FORT WORTH, Texas (Oct. 16, 1999) - Infiniti Indy scored its fourth top-five finish of the season today at the Mall.com 500 at Texas Motor Speedway, with Eddie Cheever Jr. taking the checkered flag in fourth place with his No. 51 The ...
FORT WORTH, Texas (Oct. 16, 1999) - Infiniti Indy scored its fourth top-five finish of the season today at the Mall.com 500 at Texas Motor Speedway, with Eddie Cheever Jr. taking the checkered flag in fourth place with his No. 51 The Children's Beverage Group Infiniti. The Infiniti Indy V8 engine in Cheever's car was built by Ed Pink Racing Engines of Van Nuys, Calif. "The engine ran perfect all day long," said Frank Honsowetz, manager, Infiniti Motorsports. "A top-five finish is a good way to end the season; it will give us some momentum for the next couple of months while we focus 100-percent of our energy on the new 3.5-liter Infiniti Indy powerplant." Cheever-who qualified 20th, but started 26th because of electrical problems on the starting grid-drove a long, grueling race which was delayed by four hours because of rain. His run from the back of the field to fourth place earned Cheever his third MCI Worldcom Long Distance Award of the year, and seventh in the Pep Boys Indy Racing League driver's championship. "(It was a) hard day at the office," said Cheever, who was very close to being caught in the middle of several different incidents and was bumped by a car in the pit lane. "In addition to the near mishaps, it has always been my strategy to get the guys at the restart. With the green-yellow restarts (due to the cold temperatures), I just didn't have that final advantage today. I am really looking forward to gearing up our off-season test program. Infiniti has promised me a very powerful 3.5-liter engine and I can't wait to get my hands on it." Since joining the Infiniti camp in April, Team Cheever has contributed significantly to the ongoing development of the 32-valve, normally aspirated, 4.0-liter V8 engine. The results have shown on track, with Cheever leading with Infiniti power at the Indianapolis 500 and the Longhorn 500 at Texas Motor Speedway, and finishing fourth at the Radisson 200 at Pikes Peak International Raceway in addition to today's fourth place finish at Texas Motor Speedway. The Infiniti Indy racing engine-which is based on the V8 engine found in the Infiniti Q45 performance luxury sedan-made its oval track debut at Walt Disney World Speedway in Orlando, Fla. in 1997, finishing second in the car of Mike Groff. Since then the engine has scored a total of 11 top-ten finishes, including five this season. Starting with the year 2000, the Pep Boys Indy Racing League rules will require the engine size to be reduced from 4.0 liters to 3.5 liters and will allow a new crankshaft which will alter the pitch and tone of the engine sound. The debut of this formula will be at the season opener at Walt Disney World Speedway in Orlando, Fla. on January 22.
Race Results Highlights
1. Mark Dismore 2. Davey Hamilton 3. Greg Ray (CHAMPIONSHIP WINNER) 4. Eddie Cheever Jr. 5. John Hollansworth 6. Scott Harrington 7. Jaques Lazier 8. Buzz Calkins 9. Billy Boat 10. Buddy Lazier