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IRL: Indy 500 Post-Practice Quotes

16 May 1998


Indianapolis; Friday, May 15, 1998 -- At the conclusion of testing and practice for the Indianapolis 500, IRL teams have logged more than 40,000 miles at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. A total of 71 cars have practiced since the track opened on May 10, and 54 cars were on the track today. Oldsmobile's IRL Aurora V8 is being used by all but two of the teams at this year's Indianapolis 500. Oldsmobile engines posted the 31 fastest speeds in practice.

Tony Stewart set the pace today with a fast lap of 223.797 mph in Team Menard's Oldsmobile-powered Dallara. Kenny Brack (223.464 mph) was second fastest in A.J. Foyt's Aurora-equipped car, and unheralded Greg Ray (222.717 mph) was third on the list.

KENNY BRACK: "When you have a perfect car and a perfect day, you're supposed to be able to go flat out. We've done that a few times, but not during this week. We haven't really done any qualifying run simulations, so we have kept the revs a little lower for now. In qualifying, we'll run right on the rev limiter, at 10,450 rpm. In the corners, the engine speed drops 500 to 600 rpm -- but you're not looking at the rev counter at that point!

"500 miles is a long race, and it's tough on any type of equipment. There is no reason to think that the equipment won't be up to it. The engines are good -- as good as anything out there. If people had doubts about the engines last year, I don't think there will be any doubts this year."

BILLY BOAT (third fastest speed of the day at 221.691 mph in A.J. Foyt's Oldsmobile entry): "On a good lap, under good conditions, you can run flat-out around this track. How much throttle you can use varies with the conditions. As long as you've got a balanced race car, you can run it hard.

"Our engine builder, Katech, and Oldsmobile have done a tremendous job. We're making more power with more reliability. That's always what you strive for in an engine program. With continued development, you're going to see even better reliability and even more power."

DAVEY HAMILTON (ran 218.946 mph in Nienhouse Motorsports' Oldsmobile-powered Indy car): "Yesterday we got to the point where we were flat out in three of the corners. I was lifting just a little bit in Turn 1, but I was flat-out in 2, 3, and 4. The motors are great -- almost too good for the way our car is set up. We need to gain a little on the chassis. Our motors have been consistent and seem to have plenty of power. That part of our program is great right now.

"The IRL engines are similar in horsepower to the engines we run in sprint cars -- but these cars have 6-speed gearboxes, so you can really pick up the speed quickly. The engines turn a lot more rpm and the speed is a lot faster than in a sprint car, but short tracks are still a good training ground for this series."