OLDSMOBILE MOTORSPORT REPORT: Sunday, May 30, 1999 83rd Indianapolis 500 BRACK, A.J., AND OLDSMOBILE WIN INDIANAPOLIS 500 IRL Aurora V8 Wins Third Straight Indy 500, Powers Top 14 Finishers, and Scores 22nd Consecutive Victory in IRL ...
OLDSMOBILE MOTORSPORT REPORT: Sunday, May 30, 1999 83rd Indianapolis 500
BRACK, A.J., AND OLDSMOBILE WIN INDIANAPOLIS 500
IRL Aurora V8 Wins Third Straight Indy 500, Powers Top 14 Finishers, and Scores 22nd Consecutive Victory in IRL Series
INDIANAPOLIS, May 30, 1999 - For the third consecutive year, Oldsmobile's IRL Aurora V8 engine dominated the Indianapolis 500, the centerpiece of the Pep Boys Indy Racing League series. Oldsmobile engines won the pole, won the race, powered the top 14 finishers, and led 196 of 200 laps around the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval. Thirty of the 33 starters (90% of the field) used IRL Aurora V8 engines - including first-time Indy 500 winner Kenny Brack, driving for four-time Indy 500 champion A.J. Foyt.
Brack, 33, of Karlstad, Sweden, scored his fourth career IRL win when he drove Foyt's Power Team Oldsmobile Dallara to a 6.562-second victory over Jeff Ward. Brack led six times for a total of 66 laps, averaging 153.176 mph in the 500-mile contest.
Brack, the reigning IRL champion, took the lead on Lap 199 when race leader Robby Gordon lost his gamble that he could run the last 36 laps without refueling. In the closing stages of the race, Brack and Gordon had circled the famed Speedway at over 214 mph.
"The engine ran very good all day," Brack reported. "I tried to stay in high gear and conserved fuel until the end. Robby was leading, and I thought he would have to go into the pits. When it got to five laps to go, I started to wonder. We richened it back up, I shifted into fifth gear, and I ran very hard the last three laps - the hardest laps I ran today.
"We planned this race perfectly from the green flag to the checkered flag," Brack added. "I couldn't ask for anything more. I wasn't going to take second, especially when we were so close to winning."
Foyt's team took three of the top six spots, with Brack's teammate Billy Boat finishing third in his Compaq Oldsmobile Dallara and Robbie Buhl sixth in A.J.'s Harrah's Oldsmobile Dallara. Boat rebounded from three crashes during practice, while Buhl started in the last row after qualifying A.J's spare car in a last-ditch qualifying run. Brack's breakthrough Indy 500 victory continued Oldsmobile's perfect record in IRL competition. IRL Aurora V8 engines have now won 22 straight IRL events since the series introduced its naturally aspirated engine formula in January 1997. Brack won a series-record three straight races last season with Oldsmobile power en route to the championship.
"I think we had a good chance of winning it," said runner-up Ward, the 1997 Rookie of the Year. "The car was perfect. We're in the points lead, so it's a good day."
Ward leads the championship standings with 115 points after three races. Scott Goodyear, winner of the preceding round in Phoenix, is second with 96 points, and Boat is third with 90 points.
Arie Luyendyk started his final Indy 500 on the pole in Treadway Racing's Sprint Oldsmobile G-Force. Luyendyk averaged 225.179 mph on his four-lap qualifying run, setting the Indianapolis Motor Speedway track record for a naturally aspirated IRL car. He led a total of 63 laps before crashing on Lap 118 while leading the race. Luyendyk, a two-time Indy 500 winner, will retire from open-wheel racing after this year's event.
"I should have known better than to race in traffic that hard," Luyendyk conceded after he spun while overtaking Tyce Carlson. "I probably had more fun today than I've ever had in any race. I was driving with a smile on my face."
Roush Technologies of Livonia, Mich., prepared Foyt's winning IRL Aurora V8. It was the second Indy 500 win in three years for Roush, which also built Luyendyk's winning Oldsmobile powerplant in 1997. The top five finishers used IRL Aurora V8s from four independent Oldsmobile engine builders: Roush Technologies (Brack and Boat), Speedway Engine Development (Ward), Team Menard (Gordon), and Brayton Engineering (Robby McGehee, the highest placed rookie). All 16 cars running at the finish used Oldsmobile engines. The highest placed Infiniti driver was 15th, and retired after 175 laps.
By competing and winning in the world's largest single-day sporting event with an engine based on the design of the production Aurora V8, Oldsmobile is spotlighting the Division's sophisticated powertrain technology.
"Oldsmobile congratulates Kenny Brack and A.J. Foyt on their victory today," said Karen Francis, Oldsmobile marketing general manager. "The Indianapolis 500 is a demanding arena, and success in this event requires tremendous preparation, skill, and teamwork. We applaud the efforts of GM Motorsports, the independent engine builders who supplied Oldsmobile engines for 90 percent of the field, and the Pep Boys Indy Racing League teams that have made the IRL Aurora V8 a three-time winner in the world's most famous auto race."
INDIANAPOLIS 500 TOP 15 FINISHERS Driver Entrant Engine Laps 1. Kenny Brack A.J. Foyt Enterprises Oldsmobile 200 2. Jeff Ward Pagan Racing Oldsmobile 200 3. Billy Boat A.J. Foyt Enterprises Oldsmobile 200 4. Robby Gordon Team Menard Oldsmobile 200 5. Robby McGehee Conti Racing Oldsmobile 199 6. Robbie Buhl A.J. Foyt Enterprises Oldsmobile 199 7. Buddy Lazier Hemelgarn Racing Oldsmobile 198 8. Robby Unser Team Pelfrey Oldsmobile 197 9. Tony Stewart Tri Star Motorsports Oldsmobile 196 10. Hideshi Matsuda Beck Motorsports Oldsmobile 196 11. Davey Hamilton Galles Racing Oldsmobile 196 12. Raul Boesel Brant Racing Oldsmobile 195 13. John Hollansworth Team Xtreme Oldsmobile 192 14. Tyce Carlson Blueprint-Immke Racing Oldsmobile 190 15. Jeret Schroeder Cobb Racing Infiniti 175
Pole: Arie Luyendyk/Oldsmobile, 225.179 mph Fastest Lap: Greg Ray/Oldsmobile, 218.882 mph