Joliet, Ill. (September 1, 2001) - After topping the timesheets in morning practice with the fastest lap of the weekend - 222.736 mph/24.5672 seconds - Eddie Cheever Jr. claimed his second front row start of the season in his ...
Joliet, Ill. (September 1, 2001) - After topping the timesheets in morning practice with the fastest lap of the weekend - 222.736 mph/24.5672 seconds - Eddie Cheever Jr. claimed his second front row start of the season in his #51 Infiniti-powered entry. Cheever's qualifying effort of 221.105 mph (24.7484 seconds) was quick enough for second place on the Delphi Indy 300 grid, fractions of a second behind polesitter Jaques Lazier (221.740 mph/24.6776 seconds).
Cheever, who qualified second and captured the first victory for the new Infiniti Indy 35A engine at Kansas City in July, aims to repeat that feat at Sunday's inaugural Indy Racing event at Chicagoland Speedway. Cheever's qualifying performance at the suburban Chicago circuit marks the sixth time in 12 events that the Indy Racing veteran has earned a top-three starting position.
Eddie Cheever Jr. (on qualifying): "I'm glad we're on the front row. We made a lot of progress from this morning but Menards are always quick when it comes to qualifying. You can never underestimate them. Our Infiniti 35A was very strong today and technically it was a very good run for us -- probably the best qualifying run we've done this year. The Infiniti is a great engine to race with and it seems to do pretty well in qualifying. The package that we ran in qualifying is the same that we're going to use in the race, so what you see is what we've got. I will be severely disappointed if we don't win tomorrow."
On expectations for the race: "I think two abreast will be very possible and safe. I think you'll go into some corners three abreast, but I don't think you'll come out three abreast. This is like the Daytona 500 for us. You'll have ten cars in a line drafting at 220 mph. I can't wait to see the crazy Chicago fans come out here because they're always very noisy. It will be a fun race and they're in for a great show."