IRL: Cheever Jr. team notes 2000-08-03

Indy 500 Champion Cheever Aims for IROC Victory at the Brickyard: Fresh from his landmark victory at the most recent round of True Value International Race of Champions competition at Michigan Speedway in June, Eddie Cheever Jr. heads to...

Indy 500 Champion Cheever Aims for IROC Victory at the Brickyard: Fresh from his landmark victory at the most recent round of True Value International Race of Champions competition at Michigan Speedway in June, Eddie Cheever Jr. heads to the Indianapolis IROC season finale seeking the first IROC championship for an open-wheel driver since Al Unser Jr. won the title in 1988.

Cheever's thrilling victory at Michigan, the first IROC win for an open-wheel driver since Unser Jr. won at Daytona in 1997, propelled him to fifth place in the series standings with 38 points. The 1998 Indianapolis 500 Champion trails IROC points leader Dale Earnhardt Sr. by only 19 points.

Cheever (on the IROC event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway): "I don't really have a plan. The only thing that's a bit of an advantage for me is that I've done a lot of laps at Indy, and I know what to expect when the weather changes so you can modify your line. I love these IROC races. I have a lot of fun. I'm not going to put any extra pressure on myself. I'd like to pick up where I left off at Michigan, though."

(On competing in the IROC series): "I think the IROC is such a cool series because it gives everybody an opportunity to get in there with equal equipment and shuffle around. It's taken me awhile to learn how they race, but I would say that a lot of these NASCAR drivers that I race against in IROC are good friends of mine now. We have a great time at the racetrack. It's very hard, it's very aggressive, but it's a lot of fun."

The final round of the 2000 True Value International Race of Champions is scheduled for 3:45pm EDT August 4, and will be televised at 4:30pm EDT August 5 on ABC.

Productive Kentucky Test for #51 Excite@Home Indy Race Team: 1998 Indianapolis 500 Champion Eddie Cheever Jr. and his #51 Excite@Home Indy Race Team conducted a private test at Kentucky Speedway on July 31-August 1, completing 450 miles at the 1.5-mile circuit.

"The track is very smooth. It's somewhere between Texas and Las Vegas - there's not that much banking, but enough to make it interesting," noted Cheever, currently second overall in the Indy Racing Northern Light Series standings. "Kentucky is a tough, tricky circuit. I think that racing and saving your tires will be two completely different things. You're going to see a very hard race, with people trying different lines."

The #51 Excite@Home team will return to the Kentucky track for two more days of testing on August 14 and 15. The penultimate round of the 2000 Indy Racing championship, the Belterra Resort Indy 300, will be held at Kentucky Speedway on August 27.

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Series INDYCAR , IROC