IRL: Jeff Ward Dover Preview

WHO: Jeff Ward - Pagan Racing Yahoo! Merchant Online Dallara Oldsmobile WHAT: MBNA Mid-Atlantic 200 WHERE: Dover Downs International Speedway, Dover, Delaware 1-mile high-banked concrete oval superspeedway WHEN: 12:30 p.m....

WHO: Jeff Ward - Pagan Racing Yahoo! Merchant Online Dallara Oldsmobile

WHAT: MBNA Mid-Atlantic 200

WHERE: Dover Downs International Speedway, Dover, Delaware 1-mile high-banked concrete oval superspeedway

WHEN: 12:30 p.m. (EDT) Sunday, August 1, 1999

DISTANCE: 200 miles/200 laps

The Yahoo! Pagan Racing team will be making its Dover Downs debut at the MBNA Mid-Atlantic 200 when the Pep Boys Indy Racing League returns to the "Monster Mile" on August 1, 1999.

Jeff Ward competed at Dover Downs International Speedway last season in the Indy Racing League's first appearance at the high banked one-mile speedway. Qualifying eighth for last year's race, Ward ran strong until he experienced an equipment failure in the ISM Team car, ending his day early.

The track's reputation for being hard on equipment and drivers, earned it the nickname "Monster Mile". In last year's race, the monster reared its ugly head, claiming the seven time motocross champion before the 25th lap.

Currently in third place in the Pep Boys Indy Racing League championship standings, Jeff thinks a good qualifying position is the key to success at Dover. "Qualifying up front is a must at this track," said Ward. "It's going to be hard to pass because Dover is not really a two groove track."

Dover Downs International Speedway is the only concrete track on the Indy Racing League schedule. Prior to last year's race, the concrete surface was a concern which, as it turned out, did not become a factor.

"The concrete wears the tires a little bit more because of the banking. Other than that, it's pretty much the same," said Ward. "The concrete is not any different than the asphalt. Last year, it seemed nobody had tire problems, so I think it'll be okay."

Jeff Ward is still searching for his first win in the Indy Racing League. Yahoo! Pagan Racing crew members, Jason Sheets, Brad Brewer and Rusty Shelden have dyed their hair blond in a superstitious attempt to bring the team luck.

"I'd dye my hair purple if I thought it would bring us our first win," said Sheets, the team's left rear tire changer on the purple Yahoo! car. "The blond hair deal is just a team unity thing right now. Besides, having blond hair is in style."

But the blond hair may just be temporary. If Jeff Ward crosses the finish line, fist raised in air, celebrating a victory in the MBNA Mid-Atlantic 200, the Pagan Racing crew are going to shave their heads.

The MBNA Mid-Atlantic 200 takes the green flag at 12:30 p.m. (EDT) on Sunday, August 1, 1999.

Television:

Race: FOX (tape delayed), 3:00 p.m. (EDT) August 1 Qualifying: SpeedVision (live), noon (EDT) July 31

Radio:

Race: Indy Racing Radio Network (live), 12:30 p.m. (EDT), August 1 Pre-race show starts at noon Qualifying: Indy Racing Radio Network, 3:30-4:00 p.m. (EDT) July 31

Dover area affiliates are WDSD-FM 92.9, and WRDX-FM 94.7, in Dover, Del.

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Jeff Ward