Indy Lights Teams get valuable track time …

Posted: May 14, 2011 in Uncategorized

Speedway Sightings at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

By: Wm. LaDow
Daily Trackside Reports from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Published in the Post-Tribune, a Chicago Sun-Times Publication
May 14, 2011

Working with IndCar Series driving coach Al Unser, JR. eighteen Firestone Indy Light drivers hit the track for a scheduled four hour testing session Friday, their last until they practice and qualify a day before their biggest race of the year, the Freedom 100 run on Carb Day, May 27th, at IMS.

Fastest on the day was Andretti Autosport’s Stefan Wilson who was clocked at 190.571 miles per hour. Wilson is younger brother of IndyCar Series driver, Justin Wilson. Following his 66 lap practice run Wilson said “It’s been a really good day. It gives us a bit of momentum going into the race on Carb Day. I just want to thank all of the guys on the #5 Andretti Autosport car. Today really put us in good shape for the race in a few weeks’ time. Hopefully we can keep this performance up and get the pole.”

Six drivers eclipsed the 189 mph mark, with Gustavo Yacaman of Team Moore Racing being second fastest on the day at 189.841.

Bryan Clauson, driving for Sam Schmidt Motorsports, ran 14th fastest on the day at 187.419 mph. Clauson, the 2010 USAC National Drivers Champion is participating in the Firestone Indy Lights Series oval races by virtue of his winning an IndyCar Series “ladder” scholarship, based on his open-wheel accomplishments from last season. Clauson again admitted today that he is feeling the pressure to perform well as the first ever recipient of the USAC/Indy Lights scholarship, but knows that “comes with the territory.”

Slowest on the day was Chase Austin of the Willy T. Ribbs/Starting Line/BAR Race Team at 184.944 mph. It was just Wednesday, that Chris Miles, a principal with Starting Grid, Inc, announced a partnership with former IndyCar driver Willy T. Ribbs to form a team to campaign the 21-year-old African-American driver in the 2011 Freedom 100. Austin, at 15 years of age was the youngest driver ever to sign a developmental contract in NASCAR, doing so with Hendrick Motorsports. By 2007, he drove for Rusty Wallace Racing in the Nationwide Series and has run several races during the last two seasons in the Camping World Truck Series and Nationwide Series.

By the end of the day Friday, IndyCar Series teams were setup in Gasoline Alley with several teams already passed through tech inspection readying for a full practice on Saturday. Gates open at 9am with full IndyCar practice scheduled to begin at 12 noon and running till 6pm.

Al Unser Jr. coaching Indy Lights Drivers at IMS on Friday.

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