Series leader Lazier tops Friday practice

The 1.5-mile Kentucky Speedway plays host to the penultimate round of the 2000 Indy Racing League this weekend.

Series leader Lazier tops Friday practice

Series leader Buddy Lazier comes into the event, the Belterra Resort 300, with a 22-point advantage over Eddie Cheever in the chase for the $1 million
Northern Light Cup.

Lazier was the fastest driver in Friday's afternoon practice session when he ran a lap at 218.770mph in his Dallara/Oldsmobile Aurora.

"The day was incredible, it was cooler this morning because the engines ran better," Lazier said. "I was amazed we were able to run so quick this afternoon with it as hot as it was.

"It's a very slippery race track, very tricky. The motor doesn't make as much horsepower when it's hot, so it's a good effort by me."

Rookie Sarah Fisher was second quickest at 218.420mph in a Dallara/Aurora. She had been the fastest driver at last month's open test session.

"Going for the pole is a little bit greedy right now," said the 19-year-old. "Certainly, the pole would be great and would give us a huge boost of confidence.

"But the most important thing this weekend is to put in a good race. We've got to get points, and we've got to finish."

Lazier's younger brother, Jaques, was third fastest at 217.816mph in a Dallara/Aurora. It was Lazier's first day in the Mid-America Freight entry, which had previously been driven by Canadian backmarker Doug Didero.

"I think it was an extremely successful day for everyone at Mid-America," Lazier said. "The fact that we put together this deal last week and are up here with Buddy Lazier and Sarah Fisher is the biggest success we could have dreamed of."

Scott Goodyear and Buzz Calkins complete the top five, while the fastest G Force runner was Al Unser Jr in seventh.

Lazier's main title rival Eddie Cheever was only 19th quickest but the series leader refused to rule him out of contention for the race.

"He's wild," Lazier said. "He let's us know it because he is pitted right behind us. He spins the wheels and smokes the tyres every time. There is nobody I would rather race hard with for a championship than Eddie. It's going to be wheel-to-wheel, with sparks flying, but it's clean racing.

"A 22-point lead is not significant. We're just a hair in front of everybody. We can't sit back or anything. It's going to be tough."

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