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Indy Testing: Kellogg’s Racing Prepped for Brickyard

 

INDIANAPOLIS (July 21, 2004) – For Kellogg’s Racing, two days of testing at Indianapolis Motor Speedway started slowly Monday morning, but ended on a high note Tuesday afternoon as Terry Labonte wrapped up preparations for the Aug. 8 Brickyard 400.

On the overall speed chart, the two-time champion finished in the middle of the pack among the 14 teams testing on the 2.5-mile oval.  But according to chief engineer Alan Gustafson, those times were a little misleading.

“Indy is one of the most temperature-sensitive tracks we race on and we struggled a little on Monday,” Gustafson said.  “In fact, we weren’t very good.  But we did pick it up and by Tuesday afternoon we had one of the fastest cars in race trim.”

For the record, Labonte’s top speed was 177.098 mph.  Sterling Marlin set the pace over two days with a hot lap of 180.305 mph, considerably slower than Kevin Harvick’s pole-winning speed of 184.343 mph last year.

“It was one of the most productive tests we’ve had this season and I think our race package is going to be very strong when we get back up there next month,” Gustafson said.

The team tested two cars at Indy, one of which was a brand new chassis (No. 316) and one that has been run in five races this season.  Labonte’s best laps were turned in Chassis No. 286, which was raced most recently June 20 at Michigan International Speedway.

“The new car was OK, but I think Terry likes No. 286 a little bit better,” Gustafson said.  “It just seemed to be better suited to Indy’s characteristics—long straightaways that carry a lot of speed into those flat corners.”

That being said, the team now turns its attention to this weekend’s Siemens 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway, where Labonte is expected to make the 800th start of his career.

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