IPS: Phoenix Test: Pre-season final test notes

Medeiros Fastest in Menards Infiniti Pro Series Testing AVONDALE, Ariz, Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2004 -- Seven Menards Infiniti Pro Series drivers completed a total of 1,095 laps during testing Feb. 10 at the reconfigured Phoenix International ...

Medeiros Fastest in Menards Infiniti Pro Series Testing

AVONDALE, Ariz, Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2004 -- Seven Menards Infiniti Pro Series drivers completed a total of 1,095 laps during testing Feb. 10 at the reconfigured Phoenix International Raceway.

Thiago Medeiros posted the fastest lap of the day at 156.718 mph, 22.9712 seconds in the No. 11 Sam Schmidt Motorsports Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone.

Rookie Jesse Mason was second fastest at 154.687 mph, 23.2728 seconds in the No. 3 Brian Stewart Racing Dallara/Infiniti Firestone, but his test ended early after he made contact with the SAFER Barrier in Turn 4. There was significant damage to the right side of his car, but Mason was uninjured.

Another rookie, Phil Giebler, was third quickest at 154.457 mph, 23.3074 seconds. Giebler, a former Red Bull Driving Search candidate, ran his first laps in the Menards Infiniti Pro Series in the No. 2 Keith Duesenburg Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone.

The 2004 Menards Infiniti Pro Series season-opener, the Homestead 100, is scheduled for Feb. 29 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. ESPN2 will broadcast the event at 4 p.m. on March 4.

POST-PRACTICE QUOTES:

THIAGO MEDEIROS (No. 11 Sam Schmidt Motorsports Dallara/Infiniti/ Firestone): "The car ran pretty well. We started to try some things, like make more mechanical changes than aero package because sometimes during a race weekend, we don't have time to set up the car and make those big changes. We're trying to set up the car for qualifying and for the race." (About the reconfiguration of Phoenix International Raceway): "The track is about 10 feet wider in the exit to Turn 2. It just makes the track safer, I think. It's also a little bit quicker because you can carry a little bit more speed into the turn and have a little more room on the back straightaway." (About testing with a teammate for the first time): "Arie (Luyendyk Jr.) is a very good driver and a good guy. It's better because we are testing different things, and now he can see my data, and I can see his data. We can learn from each other, and hopefully, we'll have a nice friendship between us and work together the same way."

ARIE LUYENDYK JR. (No. 5 Sam Schmidt Motorsports Dallara/Infiniti/ Firestone): "We found out that our wing was broken, and it caused our car to not make much downforce on the front. We were struggling with a push all day. We put Thiago's wing on the front of our car, and then we discovered we had much more grip, so that basically put us back to square one." (What's it like to be back in a Menards Infiniti Pro Series car?): "I did the 24 Hours of Daytona and tested a (NASCAR) Southwest Tour car here, so it was a little bit of getting used to the Pro Series car. After a few laps, I was fine." (About the reconfigured Phoenix International Raceway): "I like it because you have more room on the outside of (Turn) 2. But then again, you don't have many references because the bridge is gone, and the wall is different on the outside of (Turn) 2. It's a little harder to find a reference point on the outside of Turn 2."

PHIL GIEBLER (No. 2 Duesenburg Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): (About his first experience in a Pro Series car): "It's definitely different from what I'm used to racing in Europe. This is my first time turning left all around the racetrack. It took a little bit of time to get used to it, and obviously, you don't trust the car at first. You just have to build up to it, so that was the biggest thing. We're running good now, and we're running consistent, which is what I wanted to do. We're making changes, and we're making progress and learning a lot, so things are heading in the right way." (How did you meet Keith Duesenburg?): "They've been following what I've been doing in Europe. They knew I was back in the States. It's kind of lucky it all came together, and we'll see where it goes from here. We'll see if we can come up with all the funds. Right now, I'd be happy to do the series and make a title attack."

JESSE MASON (No. 3 Brian Stewart Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "We were going quicker and having a pretty good day, actually. We were fighting a push all day, but we were getting better. At the end there, we took too much push out, and it kind of snapped around on me. I was feeling a little bit loose and should have come in, but I just kind of drove through it. That's what happened."

BRAD POLLARD (No. 24 Kenn Hardley Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "We learned a lot. I got more used to the car, and we did pretty good. The track changed a lot from the last time I was here. I just took my time and went slowly. I tried to learn what the car would do in certain situations and just adapt. The guys made great changes all day and kept giving me a great car to work with. I learned a lot. They taught me a ton today."

MARTY ROTH (No. 4 Marty Roth Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "We had a lot of work to do, and that's why we came here. The tires are a little different, and the track's a little different. It was a good day. We learned a lot. The car ran great, and we should be in great shape for the race."

PAUL DANA (No. 91 Team Ethanol Hemelgarn 91/Johnson Motorsports Dallara/Infiniti/ Firestone): "We got a lot of track time. I was getting a little tired and little inconsistent there at the end. We're all scratching our heads and are a little frustrated, because we should have quit at lunch. We were awesome until lunch. We were making gains, the car was going quicker and everything we were doing was working, and somewhere, we lost the plot after lunch. We've been junk all afternoon. Everyone else went quicker in the afternoon, but we went slower. We need to figure out what went wrong."

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About this article
Series Indy Lights
Drivers Sam Schmidt , Marty Roth , Jesse Mason , Phil Giebler , Thiago Medeiros