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The best question nobody has asked

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  • The best question nobody has asked

    Where in the world is Greg Ray?

    Yesterday I noticed that his name still isn't on the garage sign (Sharp's is).

    No big deal I guess...he still took some laps in the #7, even though he couldn't get w/in 3mph of his teammate.


    The car is gone. The tool boxes are gone. Everything's gone. Kelley still has two transporters here but there's no sign of Ray anywhere.


    (stir, stir, stir)

    Center Grove Trojans
    2008 5A Football State Champs
    2015 6A Football State Champs
    2011 Track State Champs

    Center Grove Jr. Trojans
    2014, 2015 & 2017 IEFA State Champs

  • #2
    "It was actually fun, because you're back fully driving again in these trucks. Ninety percent of the tracks we go to in the IRL, you're flat-out. I was having to lift off the corners some here." - Buddy Rice


    • #3
      Originally posted by Racewriter:
      we agree!


      • #4
        Al Unser Jr. come on down!


        • #5
          Remember they only had the 2 engines for the 2 teams so maybe something was wrong with the one in GR's car.
          SENسR MODERATOR......

          "Better To Be Judged By Twelve Than Carried By Six"
          " Only Those Who Will Risk Going Too Far....Can Possibly Find Out How Far One Can Go "...T.S. Elliot....


          • #6
            You guys need to relax.

            I just spoke with Kelley's PR person about what was going on with Greg today, and she led me to believe it was a routine mechanical glitch that the team probably could not address and fix before the end of the day, so everyone packed up and went home - Greg included. She said she hadn't been able to talk with any of the engineers or Greg before they left, but that there's no cause for alarm (i.e. Greg's status with the team is OK).

            You are all forgetting that this is a TEST. Each team has their own objectives - sorry that they didn't confer with TrackForum.com to make sure we all agreed with them.

            That means:

            1) teams are TESTING new things, not just necessarily aiming for the top of the speed chart each day;

            2) speeds do not mean anything, as, again, they are TESTING new things;

            3) many savvy teams have their quick setups from last year and are now simply working on a race-day setup and/or are running in traffic to see how the new update kits affect the handling. You would be surprised as to how many teams downplay qualifying except that they do not want to be stuck in the back of the pack - poles are only good until the race starts, and they don't pay very much (of course, Indy is the exception). Believe me, poles are good for PR and media folks who are not savvy enough to go out and get the real story behind the race - not much else (dont' believe me? How many of you will sit and watch qualifying for the NASCAR Rockingham race in two weeks? How many of you, NASCAR fans or not, would sit and watch a program instead that focuses on the teams who do the work behind the scenes and show the real stuff that goes on in NASCAR garages and back at the shop?);

            4) if they are using race-day setups, that means running with a full tank, which will slow the car down;

            5) even Menard, typically a team that has concentrated on the brief, fleeting success of qualifying on the pole, has indicated they are shifting their focus in 2002 to race day consistency, not poles (although, I'm sure they'd take one or two if they could get them);

            6) most teams come to a test with a specific list of objectives to achieve for THEIR team only. Once they have accomplished these objectives, or at least have gotten feedback on a direction with those objectives, it does them NO GOOD to sit there and mileage out precious motors or waste/use up other equipment and/or tire out a team which has had NO off season (which is the case with the Kelley team, as they have spent all "off-season" building their new state-of-the-art 34,000 square foot shop - simply, they're VERY tired). Also, I'm a bit alarmed at the problem with cut tires - it doesn't matter what the cause is, I'm not sure if I'd want to run in circles all day at 170+ mph knowing that at any moment a cut tire (which all teams seemed to have suffered at this PIR test) could send my driver into the wall;

            7) the emphasis on the Penske drivers' top speeds is really funny. Shouldn't this track - of any of the tracks besides Indy that the IRL races on - be the ONE track that Penske has a handle on? They've been there before and have a ton of experience. I know, I know - last year's dismal results in the race for both drivers. But you have to remember that they were also dealing with a completely new chassis/engine package and that they specifically entered that race to work on familiarizing them with the equipment and the IRL before Indy. It doesn't surprise me at all that Helio and Gil are fast at either PIR or Fontana - they should be. Or Nazareth, for that fact - it's Penske's home track and they have more data on that PA facility than any other team that exists. A better measure will be Gateway or Richmond or even Kentucky - but I'm not worried there either as you know they'll get the most from the limited testing they'll be allowed. Simply, Penske's does not get into any business venture unless he's "got a handle" on the competition, which is why he's so good.

            In short, speculation as to what is going on at PIR and why is really a fruitless endeavor. I, too, am interested in speeds, and the things going on with each team (and I've certainly had discussions about it in the past week - I am VERY interested), but it would be silly for me to sit here and speculate that Greg Ray is out of his ride simply because the team packed up and left PIR early.

            There's so much else going on in racing this weekend and this week, give it a rest and leave Greg Ray alone for once. He's a fine driver who's got a great opportunity this year in one of the IRL's strongest teams. Why drag him or that team down with pointless negativity that is based on absolutely nothing?

            JMHO...not trying to criticize anyone in particular.



            • #7
              Oh, for Pete's sake...
              Dave Steele Rocks!!!


              • #8
                Great points Janie, except for the cut tire part. Everyone knows that those are Greg's fault.
                Some people will do nearly anything in order to be able to not do anything.


                • #9
                  That was a lot of words to confirm what I thought Janie
                  SENسR MODERATOR......

                  "Better To Be Judged By Twelve Than Carried By Six"
                  " Only Those Who Will Risk Going Too Far....Can Possibly Find Out How Far One Can Go "...T.S. Elliot....


                  • #10
                    He's probably polishing his 1999 IRL champions trophy as we speak


                    • #11
                      In that case, Janie, let's just shut Track Forum down.

                      Or perhaps you could open your own forum for people to discuss only things which have already happened. No speculation permitted.

                      Oh, and are you going to be the one to tell Scott Sharp that Kelley was willing to risk putting him into the wall on a cut tire, but not Greg?

                      Center Grove Trojans
                      2008 5A Football State Champs
                      2015 6A Football State Champs
                      2011 Track State Champs

                      Center Grove Jr. Trojans
                      2014, 2015 & 2017 IEFA State Champs


                      • #12
                        Most of my post was a general topic for all TF posters, not aimed at any one person (but then again, if you read the whole thing, you would have known that).

                        TD - you were inferring that because PIR hadn't put up a garage sign that Greg Ray was out of his ride (cliff notes version). I was simply stating that your assumptions were a bit silly. Speculation is great and in a big way what this forum is based on, but when you (collectively) continually speculate negatively about ONE particular driver and base it on nothing but your own baseless and negative attitude, that, in my opinion, is tiresome (yes, baseless in this case - you never bothered to get any facts about WHY the team left, you just would rather assume or speculate that he was tossed).

                        There's NOTHING to speculate about when it comes to the security of Greg Ray's ride except if you've got a predetermined bad attitude toward Greg. I was simply stating that there's nothing - since he's been at Kelley - to base that on. And even if you want to base something on his past rides with Menard, etc. and bring up crashing - do you REALLY know why he crashed so much? I sure don't. But I'd bet a fair amount of money that it was a combination of things, and not one particular failure each time (driver, tires, engine, 39 cent o-ring, RR tire changer, air jack, other competitors, bad luck, etc.).

                        Most team owners are not dumb (although quite a few have demonstrated brain fades at the most inopportune times). If those crashes, etc. were ALL Greg's fault, don't you think he would have been out of the ride ASAP? Or could it mean that it might have been a combination of things that caused the crashes, like mechanical problems, human/team mistakes or simply bad luck?

                        I love coming to TrackForum and I'm interested in all of the discussions and opinions based here whether I agree or not - but the constant bashing of certain drivers, namely Greg Ray, is getting very tiresome.

                        Asking where Greg Ray went today is something I was curious about, too, which is why I called and got an answer. Implying that because he left the track early he was out of a ride or being reprimanded somehow (you and others after you) is going a bit overboard and I thought was a bit unneccessary. And, apparently, you didn't read the last line of my post - that was just my opnion - something I assume I'm allowed to voice here every once in awhile. I never said anyone had to agree with me.

                        As for your smart-*** remark about risking Scott Sharp and not Greg Ray - you completely missed the point. Maybe Scott's team had more things they wanted to accomplish, thus they stayed at the test. If Greg Ray's car was not functioning well, and it was not going to be an easy fix, why thrash to get him out again for 20 minutes at the end of the session when there was ALSO the problem with the cut tires. Why not pack up and go home, fix the mechanical woes, and go to the next test with a healthy car and without the cut tire problems?

                        And, you're welcome for getting you an answer to the original question. Carry on...


                        [ February 09, 2002: Message edited by: Janie ]


                        • #13
                          Quotes from the IRL test in Phoenix - just released a bit ago:

                          JIM FREUDENBERG (General manager, Kelley Racing) (About decision not to test Greg Ray today): "We're done for the day. We got what we needed. We'll take what we learned from the first day. We're testing next weekend at Homestead."



                          • #14
                            Here's the rest of the PIR quotes from today - just as I thought, lots of full-tank runs (check out what Buhl & Co. are doing this week - maybe that's why they have full sponsorship from a very high-profile retailer and are keeping them happy year after year):


                            INDY RACING LEAGUE TEST IN THE WEST: DAY 3 QUOTES

                            AVONDALE, Ariz., Saturday, Feb. 9, 2002 - Driver and official quotes from the third and final day of the annual Indy Racing League Test in the
                            West, Feb. 9 at Phoenix International Raceway:

                            BRIAN BARNHART (Vice president of operations, Indy Racing League): "The goals of the seventh Test in the West were accomplished.
                            Everyone has a positive attitude, and it's an exciting atmosphere heading into the first race in Miami. Everyone involved in the seventh Test in
                            the West should really be proud of themselves. The teams, drivers and safety crews have done excellent work this week. It takes a great deal of
                            coordination and cooperation to pull off an event like this. The Test in the West was essentially two events at separate venues combined into one
                            week. Of course, the league couldn't have pulled this off without the support of the professional staffs at California and Phoenix."

                            ALEX BARRON (No. 44 Blair Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "This is the end of our first week of running our Dallara/Chevrolet. The
                            highlight of this week for me was working with the team and getting on the track. We are working well together. As a team, everyone at Blair
                            Racing has worked hard to get us to this point. Everything looks good and promising." (About Phoenix International Raceway): "Racing the IRL
                            car here is what I expected, but this will be a tough race. It's hard to pass here."

                            BILLY BOAT (No. 98 CURB/Agajanian/Boat Indy Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "We spent most of the day doing full-tank runs. We
                            trimmed out the car there at the very end, but we ran out of time to do as much as we wanted to. We still posted a respectable speed. We have a
                            good baseline to work from, and we know what we have to do to come back and run at the front."

                            ROBIN BRAIG (Executive vice president and general manager, Phoenix International Raceway): "This IRL Test in the West was 'Lucky 7' for us,
                            as it certainly featured one of our best fields ever. It brought out additional Phoenix area race fans to see the Marlboro Team Penske and Blair
                            Racing cars, and Sam Hornish Jr., last year's IRL champ and the defending winner here at Phoenix. The Test in the West not only gives the
                            teams a chance to warm up for the Bombardier ATV Copper World Indy 200 in March, but it gives our area race fans a chance to see the new
                            teams, new equipment, and our ever-improving race facility. Any time you can get 20 racers at your facility, it's a boost to us. It boosts our race
                            exposure in the marketplace and keeps people talking racing. It certainly didn't hurt that we had the great Phoenix weather on our side. The
                            cooperation of the IRL drivers is unmatched. We thank them for their hour-long free autograph session. We can't wait to host the IRL and USAC
                            at the 25th Bombardier ATV Copper World Indy 200 next month. Area race fans will see the best open-wheel racing the sport has to offer, and
                            we're proud to present it."

                            ROBBIE BUHL (No. 24 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing G Force/Infiniti/Firestone): "Overall, the Purex car is really good. We want to pick up a few
                            tenths when it comes to qualifying. We feel pretty good about the progress we made today. The Infiniti motor was outstanding. We are just
                            looking forward to getting better. The Dreyer & Reinbold team is staying in Phoenix for a few more days. Tomorrow, I am hosting the first annual
                            Robbie Buhl Indy driving academy for the Dial executives and their wives. Then Monday, we have our annual Dial day. We think it is important for
                            the crew members to understand the intricacies of the Dial and Purex business plans and products, so they are going to go to a training
                            program to learn those things. We will also hold a few pit stops for the employees, and then I'll race a few lucky winners at a local go-kart track."

                            RICHARD CARON (General manager, Red Bull Cheever Racing): ""We ran full tanks today and race simulations. Yesterday, we worked on
                            speed and balance. Today was about longevity. I'm pleased, but we still have some work to do." (About rookie test driver Tomas Scheckter):
                            "Very, very, very talented. He is a quick learner, very disciplined. He is like Eddie, only a little younger. They have the same temperament, same
                            patience, same style. He loves the ovals."

                            HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "Overall, the test went well. The track changed from
                            yesterday, so the setup we started with this morning didn't work. We made changes to the Marlboro car during the first session, which improved
                            the balance. This afternoon, we worked on race setup and long runs with full tanks. We're making progress, and I'm looking forward to racing in
                            Phoenix next month."

                            EDDIE CHEEVER JR. (No. 51 Cheever Indy Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone, 1998 Indianapolis 500 winner): "We focused on full-tank runs
                            today with the Red Bull Cheever Racing Infiniti. I was pleased with how the car felt on full tanks. I ran some with Tomas (Scheckter), a few laps
                            with the Penske's, and the car felt good. We need to go home now and figure out how to make me run quicker by myself. Tomas is a blazing gun
                            and is doing very well. Overall, we have made all the gains that you need to make to win the championship. If anybody thinks that Penske is not
                            going to do everything in their power to beat everybody, they're wrong. The gauge has changed dramatically. We have to make quantitative
                            leaps forward in the offseason, and I think we have done that."

                            GIL DE FERRAN (No. 6 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "It was a very good test for Marlboro Team Penske. We worked
                            on both qualifying and race trim, and we're relatively happy with both. We did our homework, and hopefully we'll be competitive race weekend."

                            JIM FREUDENBERG (General manager, Kelley Racing) (About decision not to test Greg Ray today): "We're done for the day. We got what we
                            needed. We'll take what we learned from the first day. We're testing next weekend at Homestead."

                            FELIPE GIAFFONE (No. 21 Hollywood Mo Nunn Racing G Force/Chevrolet/Firestone, 2001 Chevy Rookie of the Year): "We struggled a little bit
                            in Fontana. It was hard to go the right direction because we lost an engine there. Over here (Phoenix), the car was pretty good from the first day.
                            It looks like we will have a pretty good race car. It's a shame we broke something because we just had new tires."

                            SAM HORNISH JR. (No. 4 Panther Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone, 2001 Indy Racing League champion): "It feels pretty good. It's just
                            practice, but we like coming to Phoenix. It's always good to be the fastest. We are not happy unless we are fastest in practice, qualifying and the
                            race. I'm pretty happy with the test. It's a long way before the race. It's not a real big deal to us, but we like to be on top. We can always improve."
                            (About running closely with Helio Castroneves in the closing minutes): "We were both out there, I imagine working on our race setup. That is the
                            best way to find out how it will handle in race traffic, to get out there and dice it up. I had fun. I don't know if he had fun."

                            BUDDY LAZIER (No. 91 Hemelgarn Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone, 1996 Indianapolis 500 winner, 2000 Indy Racing League champion):
                            "The test went really well. This Test in the West is a great idea. Fontana is a beautiful racetrack and then coming here to Phoenix with one travel
                            day, it was a great way to start the season. It's been real productive for us. We've been collecting information. It's kind of like a reconnaissance
                            sort of thing in that we're collecting information, and hopefully we can apply that when we come back to race. Unfortunately, we broke a bell
                            housing yesterday morning. We kind of lost a day of the two-day test, but thank goodness it was a two-day test rather than one because it gave
                            us time to have one (bell housing) air-shipped in from Indianapolis that the guys had in the shop. We tried to borrow one, but that's not a piece
                            that anybody has as a spare, especially this time of year. Thank goodness we were able to run this afternoon. In a way, we were playing catch up
                            with the field because they've been able to try a lot of things, but yet our speeds aren't too bad. I mean, they're respectable. We're enthusiastic,
                            and we're learning a lot." (Are you looking forward to racing in IROC?): "I really am. It's so much fun. For your own pride, you want to run great
                            and hopefully I'm able to. It's so nice to know what I'm doing now there, not being 100-percent rookie. After four races, you're not officially a
                            rookie anymore, but it's still new and never having run stock cars. It's a lot of fun. I sure hope to be able to walk out of there with our heads high
                            being open-wheel guys. I think we're going to be very competitive. I'm looking forward to it for fun. It's really a fun thing to do." (How is your
                            expecting wife, Kara, doing?): "My wife is doing great. She's due to have a baby any time. When you're at high altitude like we are - we're at
                            almost 8,700 feet in Vail, Colorado - babies come anywhere ... they average like more than 80 percent coming two to three weeks before their
                            due time, the nine-month period, and she's in that period. When she gave birth to Flinn, it was right about now, so we expect a new child any
                            minute, and we're really happy about it. We couldn't be happier."

                            JAQUES LAZIER (No. 2 Team Menard Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone): "It's been a pretty successful Test in the West for Team Menard. We had a
                            real good run at Fontana. We learned a lot there. We struggled a little bit here. But at the same time, each time we go out, we learn a little bit
                            more. I'm confident. We'll go back and scratch our heads a little bit and take a look at some numbers. This is too good of a team. We'll come
                            back and get everything figured out and be ready."

                            ANTHONY LAZZARO (No. 99 Sam Schmidt Motorsports Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone) (About accident today): "I was going around a slower car
                            on the bottom, and there was a car in front of me. I got in that dirty air from the car in front of me, and it just pushed me into the gray. We learned
                            a lot, made a lot of progress. We were starting a long run and desperately needed it."

                            LAURENT REDON (No. 34 Mi-Jack/Conquest Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "It was a good test for us because we have never been to this
                            kind of track. We made a lot of progress. We lost some time because the car is touching a bit, so we were working with the ride heights. We had
                            a big push in Turns 1 and 2, and we made some changes to fix that problem. The Infiniti is much better for us. We have a good package for this

                            TOMAS SCHECKTER (No. 52 Cheever Indy Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone): "Today went well. We used most of the day working on the race
                            setup. I think we accomplished a lot. I learned a lot from Eddie by following him, and he followed me. We just worked the traffic with high fuel
                            loads. I think yesterday was more of a speed day than today. We didn't really concentrate on our times today. We just worked on the car, and
                            what it would do in the race. I'm pleased with how things went."


                            • #15
                              I think you are right rrrr. I didn't see your post before the edit, but I think it still gets the point across. I have my favorites, but I can usually come up with at least one redeeming value for anyone racing anything especially Indy cars. In defense of those bashing this driver or that driver, I know it's easy to get upset at a particular driver based on a particular incident, particularly if he caused your favorite problems of some sort. I just think everyone should remember these guys are putting their rears on the line to entertain us and most of us couldn't do nearly as well as those that are there.
                              Some people will do nearly anything in order to be able to not do anything.


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