ST. LOUIS, Mo. (June 15, 2000) - - Casey Mears showed how to make a proverbial mountain into a mole hill when he claimed the fourth fastest time in Friday afternoon's Indy Lights practice session at Gateway International Raceway. Friday ...
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (June 15, 2000) - - Casey Mears showed how to make a proverbial mountain into a mole hill when he claimed the fourth fastest time in Friday afternoon's Indy Lights practice session at Gateway International Raceway. Friday afternoon's practice was the second practice of the Motorola 300 race weekend in preparation for round 10 of the 12-race Dayton Indy Lights Championship on Sunday.
Mears, of Bakersfield, Calif., turned a fast lap around Gateway's 1.27-mile oval in 0.29:858 = 152.125 mph. Scott Dixon, of New Zealand, was fastest at 0.29:252 = 156.297 mph.
Mears' lap was distinguished because of the team's ability to completely repair severe front left wheel, suspension, and an assortment of other damages suffered by Mears' Dorricott Racing/Sooner Trailer Lola in a practice session crash during the morning session.
"We returned to the springs we had in testing and the results were obvious," said Mears. "We loosened the car too much in the morning practice. We're where we should be after missing a practice. We're behind but not by much. It's more a factor of track time at the moment. We'll have tomorrow morning's practice to catch up to the rest. Now we can begin fine tuning the car for the race."
Jason Bright, of Gold Coast, Australia, stepped up his pace with the sixth quickest lap in 0.29:951 = 152.649 mph. Townsend Bell, of Costa Mesa, Calif., and his DirecPC Lola was close behind in eighth place at 0.30:199 = 151.396 mph.
"We still have a lot of understeer in the car but we did turn it on for one lap," said Bright. "I think I'm still easing into the oval techniques but the times are going to be there for our car. We should make up a lot of time between now and tomorrow's qualifying."
The 30-minute session began on schedule at 2:00 p.m. (CT) under partly cloudy but sunny skies and 76 degrees. Dixon was the fastest river throughout the practice. There was one yellow flag issued with 10 minutes remaining in the session for debris on the back straight-away.