IPS: Kansas: A.J. Foyt IV dominates opening day

Foyt dominates opening day of Infiniti Pro Series. KANSAS CITY, Kan., Friday, July 5, 2002 -- A.J. Foyt IV showed that speed is in the family genes July 5 by leading both practice sessions during the debut of the Indy Racing Infiniti Pro Series...

Foyt dominates opening day of Infiniti Pro Series.

KANSAS CITY, Kan., Friday, July 5, 2002 -- A.J. Foyt IV showed that speed is in the family genes July 5 by leading both practice sessions during the debut of the Indy Racing Infiniti Pro Series at Kansas Speedway.

Foyt, 18, led the first practice at 29.9590 seconds, 182.650 mph in the No. 14 Harrah's/A.J. Foyt Team Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone owned by his grandfather, four-time Indianapolis 500 winner A.J. Foyt. The younger Foyt, from Hockley, Texas, also was fastest in the second practice at 30.3611, 180.231.

"It was fun; it's faster than what I expected," A.J. Foyt IV said. "The car was real stable; it felt real good right out of the box."

This was the first day of official event activity for the Infiniti Pro Series, the new development series of the Indy Racing League. Ten drivers turned a total of 410 laps during two practice sessions totaling 75 minutes, with Foyt leading under the watchful and often-demanding eye of his grandfather.

"He was pretty good, but that's probably because we were running good," Foyt said of his grandfather. "The real test will be when we're running sixth or seventh. He's been pretty calm. I don't know if he was nervous; I was a little nervous, but once I got in the car, it went away."

The first 100-mile race for the series starts at 10:10 a.m. (CDT) on the 1.5-mile oval at Kansas Speedway, with a total purse of $100,000. Pole qualifying starts 2:15 p.m. Saturday.

Infiniti Q45 engines power new Dallara Automobili chassis built for the series, with Firestone Firehawk tires used exclusively on all cars. The V8 engines produce approximately 450 horsepower for the single-seat winged chassis.

USAC short-track standout Aaron Fike was second fastest overall today, posting a top lap of 30.5600, 179.058 in the No. 91 Hemelgarn Racing entry during the second practice. Hemelgarn Racing also fields an Indy Racing League entry for Buddy Lazier, 1996 Indianapolis 500 winner and 2000 IRL champion.

Arie Luyendyk Jr. was third overall at 30.5846, 178.914 in the No. 5 entry owned by his father, two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Arie Luyendyk.

USAC short-track standout Ed Carpenter was fourth overall at 30.6050, 178.794 in the No. 2 Menards/Jack K. Elrod Co./Futaba/Delphi entry. He only drove in the morning session before flying to Indiana to race in a USAC Stoops Freightliner Sprint Car Series race tonight at Winchester Speedway.

Actor-driver Jason Priestley rounded out the top five at 30.7335, 178.047 in the No. 7 HomeMed Pharmacy entry. Priestley was the first driver to turn an official lap during Infiniti Pro Series activity this morning.

-irl/ips-

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Series Indy Lights
Drivers Buddy Lazier , A.J. Foyt IV , Aaron Fike , Jason Priestley , A.J. Foyt , Ed Carpenter , Arie Luyendyk Jr.