IRL Tests at Walt Disney World (Day 1)

11 December 1997

Lake Buena Vista, FL--Hard to believe it, but the IRL (Indy Racing League)
opener is just five weeks away (Jan.22-24, 1998). In preparation for the
league opener, ten IRL teams arrived to "The Mickyard" on Tuesday (Dec.9) for
three days of testing. Tuesday's testing was led by Billy Boat of AJ Foyt
Enterprises with a best-lap time of 21.664 for a speed of 166.174. Boat's
spectacular lap was two-tenth's of a second quicker than Tony Stewart's pole
speed (166.013) from last year's race. Obviously, the updated Dallara
chassis is going in the right direction. 

This test session was created for teams to test the new enhancements for the
Dallara, G-Force, and Riley & Scott chassis. Of the ten teams testing seven
drivers (Billy Boat, Jimmy Kite, Greg Ray, Buddy Lazier, Kenny Brack,
Roberto Guerrero and Dr.Jack Miller) utilize the Dallara chassis. Tony
Stewart and Jeff Ward carry the G-Force banner and Stan Wattles is the only
driver in a Riley and Scott. 

Nine of the teams are utilizing the Oldsmobile Aurora engine while Dr.Jack
Miller is the lone driver using the Nissan Infiniti package.  Jeff Sinden
(co-owner with Dr. Jack Miller of the AMS Crest Racing) commenting on the new
Infiniti powerplant "They're getting better all the time. We've made big
gains in the way [the engine] it pulls the RPM's. The torque band has
increased."

Frank Honsowetz (Nissan Manager of Motorsports) commented "We're getting
miles on our hardware. All the dyno testing at home says we're gaining. This
is the first generation of Phase 2 stuff. Since Vegas, it's 20 pounds
lighter and has 20 more horsepower. If we haven't caught up yet, we're close
to catching up."

Earlier in the month (Dec.5-6) Scott Goodyear, testing with the new Panther
Racing team, turned an unofficial lap of 21.21 seconds for a speed of
169.651 mph. Goodyear was the first driver to test the 1998 G-Force chassis.
Goodyear will miss this current test session to undergo sinus surgery. The
Panther team will travel to Phoenix for testing December 18th.

Billy Boat commenting on his quick lap "This car seems to be balanced
better. We used to fight a pushing condition in Turns 1 and 2. That's
greatly improved. We've made it better in the slow corners and maintained
the stability in the high-speed corners."

TOP SPEEDS OF THE DAY FROM IRL TIMING AND SCORING (Dec.9)

DRIVER          TEAM            CAR/ENGINE      LAPS    TIME    SPEED
Billy Boat      AJ Foyt Enterp. D/A             64      21.664  166.174
Jimmy Kite(33T) Team Scandia    D/A             31      22.213  162.067
Tony Stewart(1) Team Menard     G-Force/A       13      22.279  161.587
Greg Ray        Thomas Knapp    D/A             66      22.282  161.565
Jimmy Kite(33)  Team Scandia    D/A             76      22.283  161.558
Buddy Lazier    Hemelgarn Race  D/A             25      22.552  159.631
Kenny Brack     AJ Foyt Enterp. D/A             75      22.566  159.532
Jeff Ward       ISM Racing      G-Force/A       108     22.689  158.667
Roberto GuerreroPagan Racing    D/A             41      23.058  156.128
Stan Wattles    Metro Racing    R&S/A           79      23.322  154.361
Jack Miller     AMS/Crest Race  D/I             89      24.627  146.181
Tony Stewart(1T)Team Menard     G-Force/A       14      25.706  140.045

NOTE:CAR/Engine Abbreviation    D=Dallara, R&S=Riley & Scott, 
                                A=Aurora, I=Infiniti

David Treffer--The Auto Channel

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