Las Vegas, NV - Eddie Cheever Jr. started seventh at Saturday's third round of the 2000 Indy Racing Northern Light Series and was poised to take the lead on lap 73 of the 208-lap event when he experienced electrical problems on his #51 Excite@Home Indy Race Car.
Cheever, the 1998 Indianapolis 500 Champion, had been running in second place behind Mark Dismore when he was forced to pit to replace the electronics boxes on his Infiniti-powered Excite@Home-sponsored Dallara. The stop dropped Cheever from second to eighteenth position, eight laps down.
"The #51 Excite@Home Indy Race Car was the best car out there today," declared Cheever after the race. "I was just waiting for (then leader) Mark Dismore to make a mistake - I was right on his gearbox - when we had a problem with the electronics. It's a real shame because the Infiniti Indy engine was very strong and our Firestone tires were exceptional. The Excite@Home team has been very impressed with the performance of the Firestones in the challenging conditions here at Vegas."
The Indy Racing veteran, who has won races in every season since entering IRL competition in 1996, mounted a charge through the field to regain a lap and finish eleventh in his #51 Excite@Home machine.
"The #51 Excite@Home crew did a great job all weekend, and they gave me some phenomenal pit stops today," remarked Cheever. "If we can do twelve stops like that at Indy next month, we'll win."
The next stop for Eddie Cheever Jr. and the #51 Excite@Home crew is a three-day test next weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway prior to the 84th running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 28th. Cheever and the #51 Excite@Home Indy Race Team are currently seventh overall in the Indy Racing Northern Light Series standings with 74 points.