IRL: Cheever, Ray hone setups for Miami race

MIAMI, Monday, March 26, 2001 -- Eddie Cheever Jr. and Greg Ray visited Homestead-Miami Speedway on March 26 to cram in a final testing session before the Infiniti Grand Prix of Miami presented by 123.com Americatel on April 6-8 at the track. It...

MIAMI, Monday, March 26, 2001 -- Eddie Cheever Jr. and Greg Ray visited Homestead-Miami Speedway on March 26 to cram in a final testing session before the Infiniti Grand Prix of Miami presented by 123.com Americatel on April 6-8 at the track.

It was the first opportunity for Cheever Indy Racing to test the new 35A Infiniti engine in Miami in their No. 51 Excite@Home Indy Race Car Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone. Cheever unofficially topped 200 mph on the 1.5-mile oval, his team's best speed at the track.

"We're very excited," Cheever said. "We got a late start with our new motor, and we wanted to test it here before the race. We came here wanting to run as many laps as can. This is a big race for us."

1999 Indy Racing champion Ray already had tested at the 1.5-mile oval four times, but he said Team Menard couldn't turn down another opportunity to prepare. His best laps were in the 199-mph range in the #2 Johns Manville/Menards Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone.

"We wanted to come back and try three or four different things," Ray said. "We're continuing to add to our book of notes for this track. We've already tested here, but we felt there were still a few things we wanted to change before the race.

"It isn't like we've had five full tests here. Our first session was working on tires for Firestone, and in our second, we were still undecided between the G Force and Dallara chassis. We had a strong third test, but it ended early due to my incident in Turn 4, and there were a lot of different teams here during the Open Test."

Official practice for the Infiniti Grand Prix of Miami presented by 123.com Americatel begins April 6, with MBNA Pole qualifying set for April 7. The 200-lap, 300-mile race is set for a 2 p.m. (EDT) start April 8.

-IRNLS/IMS-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Greg Ray , Eddie Cheever