Lazier and Castroneves tuning up at Chicagoland

JOLIET, Ill. (July 9, 2002) - On Tuesday, the 2000 Indy Racing League champion, Buddy Lazier joined the recently crowned two-time Indy 500 winner, Helio Castroneves at Chicagoland Speedway for initial practice sessions in preparation for this ...

JOLIET, Ill. (July 9, 2002) - On Tuesday, the 2000 Indy Racing League champion, Buddy Lazier joined the recently crowned two-time Indy 500 winner, Helio Castroneves at Chicagoland Speedway for initial practice sessions in preparation for this Saturday's True Value IROC Race 3.

Lazier, who finished 11th in the 2001 Delphi Indy 300, was quick to point out how pleasantly surprised he was by the level of comfort he attained within only a few laps in the True Value IROC cars. Lazier said, "In the past, at the beginning of an IROC weekend, I'm usually somewhat uncomfortable with the way the car rolls in the corners and I need to relearn that feel, but for whatever reason, I'm not feeling that at all, the car really feels very comfortable." He continued, "I went out and was just learning my way around the track in this style car, followed a few guys for a while, but mainly ran a ton of laps on my own, just to get a good feel and I did get a good feel. I ran over 80-laps. Me, and the car, were faster at the end of those 80-laps than we were at the beginning of the run."

The current IRL points leader, Castroneves, who has never been to the Joliet, Ill 1.5-mile tri-oval said, "This experience here for me today was amazing. I feel like every time I do this (True Value IROC) I make big improvements. This is the first time for me at Chicagoland and I am really happy with this facility, especially with me coming from Kansas, which is a beautiful track as well, but I really like the shape of this circuit (Chicagoland). I can't tell you how much I am very impressed with how the cars are going here. I ran three different cars and my lap times were the same in all three, and that's what impressed because in each car I could go high, I could go low and I could pass people. So, I'm just hoping on Saturday, with 12 cars, the feeling stays the same."

True Value IROC Race 3 driver practice and testing will continue on Wednesday at Chicagoland Speedway.

-iroc-

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About this article
Series IROC
Drivers Buddy Lazier , Helio Castroneves