IRL: Indy500: Infiniti drives in top ten

Indianapolis, Ind. (May 11, 2001) -- Infiniti drivers Eddie Cheever Jr. and Robbie Buhl were third and seventh fastest, respectfully, in the final full day of Indy 500 practice prior to pole day. With less than one-half of a second separating...

Indianapolis, Ind. (May 11, 2001) -- Infiniti drivers Eddie Cheever Jr. and Robbie Buhl were third and seventh fastest, respectfully, in the final full day of Indy 500 practice prior to pole day. With less than one-half of a second separating the top ten drivers in practice today, qualifying for the pole position tomorrow should be ultra-competitive.

Driving the No. 51 Excite@Home Infiniti, Cheever's 223.981 mph lap was his quickest speed of the week and earned him third fastest on the daily speed charts. Buhl also drove his best lap of the week in his newly-built Team Purex/Dreyer & Reinbold Infiniti. His 223.326 mph lap was the seventh fastest of the day.

Of the 46 cars and 39 drivers that went on track today, Scott Goodyear was 17th fastest at 221.677 in the No. 52 Thermos Grill2Go Cheever Indy Racing Infiniti.

Activities for Saturday, May 12 include a final practice session from 9 to 11 a.m. and then pole qualifying from 12 to 7 p.m. Live television coverage starts at Noon on ESPN, and then continues 1 to 3 p.m. on ABC, and 3 to 7 p.m. on ESPN2 (all times EDT).

Eddie Cheever Jr., No. 51 Excite@Home Dallara-Infiniti: "We made a lot of gains in the last day and a half, although I don't think we have a chance at the pole. I think Greg Ray has a very good crack at it. They spend a lot of time and effort at getting poles, which they have proven to be very good at doing. We are very happy with where we are with the #51 Excite@Home Infiniti. If I could qualifying in the first two rows tomorrow it would be a big step forward for our program. The only reason that we fell back the past few days is that we were trying to engineer the car better in turn one. All we managed to do is make turn one worse and ruin the rest of the turns. We are back on pace now, although the car is not great in turn one. If we could make some good car changes tonight we do have a shot at the pole. We have been buzzing around this problem for the past seven days and we haven't really hit on it yet, although we are getting closer. I am definitely relieved that we are faster than we have been."

Robbie Buhl, No. 24 Team Purex/Dreyer & Reinbold Racing G Force-Infiniti: "Today was pretty stressful day for all of us here at Dreyer & Reinbold. The crew has worked 24 hours, around the clock, last night to get our new car ready, which is the same spec as the car we destroyed in Atlanta. We thought it would be better. We got out at about 1:30 and had some electrical problems. We actually thought we might have to change the engine. We got back here and all the Infiniti engineers swarmed around the car and as it turned out it was only an injector. We made a few changes on the car and got back out. The car did what we thought it would do, which doesn't often happen in this game. There is still more in it, but right now we want to get solidly in the show. I think it will be a good race car. Power-wise, the way the Infiniti motor comes up when you breath it will make for a good race motor. It was a lot of work to get to this point, but it paid off, the new car is really good."

Scott Goodyear, No. 52 Thermos Grill2Go Cheever Indy Racing Dallara-Infiniti: "We are not as quick today as I would like to be, which is disturbing because at the beginning of the week I had anticipated that we had a shot at the front row. I am not counting out a front-row result for tomorrow, but we are not going quick enough today to do that. We are going to sit down and look at some things tonight to see if we could pick up some speed for tomorrow."

-IM

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Greg Ray , Eddie Cheever , Robbie Buhl , Scott Goodyear
Teams Dreyer & Reinbold Racing