IRL: Witherhill passes rookie test

SPARTA, Ky., Thursday, Aug. 31, 2000 - Cory Witherill passed his Indy Racing rookie driving test Wednesday at Kentucky Speedway. An accomplished off-road racer, Witherill ran 145 laps in the Indy Regency Racing No. 22 G...

SPARTA, Ky., Thursday, Aug. 31, 2000 - Cory Witherill passed his Indy Racing rookie driving test Wednesday at Kentucky Speedway.

An accomplished off-road racer, Witherill ran 145 laps in the Indy Regency Racing No. 22 G Force/Oldsmobile/Firestone car that Johnny Unser drove to a 22nd-place finish in the 2000 Indianapolis 500.

Indy Racing Northern Light Series Technical Manager Mark Bridges officiated the test and said Witherill displayed "good consistency" during the test. Witherill was required to complete 10 laps each in four speed brackets. The speed levels were 195-200 mph, 200-205 mph, 205-210 mph and above 210 mph. Unofficially, Witherill's best lap was a 210.8 mph. He also practiced simulated pit stops with the Indy Regency Racing team.

Witherill, 28, is in his third season of racing in the Dayton Indy Lights series. He is a Navajo and is believed to be the only full-blooded Native American driving at this level of professional open-wheel racing.

In his first Indy Lights race, he started 14th but charged to the front to lead several laps before finishing fourth at the California Speedway in 1998. He finished fourth again at California in 1999.

In 1998 and 1999, Witherill won the PACE U.S. Off Road Championship in the Super 1600 dune buggy class. He has experience in the Shelby Pro Series, Formula Ford 2000 racing and also started racing with the SCRA sprint car series in 2000.

Witherill lives in Santa Monica, Calif., and is a popular motivational speaker and role model for the Native American community.

-IRNLS/IMS-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Cory Witherill , Johnny Unser