RLR/Andersen Racing Drivers Second and Third In Firestone Indy Lights Testing Friday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway INDIANAPOLIS, April 11 - RLR/Andersen Racing's J.R. Hildebrand and Andrew Prendeville recorded the second- and third-fastest...
RLR/Andersen Racing Drivers Second and Third In Firestone Indy Lights Testing Friday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway
INDIANAPOLIS, April 11 - RLR/Andersen Racing's J.R. Hildebrand and Andrew Prendeville recorded the second- and third-fastest time, respectively, of the Firestone Indy Lights drivers who participated in an open test Friday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS).
The Palmetto, Fla.-based team worked on its oval track set-up in preparation for the Kansas Lottery 100 on April 27 at Kansas Speedway; the Firestone Freedom 100 at IMS May 23; and the June 1 race at the Milwaukee Mile.
Hildebrand, of Indianapolis, had never driven at IMS before Friday's test, but that didn't stop him from recording a lap at 47.6683 (188.805 miles per hour) in the afternoon to secure the second-fastest time of the day with his Allied Building Products Corp. No. 25. He also finished second in the Firestone Indy Lights race in St. Petersburg, Fla. last Sunday.
Prendeville, of Las Vegas, who finished fourth in the 2007 Freedom 100, was fast right off the transporter on Friday, as he ran a 47.7233 in the morning to post the third-fastest time of the day at an average of 188.587 mph with his Best Friends Animal Society No. 5.
Raphael Matos was fastest overall with a 47.6587 (188.843 mph). James Davison was fourth with a 47.8526 (188.078 mph) and Cyndie Allemann rounded out the top five with a 47.9163 (187.828 mph). A total of 23 drivers participated.
Ken Losch won the pole for last year's Freedom 100 with an average speed of 188.231 mph. The fastest lap in qualifying ever for the Freedom 100 was Jaime Camara's 47.3349 (190.135 mph) in 2005.
Friday's practice was both delayed and interrupted by rain. RLR/Andersen Racing's chief engineer, Dominic Cape, said both of his drivers still completed about 85 laps.
Prendeville will now drive to Cincinnati where he'll make Racing Laps for Best Friends appearances Saturday and Sunday at the Everything Pets show at the Duke Energy Center. The appearance is in conjunction with a display by Kentucky Speedway, which will hold a Firestone Indy Lights race on Aug. 9. For more information about the Everything Pets show, which is open to the public, see everythingpets.org. For more information about Prendeville's Racing Laps for Best Friends program, see racinglapsforbestfriends.com.
Prendeville will also represent the team, the series and Firestone at the inaugural Drive for Our Kids event on Monday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Nashville Superspeedway. Chaired by Liz Allison, the widow of Davey Allison, the event will also feature NASCAR's Sterling Marlin, Bobby Hamilton Jr., Kenny Wallace, Jimmy Spencer and Mike Skinner. The event raises funds in order to provide expert care to children who have been victims of sexual abuse. The Firestone Indy Lights race at Nashville is July 12.
RLR/Andersen Racing is sponsored by Allied Building Products Corp. It is the development team of Rahal Letterman Racing. Its Web sites are at andersenracingteam.com and andersenracepark.com.
Post-test quotes follow:
J.R. Hildebrand: "Just walking into this place, the history hits you like a ton of bricks. It's like no other racetrack. It's not like anything else I've ever experienced. With my road-course background, it feels like a big road course with four corners, but it requires you to really drive around the place. It's not all set-up.
"We had a couple little issues we had to work out in the morning, but Andrew did his fastest time in the morning. Raphael did his fastest lap in the morning as well.
"We were able to put in quite a few laps, and my fastest lap came in the afternoon.
"I came in once because I thought there might be something wrong with a tire when it was really just the wind. I had a couple of big moments today due to gusts of wind.
"It's pretty hard to say now how what we did today will equate to race weekend, but Andrew and I worked well together.
"I only have one real oval under my belt [Homestead], so I had mixed feelings going into today's test. I always try to come in with an open mind, and I was pleased with how things went, how good the car was, and how exciting it was to be here.
"I came here the first time when I was 10 or so. I've sat in the grandstands on both sides of the frontstretch. But when I was 10, never in a million years would I have imagined that someday I would drive a race car here; I was so young."
Andrew Prendeville: "The test went well. I set my fastest time right out of the box. It was a good test. We had a couple sprinkles in the morning, and the wind is always a factor here. I had a couple of moments because of it, but that's part of Indy.
"The team did a great job. It was good preparation for the race here."