IRL: Jeff Ward to drive Infiniti engine at Texas II

GARDENA, Calif. (Oct. 2, 2001) -- Jeff Ward and Heritage Motorsports will join Robbie Buhl, Eddie Cheever, Jr., and Greg Ray in driving the Infiniti Indy 35A V8 engine in the rescheduled Indy Racing season finale at Texas Motor Speedway on Oct.

GARDENA, Calif. (Oct. 2, 2001) -- Jeff Ward and Heritage Motorsports will join Robbie Buhl, Eddie Cheever, Jr., and Greg Ray in driving the Infiniti Indy 35A V8 engine in the rescheduled Indy Racing season finale at Texas Motor Speedway on Oct. 6.

It will be the first time since the 1997 Indianapolis 500 that Infiniti has fielded more than three entrants in an Indy Racing League race.

"I am really looking forward to racing with the Infiniti engine," said Jeff Ward, who will drive the No. 35 Heritage Motorsports G Force/Infiniti/Firestone car. "We have tested the Infiniti engine three times now, at Kentucky, Chicago, and Texas. I am very impressed with the power and the higher torque-band of the engine. I have also noticed the strong performance of the engine this year with Robbie (Buhl) and Eddie (Cheever Jr.). It will be a good engine to have at Texas because of the draft that you have there.

"We haven't been in traffic with this engine, so I am not sure how it will pull with other cars around," continued Ward. "We will focus on that when we start practice on Friday. We will be on a steep learning curve to get ready for the race."

Jeff Ward, of San Juan Capistrano, Calif., has been an Indy Racing favorite since joining the series in 1997. A former seven-time national motocross champion, he currently drives for the Heritage Motorsports team owned by the Mecom and Rathmann families. Having finished second four times during his Indy Racing career, including a second-place finish at the 1999 Indianapolis 500, Ward will be looking for his first series victory at Texas.

Heritage Motorsports had originally entered Formula One veteran Johnny Herbert to drive an Infiniti powerplant at Texas, until the race was postponed out of respect for the victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The rescheduling of the Indy Racing finale to Oct. 6 conflicts with Herbert's driving commitments in the American Le Mans Series.

Infiniti, which entered the Indy Racing League in 1997, introduced an all-new version of the Infiniti Indy engine earlier this year. The 35A engine started showing its winning potential when Robbie Buhl challenged for victory at the Indianapolis 500 with the No. 24 Team Purex Dreyer & Reinbold Racing G Force.

Eddie Cheever Jr. drove the No. 51 Cheever Indy Racing Dallara to victory at Kansas Speedway on July 8, giving Infiniti its first victory with the 35A engine, and its second series victory. In addition to leading 104 laps en route to that landmark victory, the powerplant also led laps at the Texas, Kentucky, St. Louis, and Chicago races this season.

The Indy Racing Northern Light Series season finale at Texas Motor Speedway will be televised live on ESPN2 at 4 p.m. (EDT) Saturday, Oct. 6.

Infiniti is supported by a network of over 150 retailers throughout North America and offers a range of luxury vehicles including the Infiniti QX4 luxury Sport Utility Vehicle, G20 sports sedan, I30 luxury sedan, and flagship Q45 luxury performance sedan. For more information on the complete line of Infiniti luxury vehicles and the Total Ownership Experience (TOE) philosophy, visit Infiniti on the Web at www.infiniti.com, or contact the corporate media line at 310/771-5631.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Greg Ray , Eddie Cheever , Robbie Buhl , Jeff Ward