BROOKLYN, MI., (July 20, 2000) -- Team KOOL Green's rookie driver Jeff Simmons was strong on the opening day of practice on the 2-mile oval at Michigan Speedway. Simmons stood atop the timesheets in his first visit to a superspeedway after...
BROOKLYN, MI., (July 20, 2000) -- Team KOOL Green's rookie driver Jeff Simmons was strong on the opening day of practice on the 2-mile oval at Michigan Speedway. Simmons stood atop the timesheets in his first visit to a superspeedway after three practice sessions with a lap of 38.485 seconds, averaging 187.086 mph. Jonny Kane, who won the pole in his first trip to the Michigan track last season, was fourth fastest in the combined practice with a time of 38.524 seconds (186.896 mph).
Townsend Bell, who finished second at the last race in Portland ahead of Simmons in third, was second quickest today with a time of 38.513 seconds (186.950 mph). Felipe Giaffone had the third best lap of the day, clocking a time of 38.515 seconds (186.940 mph). Most of today's fast times, however, came by drafting behind other cars and picking up a large tow to go faster. This strategy, while important in the race, will not aid any of the drivers in qualifying.
The 18-car field will return to the track for a 30-minute practice session tomorrow at 9:25 a.m. Eastern Time. Single-car qualifying will begin at 3:15 p.m.
JEFF SIMMONS, #26 Team KOOL Green Lola T97/20:
(1st with a lap-time of 38.485 seconds at 187.086 mph)
"It's a long run out there. Not long in time, but the lap just seems long when you're out there. I wanted to set a good time this morning to get a late qualifying spot. We'll try to go quicker in tomorrow morning's practice. It didn't take that long to adapt to the track. The KOOL car was good right out of the truck. We were making minor adjustments to go a little quicker. It's hard to tell what works though, because when we make it a little quicker it's only a couple hundredths of a second. I'm pretty happy with the day and I think we have a very good shot for the race."
JONNY KANE, #27 Team KOOL Green Lola T97/20:
(3rd with a lap-time of 1:05.429 seconds at 108.337 mph)
"Last year, Team KOOL Green put it all together on both superspeedways. I took the pole here and I won from the pole at California Speedway. That was last year and I'd say we are really quick again this year. It's difficult to tell though in these sessions who is running on their own and who is benefiting from the draft. The car feels great in traffic, but we won't truly know how we are alone until qualifying. It seemed a little slower this afternoon, but that might have to do with the changing conditions."