Kinser joins Giaffone, Lasoski, and Capps at Talladega. Talladega, AL (April 2, 2003) 17-time World of Outlaws champion Steve Kinser joined fellow WoO driver Danny Lasoski and IRL IndyCar Series representative Felipe Giaffone on Wednesday for ...
Kinser joins Giaffone, Lasoski, and Capps at Talladega.
Talladega, AL (April 2, 2003) 17-time World of Outlaws champion Steve Kinser joined fellow WoO driver Danny Lasoski and IRL IndyCar Series representative Felipe Giaffone on Wednesday for three rounds of simulated races at Talladega Super Speedway.
Kinser won the 1994 Talladega True Value IROC event and shares the distinction with Al Unser, Jr., as the only drivers to win an IROC event at Talladega from open wheel divisions.
Wednesday was Kinser's first time back on the 2.66-mile, high-banked tri-oval in many years and it was obvious that he was excited about returning.
Kinser said, "Talladega is always a lot of fun and with the way the cars are so close it's going to be one heck of a race. We've got a great bunch of guys running (in True Value IROC) this year and we had a great time today, but this is just practice. On Saturday, come race time they'll all turn into race drivers and then forget about all the kindness, but that's what makes IROC so exciting to drive."
Felipe Giaffone, who has been at every practice session since arriving on Tuesday is quite satisfied with his decision to spend the week at Talladega with the True Value IROC team.
Giaffone said, "Well I think with those cars the more you practice the better, with any race car the more you practice the more comfortable you feel. That's why I'm spending the whole week here because I didn't have a lot of time to test in Daytona because I was testing with the IRL. I am just getting more familiar with the car. I am so pleased that I came because every time I go out I learn a couple of different things. We never know what's going to happen in the race, but whatever happens I am learning a lot."
NHRA Funny Car driver, Ron Capps tested for a second day with the True Value IROC series. Capps' boss, the legendary Don "The Snake" Prudhomme was in attendance to witness Capps' progress. Capps' confidence level was obviously up during a simulated race run with series competitors Kinser, Lasoski and Giaffone.
Capps said, "My first day, I had a death grip on the wheel and woke up with my arms a bit soar. (IROC test driver) Dick Trickle took me aside and gave me some good pointers and along with what the other drivers were telling me I was much more relaxed today. I was able to get a good sense for what is going on with the air dancing around out there in the draft. I went from the front to the back several times and started to really appreciate what it takes to do this kind of racing."
True Value IROC President, Jay Signore outfitted Prudhomme with a team radio so he could hear and communicate with his driver, as well as the rest of the field. Signore talked Prudhomme through much of what was happening as they watch the four-car practice session.
"It was cool hearing 'The Snake's' voice on the radio, said Capps. I was kind of imagining what it would be like to have him as a team owner in something like Winston Cup racing. He's been very supportive of me doing this because he always wanted to do this himself. It's great that he was able to be here with me."
Toward the end of the simulated race the crewmembers signaled the drivers with five-laps remaining. Every bit the car owner, Prudhomme joked, "You shouldn't have told them they only had five-laps to go, just tell when it's over to come in."
Of Capps' chance to run an IROC car Prudhomme said, "Ron's such a talented driver, he's got a lot of driving experience and has had great success in drag racing. He's a real sharp guy and I always knew if he got a chance to do this he would be good at it."
"IROC has been a great series for all the racers over the years and it was something I always wanted to do and never did, so I'm living my dream through him."