Atlanta, GA (April 27, 2001) - ...
Atlanta, GA (April 27, 2001) - #51 Excite@Home driver Eddie Cheever Jr. was second fastest in Friday's first practice session for Saturday's zMax 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Cheever, who captured the first Indy Racing victory for Infiniti Motorsports last season at Pikes Peak, posted a fast lap of 24.9394 seconds (216.525mph) in his Excite@Home Infiniti entry. Cheever's time was less than one-tenth of a second behind session leader Greg Ray's lap of 24.8764 seconds (217.073mph). Practice for the third round of the 2001 Indy Racing Northern Light Series championship continues this evening, followed by qualifying at 8:00pm EDT.
Eddie Cheever Jr. (on Friday's first practice): "We put in what we learned from our testing here two weeks ago and we went a little bit quicker. The Infiniti 35A is better -- this is probably our fourth big change in the engine -- and so far, so good. We have a whole schedule of engine development planned. Before we got to the point where we are now, we had to go through three other changes, and so far -- touch wood -- everything has worked. We are trying to do in two months what would normally take eight months to a year. We're finally able to play our best cards for Indianapolis here at Atlanta, not only in terms of engine performance but also in terms of aerodynamics. All of the research and development that we have been doing in the wind tunnel is finally paying off. We're taking advantage of the fact that this race is so fast to get ready for the Indianapolis 500."
-Cheever Indy Racing