(NAZARETH, Pa.) Apr. 7, 2000 -Dutchman Sepp Koster emerged quickest from an ultra-fast morning session in which 18 Barber Dodge Pro Series drivers eclipsed the Nazareth track record. Koster's time of 0:26.906 was four tenths faster than the...
(NAZARETH, Pa.) Apr. 7, 2000 -Dutchman Sepp Koster emerged quickest from an ultra-fast morning session in which 18 Barber Dodge Pro Series drivers eclipsed the Nazareth track record. Koster's time of 0:26.906 was four tenths faster than the record set in qualifying last year. Officially, that record still stands as today's one and only morning session was a practice only, with final single-car qualifying set to take place Saturday afternoon.
"We worked quite a bit on the set-up," said a pleased Koster. "It was a very easy car to go quick with. This is more of a 'set-up' track so you have to use your head and figure out what's happening (with the car) and then adapt yourself. I'm enjoying it, but then you enjoy every track when you're quick."
Koster, third quickest yesterday, leapfrogged into the top spot over Thursday's quickest drivers Jon Fogarty and Nilton Rossoni. Rossoni and Fogarty flip-flopped spots from yesterday with Rossoni ahead this time.
Cooler conditions and lack of wind aided the fast times. In spite of the cold track temperatures, the Michelin Pilot SX racing slicks provided good grip once they came up to operating temperature. With the entire field within 1.1 sec. of another, and many of them on an oval for the first time, the competition should be as close as its ever been come Sunday afternoon, a fact that has not escaped Rossoni's attention.
"After every session, if you look at the time sheets, everyone is even closer," Rossoni commented. "I think it's (the race) going to be really, really competitive."
During the practice session, Rossoni made some adjustments to his Barber Dodge Reynard following the posting of his quick time. Following those changes he found the car less to his liking and opted to readjust the settings again. Unfortunately, time ran out before he could try the car again. He feels confident, however, that he is on the right track for Saturday's qualifying session.
Fogarty improved over his test session times but was unable to equal the pace of Koster and Rossoni. Like Rossoni, he feels that he was on the right track with his car set-up and was caught out by a late session yellow flag period that prevented him from making another effort at a quick time. Tomorrow brings a new day which he hopes to be able to capitalize on is progress. He credits much of recent success to working with his engineer Mike Zemicki.
"Working with Slide Rule Motorsports and all the off season has given us a good start and I attribute much of my success to working with Mike as well as to just being more comfortable in the car," Fogarty said.
Single-car final qualifying around the Nazareth Speedway mile-long oval is slated for 4:45 p.m. EDT on Saturday, April 8.
<pre> Times from Practice Session
1.Sepp Koster/0:26.906 sec. 2.Nilton Rossoni/26.981 3.Jon Fogarty/27.004 4.Peter Boss/27.027 5.Andy Lally/27.052 6.Roger Yasukawa/27.081 7.Ryan Hunter-Reay/27.084 8.Jamie Menninga/27.159 9.Andre Nicastro/27.192 10.Sam Hancock/27.201 11.Alexandre Sperafico/27.243 12.Jonathan Macri/27.245 13.Tom Fogarty/27.266 14.Matt Plumb/27.315 15.Marc Breuers/27.342 16.Kip Gulseth/27.348 17.Brent Sherman/27.359 18.Michael Valiante/27.365 19.Sara Senske/27.426 20.Thed Bjork/27.473 21.Scott Mayer/27.612 22.Jon Vannini/27.639 23.Rhonda Trammell/27.765 24.Milka Duno/28.014