For Immediate Release GOODYEAR LOOKS FOR 'TOUCHDOWN' IN PEP BOYS IRL RACE LOUDON, N.H., June 28, 1998 - Race driver Scott Goodyear grew up as a staunch hockey fan in Canada, but he is being converted to being a football follower by Baltimore...
For Immediate Release
GOODYEAR LOOKS FOR 'TOUCHDOWN' IN PEP BOYS IRL RACE
LOUDON, N.H., June 28, 1998 - Race driver Scott Goodyear grew up as a staunch hockey fan in Canada, but he is being converted to being a football follower by Baltimore Ravens quarterback Jim Harbaugh, one of the four co-owners of Pennzoil Panther Racing.
Now Goodyear's goal is to score a "touchdown" in a Pep Boys Indy Racing League race. He thinks it could happen in the Pep Boys 400K on July 19 at Dover Downs International Speedway, the next event on the schedule.
Goodyear, a veteran from Carmel, Ind., came close to victory Sunday in the New England 200, chasing winner Tony Stewart before falling 1.788 seconds short in second place. It was Goodyear's best finish of the season and moved him to fifth in the point standings with 119.
Goodyear joined the new Pennzoil Panther Racing team last winter after some soul-searching about staying as the second driver to two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Arie Luyendyk on the Treadway Racing team. Longtime Indy 500 participant John Barnes formed the new team. The additional owners are Indianapolis car dealer Gary Pedigo, television producers Terry Lingner and Randy Fishman, and Harbaugh, who was the NFL Indianapolis Colts quarterback until his release last spring.
In the first four races with the new team, Goodyear had finishes of 17th at Orlando, sixth at Phoenix, an extremely disappointing 24th due to a clutch failure at Indianapolis and a fourth at Texas. So his second in Sunday's race and fifth in qualifying were season bests.
Harbaugh, Pedigo and team manager Barnes were in the pits for the race. Lingner and Fishman were in San Diego producing the X Games for ESPN.
"I'm happy with the finish and happy with the way Scott drove," said Harbaugh by cell phone as he headed for a nearby airport immediately after the race. "It's just a matter of time (before the team wins)."
Goodyear agrees. He said the team tested well on the all-concrete "Monster Mile" at Dover, turning virtually the same times as Stewart on the 1-mile, high-banked oval.
"I'm pleased for them," Goodyear said about the owners of his Pennzoil Panther G Force/Aurora/Goodyear machine. "They just all got involved in this. We've got a great ownership group, and I'm really enjoying the team, the atmosphere, the environment. We're on the way up."
Goodyear, a Toronto native, naturally is a hockey follower. But he has been converted to football since becoming associated with Harbaugh. He now watches it on television and will keep his eye this fall on the Ravens. Harbaugh will be about to report to the Baltimore's nearby training camp when the IRL races at Dover.
"The main thing about Jim, even though he is a star in football, is he's a really nice guy," Goodyear said.
Goodyear led Sunday's race three times for 44 laps and closed to within one second of Stewart with 10 laps to go.
But the car lost fifth gear before the halfway mark and then sixth gear, so Goodyear had to run in fourth gear to the finish.
"For me, it just makes me drive the car on the rev limiter, because halfway down the straight just past the start-finish line the car was on the rev limiter impeding speed," Goodyear said. "You don't have any way to accelerate to be able to pass the people you've been trying to fight with. It just slowed the car down. It slowed us down a fair amount, actually.
"When Stewart went by us we had fourth gear. It's disappointing in the sense that we had a first-place race car. As John Barnes said to me on the radio, 'We need points, don't throw it away.' We collected some points, and we know we're going to be winning shortly."