IRL: Las Vegas Day 3 - Trackside Notes 97-10-10

DAY 3 -- Friday, October 10, 1997 The Las Vegas 500k field average for the 29 qualified cars is 201.193 miles an hour. *** The Indy Racing League's season-ending point fund of approximately $1.6 million will be...

DAY 3 -- Friday, October 10, 1997 The Las Vegas 500k field average for the 29 qualified cars is 201.193 miles an hour. *** The Indy Racing League's season-ending point fund of approximately $1.6 million will be distributed to the top 20 drivers and teams at an awards banquet Nov. 22 in Indianapolis.

Indy Racing League Final Practice Notes: 5:52 p.m. -- #51 Cheever, #9 Unser, systems checks. 6 p.m. -- GREEN. 6:04 p.m. -- #35 Ward turned a lap at 194.925, fastest of session. 6:07 p.m. -- YELLOW, debris on backstsretch. 6:08 p.m. -- GREEN. 6:09 p.m. -- YELLOW, debris. GREEN. 6:10 p.m. -- #2 Stewart turned a lap at 196.786, fastest of session. 6:11 p.m. -- #35 Ward turned a lap at 198.983, fastest of session. 6:13 p.m. -- YELLOW, #9 Unser stopped in third turn, towed to pits. 6:15 p.m. -- GREEN. 6:18 p.m. -- #2 Stewart turned a lap at 200.245, fastest of session. 6:22 p.m. -- #7 Salazar turned a lap at 200.938, fastest of session. 6:26 p.m. -- #5 Luyendyk turned a lap at 201.237, fastest of session. 6:28 p.m. -- YELLOW, #10 Durant hit wall in Turn 4. The car sustained heavy left side and left rear damage. End of session.

*** Mark Paul-Gosselaar, co-star of "Saved by the Bell", and IRL driver Sam Schmidt each won $100,000 for charity today at a grand opening charity race for Sahara Speedworld, billed as the most technologically advanced virtual reality raceway in existence, which opened today at the Sahara Hotel & Casino here. Paul-Gosselaar was driving for Camp Pacific Heartland and Schmidt was for Ahead with Horses and the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. They competed against three other celebrity-driver teams. Other celebrity competitors included Randy Goodwin of "Fast Track;" Ian Ziering of "Beverly Hills 90210;" Alfonso Ribeiro of "Fresh Pricne of Bel Air;" Jeremy London of "Party of Five;" Chris Wragge of "Entertainment Tonight;" John Schneider of "Dr. Quinn;" and Tony George, president of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and founder of the IRL. Each participant received a minimum of $10,000 to be donated to his or her designated charity. "The Sahara Speedworld is incredibly realistic," Schmidt said. "For anyone who's ever wanted the adrenaline- pumping experience of racing, without actually putting their lives in danger, I highly recommend this one-of-a-kind attraction." Other IRL drivers participating in the opening were Affonso Giaffone, Paul Durant, Billy Roe, Jeff Ward and Buzz Calkins, plus off-road veteran Ivan Stewart. Durant, Roe and Ward reached the final round along with Schmidt. *** NOTE ON THE IRL CHAMPIONSHIP: Tony Stewart can clinch the championship outright with a finish of eighth or better, regardless of the bonus point for leading the most laps.

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