IRL: Cheever Richmond qualifying

Richmond, VA (June 29, 2001) - Eddie Cheever Jr. qualified third for tomorrow's inaugural Indy Racing event at the 0.75-mile Richmond International Raceway, posting a fast lap of 16.9596 seconds (159.202 mph) in his ...

Richmond, VA (June 29, 2001) - Eddie Cheever Jr. qualified third for tomorrow's inaugural Indy Racing event at the 0.75-mile Richmond International Raceway, posting a fast lap of 16.9596 seconds (159.202 mph) in his #51 Cheever Indy Racing Infiniti. The performance marked the third time in five races that Cheever has started third on the grid, his series best starting position. The 1998 Indianapolis 500 Champion also qualified third at Atlanta and Texas.

Saturday's seventh round of Indy Racing Northern Light Series competition, the SunTrust Indy Challenge at Richmond International Raceway, will be broadcast live on ESPN at 8:00 PM Eastern.

Eddie Cheever Jr. (on qualifying): "I had a little bit of push but my crew did a great job of putting the car back together for qualifying [Cheever spun and damaged the right rear suspension during practice]. The track is a bit slippery but it's a lot of fun. With our cars on this track, it's like flying a fighter plane inside a gymnasium. This place is tough."

On Saturday's race: "It's going to be an unbelievable race tomorrow because all the cars are so close together. It's very difficult to get a jump on anybody. I can understand why they call it the "action track" because you're really busy. It's like playing chess at 160mph. You've got to position your car and make sure you're in the right place. It's going to be a really hard race because we're on the knife's edge the whole way around. It's going to be tricky but it's going to be good."

On the Infiniti Indy 35A engine: "Our Infiniti engine has been good at every track this year. Richmond is a handling track but also a power track and I'm happy because the 35A is very strong on the bottom end."

On Indy Racing's debut at Richmond: "We're all rookies here - the track is new to everyone. I love tracks like this. It puts the emphasis on the driver and how much he or she is willing to risk."

On second place qualifier Sarah Fisher: "It's really exciting to see Sarah right up there at the front. It just goes to show how much talent she has. This is the first race that my 12-year-old daughter has come to this year, and I'm going to have to listen to her all night telling me that a girl out-qualified me."

kk-CIR

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Sarah Fisher , Eddie Cheever