The drivers were working to improve their cars and technique for the upcoming Road Runner Turbo Indy 300 at Kansas Speedway on April 26. This is the last IndyCar race before the Indy 500, and the first oval track on the IndyCar schedule this season.
Patrick, the 2005 pole winner, was pleased with the track overall and looking forward to the upcoming race at Kansas.
“The racing is good here. We can race side by side and that’s something very important for good racing. We go to some of the other mile and a half’s and they’re not really as good for that, so I think the racing here at Kansas has been proven to be very close over time,” Patrick said.
An IndyCar Series test is exactly as it sounds. Tests are used by the drivers and their teams for a number of reasons ranging from car set-up to gaining experience on a certain type of track. The valuable knowledge gained from running tests allow teams to perform to their optimum level.
For two-time Road Runner Turbo Indy 300 winner Dan Wheldon, who is new to Panther Racing, testing is an opportunity for his team to develop chemistry in order to achieve their teams season goals.
“With that experience, and with the feel I have for the racecar, I’m able to ask quickly for what I want and, to some degree, demand what I need. It’s my job and at the end of the day it’s my responsibility to put the team in a position to win,” Wheldon said.
For others, a test is an opportunity to get accustomed to a different type of car. Hildebrand, 2008 Firestone Indy Lights Kansas Lottery 100 winner, is new to the IndyCar Series this year. Running a test is an easy way to help him transition from one series to the other.
”It’s my first time driving an IndyCar on an oval, it’s a little different than driving a Lights Car. It definitely gets up to speed on the straights and corners better, and has better brakes,” said Hildebrand. “We were able to get up to speed and were getting more comfortable in the car.”
On Sunday, April 26, see the Firestone Indy Lights Kansas Lottery 100 followed by the Road Runner Turbo Indy 300 with Danica Patrick, Dan Wheldon and the rest of the IndyCar Series. The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series O’Reilly Auto Parts 250 will be on Saturday, April 25. 2009 Ticket Packages are still available, which also includes the NASCAR Nationwide Kansas Lottery 300 and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Price Chopper 400 presented by Kraft Foods on October 3rd - 4th, 2009.