Infiniti Indy and Team Cheever made a strong top-five showing in the Vegas Indy 300 before falling back to an 11th place finish because of electrical problems.
Qualifying seventh--the team's third consecutive top-ten starting position this season--Cheever drove the No. 51 Excite@Home Infiniti-powered Dallara to fourth place in the first lap. He gave a awesome show for the next 70 laps; jockeying for position in the top five. Cheever was in second place, right on the tail of leader Mark Dismore on lap 73, when he suddenly made an unexpected pit stop.
The crew quickly changed the problematic electronic boxes and Cheever returned to the track in 18th position, eight laps behind the race leader. Cheever reported over the radio to his crew that he had the car to beat and was just waiting for the opportunity to pass Dismore for the lead. Not one to give up, Cheever continued until the checkered flag gaining one lap on the field and finishing 11th.
The Indianapolis 500 is the next race on the schedule for the Indy Racing Northern Light Series. The festivities begin with opening day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday, May 13. The run for the pole position is Saturday, May 20 and race day is Sunday, May 28.
Frank Honsowetz, Manager, Infiniti Motorsports: "We were pleased with our performance today. Eddie drove a good race, we just had a little bad luck with the electrical system. Combining the laps we ran in practice and qualifying with the race laps, we put 390 miles on that one engine and it was running strong all the way to the end of the race. This will give us some good data heading into the Indianapolis 500." Eddie Cheever Jr., No. 51 Excite@Home Infiniti: "The No. 51 Excite@Home Indy Race Car was the best car out there today. I was 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 crew did a great job all weekend, and they gave me some phenomenal pit stops today. If we can do twelve stops like that at Indy next month, we'll win."