Al Unser Jr. brought his 18 years of Indy car racing experience to Kentucky Speedway to begin testing for the Indy Racing League Nothern Lights Series Belterra Resort Indy 300 that will be run on August 27. Unser, an IRL rookie, was the first IRL driver on the Kentucky Speedway 1.5-mile tri-oval, and was very impressed with the track.

"It's a beautiful facility," Unser said. "This whole thing has everybody in mind: The competitor with the garage set up, and the spectator with the seating."

Unser is excited to bring Indy car racing to a new track. "Every time we come into a new market, we try to show the people in this area what the type of cars are that run at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Indy 500," he said. "The fans get a chance to come out and touch them and feel them and smell them. They get all the excitement that surrounds the Indy 500 here in Kentucky."

Unser said he had run approximately 50 laps on the Speedway by mid-day Wednesday and topped out at around 213 miles per hour. "The track is super fast and super smooth," Unser said. "So far from what I can tell, there are many, many different lines out there." He compared Kentucky Speedway to Las Vegas and Texas Motor Speedways, the site of three 500-mile IRL races.

IRL testing will continue this weekend with approximately 14 drivers. The schedule for the open test sessions is as follows: Friday, 8:00-2:00; Saturday, 10:30-3:30, 5:30-6:30; Sunday, 10:00-3:00.

The IRL cars will be sharing the track this weekend with the ARCA drivers who will be competing in the "Kentucky 150" on Sunday at 7:30 p.m. Qualifying for that race will be Saturday at 4 p.m.

~ Kentucky Speedway ~