Friday practice: Infiniti one-two

Eddie Cheever likes the new Kansas Speedway so much, he believes it may give Texas Motor Speedway a run for being the "second best" track in the Indy Racing League. Of course, the top spot belongs to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the home of the Indianapolis 500.

Friday practice: Infiniti one-two

Cheever has good reason to like the new 1.5-mile oval after posting the fastest speed in Friday's combined practice sessions with a lap at 216.973 miles per hour in a Dallara-Infiniti for Sunday's Ameristar Casino 500 IRL race. Robbie Buhl, the only other Infiniti driver in the series, was second quickest at 216.623 mph in a G Force-Infiniti.

"We haven't run here before, so we had to get as much data as possible today," Cheever said. "The track is as flat as this table. This is a world-class facility. For the longest time, we always considered Texas to be our second track to Indy. I think this is going to give Texas a run for its money."

With Sunday's race already sold out, it will be one of the largest crowds to watch the IRL this season, falling behind the 400,000 fans for the 85th Indianapolis 500 and the 78,000 fans for the June 9 Casino Magic 500 at Texas Motor Speedway.

Kansas Speedway has 75,000 grandstand seats, all of them sold as part of a season-ticket package that also includes the NASCAR Winston Cup race on September 30.

Buhl believes the high heat and humidity at Richmond, Virginia last Saturday night has helped the drivers prepare for the blazing Kansas heat, which was 99 degrees Friday.

"It was hot in Richmond and you do get used to it," Buhl said. "It will be a factor how it affects the Firestone tyres with the track temperatures. From a driver's standpoint, it's supposed to be hot in Kansas City the week of July 4. Coming into this, we knew this. We didn't expect it to be the hottest weekend of the summer here. The biggest concern is what is the track temperature and how will it coincide with tyre management."

Mark Dismore was the fastest Oldsmobile Aurora driver with a lap at 214.9325 mph in a Dallara chassis.

"I love the track," Dismore said. "I think it has the capability of running two wide in the turns. We're just struggling a little bit. The track temperature was 150 degrees and we're on a green race track."

Eliseo Salazar's 214.899 mph in a Dallara-Aurora and Scott Sharp's 214.720 in a Dallara-Aurora rounded out the top five. There are 22 cars entered for this race with qualifications set for 4:15 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on Saturday.



shares
comments
Richmond notebook: Ray has to watch

Previous article

Richmond notebook: Ray has to watch

Next article

Ward out, but McGehee back in

Ward out, but McGehee back in
Load comments
Why IndyCar’s longest silly-season is still far from over Plus

Why IndyCar’s longest silly-season is still far from over

OPINION: The 2021 IndyCar silly season has been one of the silliest for many years, as many talented drivers remain in play – with new pieces to the puzzle being added all the time. Here's what we know so far about who will end up where in 2022

IndyCar
Sep 15, 2021
Why IndyCar's generational shift isn't as stark as it appears Plus

Why IndyCar's generational shift isn't as stark as it appears

OPINION: The rise of two drivers racing only their second full-season IndyCar campaigns to head the points with four races to go has led to some observers doubting the credentials of the old guard. But they haven't faded away, there's merely a deeper talent pool that is helping to make this season one of the best in recent years

IndyCar
Aug 20, 2021
The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career Plus

The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career

Emerson Fittipaldi’s decision to go racing with his brother led to him falling out of F1, but he bloomed again on the IndyCar scene. NIGEL ROEBUCK considers a career of two halves

Formula 1
Jul 31, 2021
The lasting legacy of a fallen Indycar rookie Plus

The lasting legacy of a fallen Indycar rookie

Jeff Krosnoff was plucked out of obscurity to become a respected and highly popular professional in Japan, and then got his big break in Indycar for 1996. But a tragic accident at Toronto 25 years ago cut short a promising career and curtailed his regular team-mate Mauro Martini's passion for racing

IndyCar
Jul 14, 2021
The two key areas where Dixon needs to re-assert his authority Plus

The two key areas where Dixon needs to re-assert his authority

OPINION: Having been Chip Ganassi Racing's IndyCar focal point for the best part of a decade, Scott Dixon has been so far outgunned by new team-mate Alex Palou in 2021. After finishing behind the Spaniard at his traditional happy hunting ground at Mid-Ohio, Dixon has work to do to assume his traditional position in the team and the standings

IndyCar
Jul 6, 2021
The winners and losers of IndyCar 2021 so far Plus

The winners and losers of IndyCar 2021 so far

At the halfway point in the 2021 IndyCar Series season, we've had seven winners in eight races, spread between five teams – none of them Team Penske. In this unusual season, even by IndyCar standards, who’s excelling and who’s dragging their heels?

IndyCar
Jun 18, 2021
Castroneves: How I kept it under control to make Indy 500 history Plus

Castroneves: How I kept it under control to make Indy 500 history

Helio Castroneves’ overwhelming vivaciousness outside the cockpit belies a hardcore racer who knows how to plot his moves – and then recall it all. A day after his fourth Indy 500 win, he explained his tactics

IndyCar
Jun 2, 2021
How 'chess master' Castroneves cemented his Indy legend status Plus

How 'chess master' Castroneves cemented his Indy legend status

Helio Castroneves joined AJ Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears with the most Indianapolis 500 wins after edging past Alex Palou on the penultimate lap of a thrilling race that validated Michael Shank's faith in the veteran Brazilian - who is discovering that there is life after Penske after all

IndyCar
Jun 1, 2021