Little Comments on Ford Test INDIANAPOLIS (July 15, 1999) Â¯ Twenty-seven Ford teams gathered at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Tuesday and Wednesday for the fourth of seven manufacturer's tests, this time preparing for the 400-mile showdown on...
Little Comments on Ford Test
INDIANAPOLIS (July 15, 1999) ¯ Twenty-seven Ford teams gathered at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Tuesday and Wednesday for the fourth of seven manufacturer's tests, this time preparing for the 400-mile showdown on August 7th. Chad Little, driver of the No. 97 John Deere Taurus, took advantage of the two-day test session to increase his proficiency around the famed four-cornered oval.
Little turned his fastest lap time of 51.331 seconds with an average speed of 175.333 mph on Tuesday, finishing the two-day test with the 15th fastest overall time. Little, who has a 28th-place finish and 42nd-place finish in his two appearances at Indy, hopes that this week's test will prepare him for the rigors of the 160-lap race around the 2.5-mile speedway.
"This has been a very successful test for the John Deere team," said Little. "I've not had the best of performances here, but that's why we have seven test dates. We came away from here with a lot of information, and that isn't completely reflective in the overall times.
"We have some changes we need to make to the car between now and the Brickyard, but that should put us in line with the fastest cars when we come back here in August," continued Little, who has an average starting position of 28th in his two Brickyard appearances. "This is a technically difficult track, with four distinct corners. It's more of a road course than oval when it comes to driving techniques."
Crew chief Jeff Hammond echoed Little's sentiments, adding that the focus of the test was on the race setup and getting Little some seat time around Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
"We basically re-bodied a car we had been racing at Dover and Bristol earlier in the year," said Hammond. "The chassis is one we like, and we ran it against the car we raced at Michigan. By the end of the day Wednesday, we were able to determine that there's still some more work to be done on the body area so it's more efficient in race trim.
"We learned some things that should help in August to qualify well," continued Hammond. "We were really more focused on trying to come up with a race car we race better with. We felt like we gave up some things early in the season as far as our race package is concerned, and that was one of the things we have been focusing on back at the shop. We'll see whether or not it's going to pay off."
The sixth annual Brickyard 400 is scheduled for August 7th, and will be broadcast live on ABC at 1 p.m., EDT.