IRL: Infiniti qualifying notes

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (July 7, 2001) -- Infiniti matched its best-ever starting position of second in the Indy Racing Northern Light Series with Eddie Cheever's front-row performance in qualifying for the Ameristar Casino Indy 200 at Kansas Speedway...

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (July 7, 2001) -- Infiniti matched its best-ever starting position of second in the Indy Racing Northern Light Series with Eddie Cheever's front-row performance in qualifying for the Ameristar Casino Indy 200 at Kansas Speedway on July 7.

Cheever -- who was fastest in all three practice sessions leading up to qualifying -- captured second place with a 216.085 mph lap. It was the fifth time this season that the new Infiniti Indy 35A engine has qualified in the top two rows.

Cheever's qualifying run equaled Robbie Buhl's second-place effort at Pikes Peak International Raceway in 2000 with the previous version of the Infiniti engine. It was the same race that Cheever scored Infiniti's first victory.

Starting right behind Cheever, on the outside of the second row, is the only other Infiniti entry in the 22-car field, Robbie Buhl. Buhl -- who placed in the top-four in the first three practice sessions at Kansas Speedway -- qualified fourth with a 214.951 mph lap in the No. 24 Team Purex Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Infiniti.

The Ameristar Casino Indy 200 will be televised live on ABC at 1 p.m. (EDT) July 8 and "Indy Racing 2Day" will be televised live at 11 a.m. (EDT) on ESPN2.

Eddie Cheever Jr., No. 51 Cheever Indy Racing Infiniti: "We didn't get the pole but there is always tomorrow. The car ran very well. The Infiniti engine is strong and we had a good balance. We were a little bit slower than we thought we were going to be. We hit the rev limiter going into turn three, which might have cost us a little bit. Every race there are ten cars that could win. There are very few boy scouts in the first ten cars, so you can expect an exciting race. I can guarantee you that there will be an argument after the race. It's going to be very competitive. I think there is about a line and half out there now, but tomorrow I think you will definitely see us opening up that awfully fun outside line that we spend so much time playing in."

Robbie Buhl, No. 24 Team Purex Dreyer & Reinbold Racing GForce-Infiniti: "That's what we had. It's a little disappointing. Everything has been coming together with our team the last couple months. I thought we had a good shot at being on the front row today. Infiniti is making great strides, power wise. The race is definitely going to be a different animal, with track temperatures at 140-degrees and ambient at 105 (degrees). I think we will be okay for that."

-IM

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