Veteran Cheever leads rookie pair in Indy 500 time trials; all three qualify. 1998 Indy 500 champion, Eddie Cheever Jr., led his two rookie teammates in Pole Day Qualifications, by qualifying sixth for the 86th running of the Indianapolis ...
Veteran Cheever leads rookie pair in Indy 500 time trials; all three qualify.
1998 Indy 500 champion, Eddie Cheever Jr., led his two rookie teammates in Pole Day Qualifications, by qualifying sixth for the 86th running of the Indianapolis 500.
With a four-lap average speed of 229.786 mph, Cheever successfully qualified for his 13th Indianapolis 500 in the No. 51 Red Bull Cheever Racing Infiniti.
"I think this is a great accomplishment for Red Bull Cheever Racing," said General Manager Richard Caron. "This is the first time we have tried to qualify three cars, and we have done just that-all on the first day. We may have been a little conservative in our approach, but when we won the race in 1998 Eddie started 17th. It is possible to win this race from any starting position, and that is what we are here to do."
In addition to winning the 1998 Indianapolis 500, Cheever currently holds the record for the fastest Indy 500 race lap at 236.103 mph. He also won the rookie of the year title at Indy in 1990.
In his first Indianapolis 500, Tomas Scheckter will start 10th in the No. 52 Red Bull Cheever Racing Infiniti. He qualified with a four-lap average of 229.210. Max Papis rebounded from a crash on Friday to qualify 18th with a four-lap average of 227.941 in the 52T car. Both drivers will champion for the Bank One Rookie of the Year title.
Red Bull Cheever Racing will return to the track on Wednesday, May 15 to practice for the Indy 500.
Eddie Cheever Jr. on Qualifying:
"That was the best car we have had this week as far as balance. We lost a little bit of speed from yesterday, we're not quite sure why. I'm really glad the car got faster and faster, and I was running flat the whole way around. We might have been a little bit conservative, but I was very pleased with the handling of the car. I am pleased with the improvements Infiniti has made on the engines from last year. After qualifying I was recalling all the disasters we had last year and how smooth everything has run this year."
Tomas Scheckter on Qualifying:
"This morning I was second fastest, and now I am tenth fastest. I was really looking for the pole. We've done many laps in the 230's, but today we just couldn't do it. I was flat out the whole way. It just didn't carry. At least we are in there strong with the Red Bull Cheever Racing Infiniti. I'm just happy to be in the show, and I am looking forward to the race."
Max Papis on Qualifying:
"To make the Indianapolis 500 is something I have dreamed of since I was a kid. I am happy to have made it, and my dream is to win. It was really tough after losing the car yesterday. We didn't have much qualifying practice and I'm sure if we would have kept the other car I would be running up there with Tomas and Eddie. My guys worked really hard all night and we didn't get it in the first attempt, but then we changed the car and I drove it my best. Now you are going to see Mad Max in the race. (Said to Eddie when he first got out of the car) Thanks boss!"
Red Bull Cheever Racing will be back on track for practice on Wednesday, May 15. The 86th running of the Indianapolis 500 starts at 11 a.m. (EST) Sunday, May 26. Live timing and scoring of all on-track activity can be found on www.indyracing.com.
Red Bull Cheever Racing, based in Indianapolis, is the brainchild of 1998 Indy 500 champion Eddie Cheever Jr. A leader in American motorsports, the Indy Racing League team is built on Cheever's experience in Formula One, sports cars and open-wheel oval racing. Corporate and technical partnerships with the world's leading energy drink Red Bull, Nissan North America's Infiniti Division, TWR Group, and Lincoln Financial Group greatly enhance the team's resources and technology. For more information, visit www.cheeverindyracing.com.