INDIANAPOLIS, Wednesday, July 23, 2003 -- Jeff Burton and Kevin Lepage each topped 179 mph July 23 in the final day of testing for the Brickyard 400 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The 10th Brickyard 400 is scheduled for Aug. 1-3 at the...
INDIANAPOLIS, Wednesday, July 23, 2003 -- Jeff Burton and Kevin Lepage each topped 179 mph July 23 in the final day of testing for the Brickyard 400 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The 10th Brickyard 400 is scheduled for Aug. 1-3 at the famed 2.5-mile oval, with qualifying Aug. 2 and the race Aug. 3.
Burton's top speed was 179.959 mph in the No. 99 Citgo Ford, and Lepage turned a lap of 179.742 in the No. 71 Matrix Motorsports Ford. Both were making simulated qualifying runs.
Indiana native Ryan Newman, the defending NASCAR Winston Cup Series Raybestos Rookie of the Year, also tested in the No. 12 Alltel Dodge. Newman's top speed from the private test day was not released at the request of his team, Penske Racing.
Lepage, who said July 22 that his independent Matrix team was focused solely on finding a solid qualifying speed, left the Speedway this morning after completing only nine laps. Newman and Burton tested all day and recorded 91 and 100 laps for the day, respectively.
Burton said it's imperative that teams test at Indy, for two reasons: Despite frequent comparisons to other venues such as Pocono Raceway and Michigan International Speedway, there's nothing like Indy's 2.5-mile oval, and the importance of winning the Brickyard 400.
"It's a real specialized race, and we feel it requires direct attention," Burton said. "There's nothing at all like this. The only thing the same about this and Pocono is that it has long straightaways. The corners are totally different.
"This place is so much smoother, (and) Pocono is rough. There's not a corner on this racetrack that resembles Pocono. A lot of people look at the straightaways and say, 'It's like Pocono,' but it's nothing like Pocono."
Burton said both he and his team owner, Jack Roush, place winning the Brickyard 400 high on their "to do" list.
"Anybody that has been involved or is involved in motorsports that doesn't have a respect for Indianapolis doesn't deserve to be in motorsports," Burton said. "It's a historic place with a tremendous amount of heritage, and I have a lot of reverence for that. Everybody's heard of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, so anytime you can be successful at a track with that much history and heritage, that's a special thing."
Jimmie Johnson remained fastest overall during seven days of private testing this month at Indianapolis, turning a lap of 182.028 on July 15 in the No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet. Tony Stewart's track record, set during qualifying for the 2002 Brickyard 400, is 182.960.
Tickets: Reserved-seat Race Day tickets for the Brickyard 400 remain available. Tickets and parking can be purchased on the World Wide Web via www.imstix.com or by calling the IMS Ticket Office at (800) 822-INDY or (317) 492-6700.
<pre> NASCAR WINSTON CUP TESTING REPORT, INDIANAPOLIS July 22-23, 2003 Car No. Driver Speed (mph) Day Total Laps 99 Jeff Burton 179.959 July 23 167 71 Kevin Lepage 179.742 July 23 62 55 Jeff Fultz 176.318** July 22 76 12 Ryan Newman NA* NA 187 Total Laps: 492
*Team did not authorize speeds to be released.
**Did not test July 23.