DEFENDING CHAMP CHEEVER LEADS BIG GROUP OF ENTRANTS By Paul Kelly indy500.com INDIANAPOLIS, April 9, 1999 - Defending champion Eddie Cheever Jr. was among 18 entrants Friday for the 83rd Indianapolis 500, increasing the entry total to 42...
DEFENDING CHAMP CHEEVER LEADS BIG GROUP OF ENTRANTS By Paul Kelly indy500.com
INDIANAPOLIS, April 9, 1999 - Defending champion Eddie Cheever Jr. was among 18 entrants Friday for the 83rd Indianapolis 500, increasing the entry total to 42 drivers and 78 cars. Besides Cheever's Team Cheever entry, other entries were received for veterans Robbie Buhl (Sinden Racing Service), Tyce Carlson (Blueprint-Immke Racing), Roberto Guerrero (Cobb Racing), Steve Knapp (ISM Racing), Roberto Moreno (Truscelli Team Racing), John Paul Jr. (Jonathan Byrd-Cunningham Racing), Eliseo Salazar (Nienhouse Motorsports) and Robby Unser (Team Pelfrey). Rookies Wim Eyckmans (Team Cheever), John Hollansworth Jr. (TeamXtreme), Robby McGehee (Conti Racing) and Jeret Schroeder (Cobb Racing) also entered. Single entries for drivers to be named later were submitted by Beck Motorsports, Team Menard, Team Pelfrey, PDM Racing and Chastain Motorsports. Entries must be postmarked by midnight Friday. The 1999 Indianapolis 500 is scheduled for May 30 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Cheever, from Orlando, Fla., captured his first Indianapolis 500 title last year by 3.191 seconds over runner-up Buddy Lazier. Cheever will drive the #51 Team Cheever-The Children's Beverage Group-Dallara Dallara/Infiniti/Goodyear with Owen Snyder III as chief mechanic and Dick Caron as team manager. Guerrero and Knapp both are former Bank One Rookie of the Year Award winners. Guerrero shared the award with Michael Andretti in 1984, and Knapp won last year with his third-place finish with ISM Racing. Unser, son of three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Bobby Unser, earned the Pep Boys Indy Racing League Sprint PCS Rookie of the Year Award in 1998. He started his league career last year by finishing fifth at Indianapolis. Five rookies are officially entered in the Greatest Spectacle in Racing with the addition of Eyckmans, Hollansworth, McGehee and Schroeder. Dave Steele was the first rookie to be entered, on April 7. Eyckmans, Hollansworth, Schroeder and Steele are eligible to compete in practice and PPG Pole qualifying after passing the Rookie Orientation Program Thursday. McGehee finished three of the four phases of the test Thursday and will try to finish Saturday.