhl warmed up the Beck Motorsports/Zunne Group entry and Parsons warmed up the Blueprint Racing machine.
### Unofficial Top Speeds from USAC Timing and Scoring: DRIVER TEAM LAPS FAST TIME FAST SPEED Buddy Lazier Hemelgarn Racing 33 20.340 176.991 Stephan Gregoire Hemelgarn Racing 75 20.690 173.997 Robbie Buhl Beck Motorsports/Zunne Group 10 27.110 132.792 Johnny Parson Blueprint Racing 1 (Warmup only)