For Immediate Release Entry List & Schedule Follow INDY RACING LEAGUE ENTRIES IN FOR FIRST RACE OF 1998 SEASON AT WALT DISNEY WORLD SPEEDWAY INDIANAPOLIS, January 9, 1998 - Indy Racing League 1996-97...
For Immediate Release Entry List & Schedule Follow
INDY RACING LEAGUE ENTRIES IN FOR FIRST RACE OF 1998 SEASON AT WALT DISNEY WORLD SPEEDWAY
INDIANAPOLIS, January 9, 1998 - Indy Racing League 1996-97 Series Champion Tony Stewart and 1997 Indianapolis 500 winner Arie Luyendyk lead the list of drivers on 31 entries received by the January 8 deadline for the first race of the 1998 IRL season, the $1 million-plus Indy 200 at Walt Disney World Speedway presented by Aurora. Buzz Calkins, the inaugural Indy 200 winner, and Eddie Cheever, Jr., winner of the Indy 200 during the 1996-97 season are listed on entries, as are IRL race winners Jim Guthrie (Phoenix), Buddy Lazier (Charlotte, '96 Indianapolis 500), Robbie Buhl (New Hampshire), Eliseo Salazar (Las Vegas) and Scott Sharp ('96 New Hampshire). Veteran drivers Roberto Guerrero, Davey Hamilton, Scott Goodyear, Stephan Gregoire, Mike Groff, John Paul, Jr., Raul Boesel, Mark Dismore, Billy Boat, Jimmy Kite, Dr. Jack Miller, Jeff Ward, Tyce Carlson, Stan Wattles, Greg Ray and Sam Schmidt will all be campaigning for their first IRL victory at the Walt Disney World Speedway, along with IRL rookie driver John Hollansworth. The IRL's season-opener on January 24 with posted prize money of more than $1 million will allow fans the first chance to see the updated League cars. Updates made for the 1998 season include a "kit" provided by chassis manufacturers Dallara and G Force containing the underwing, side pods, engine cover and air box. The update kits have raised the airbox by two inches, giving the driver more protection in the head area. The IRL cars will also include a "fan fin;" a tail fin on the engine cowl showing the car number in a prominent position to assist fans in identifying the cars from the grandstands. "We have made great progress with our new cars and engines since their initial introduction last year at Walt Disney World," said IRL Executive Director Leo Mehl. "This year, the fans will have a chance to really get a good look at what the IRL is all about - a full field of proven cars and engines, and a competitive field of experienced open-wheel oval track drivers." The Indy 200 at Walt Disney World is scheduled for the weekend of January 22 - 24 with qualifying to air live on SpeedVision at 12:00 p.m. (EST) on Friday, January 23. The garage area will be open to fans of all ages for an IRL driver autograph session beginning at 4:45 p.m. on Friday. The race will be broadcast live on ABC and the IMS Radio Network beginning at 12:30 p.m. (EST) on Saturday, January 24. Race weekend tickets are still available through Ticketmaster by calling 407/839-3900 (Orlando) or 813/287-8844 in Tampa.
INDY 200 AT WALT DISNEY WORLD Presented by Aurora
Thursday, January 22
9:00 a.m. Track Open to the Public 10:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. IRL Practice 1:00 - 2:00 p.m. US F2000 Practice 2:15 - 3:15 p.m. IRL Practice 3:30 - 4:30 p.m. US F2000 Qualifying (Top 20 Positions) 8:00 p.m. IRL Qualifying Draw (Downtown Disney at Pleasure Island)
Friday, January 23
8:00 a.m. Track Open to the Public 9:00 - 10:40 a.m. IRL Practice 11:00 - 11:30 a.m. US F2000 Qualifying Race (20 laps for 16 positions) 12:00 - 2:00 p.m. IRL Qualifying 2:30 - 3:30 p.m. US F2000 Race (50 Laps) 4:00 - 4:30 p.m. IRL Practice 4:45 p.m. IRL Driver Autograph Session (Garage Area)
Saturday, January 24
8:00 a.m. Track Open to the Public 11:30 a.m. Opening Ceremonies and Driver Introductions 12:30 p.m. Indy 200 at Walt Disney World Speedway Race (200 Laps) 3:00 p.m. Joie Chitwood's Chevy Thunder Show 9:00 p.m. Indy 200 Victory Party (Downtown Disney at Pleasure Island)