Robby McGehee #55 Energizer Advanced Formula Dallara/Aurora/Firestone Vegas.com 500 Qualifying -- Saturday, Sept. 25, 1999 Round 9 of 10 on the 1999 Pep Boys Indy Racing League
Robby McGehee and his #55 Energizer Advanced Formula Dallara/Aurora/Firestone entry will start 19th on the grid in Sunday's Vegas.com 500 Pep Boys Indy Racing League event. McGehee toured the 1.5-mile Las Vegas Motor Speedway oval in 26.364 seconds (an average of 204.825 mph). Sam Schmidt won his first career pole in 25.780 seconds (209.465 mph). Race time is 11:30 a.m. PDT Sunday (2:30 p.m. EDT) with live television coverage set for ESPN2.
ROBBY MCGEHEE -- "This is a great track, and I love this city. It's just too bad Friday morning practice was the first time we ever turned a wheel here. I think we've really got a great race car. We're just a little stuck for qualifying. But I'm feeling good about the race. It's a flatter track than Bruton Smith tracks at Charlotte and Texas, one that requires a lot of driving skill. I'm looking forward to that. One of these days when we have the time to test, we'll be able to qualify where we want to be."
DAVE CONTI (Chief Engineer) -- "We're probably too conservative as far as qualifying goes, but that's the way it is right now because we've never been here before. We should be in good shape for the race, since that's what we've been working on since we hit the ground yesterday morning."
STEVE FRIED UPDATE -- Energizer Motorsports crew chief Steve Fried, critically injured in a pit road accident at this year's Indianapolis 500, continues his road to recovery with an eye toward resuming his race day over-the-wall duties by the season finale at Texas Motor Speedway on Oct. 17. He returned to action at Pikes Peak last month, serving as fuel valve operator during the Colorado 200, in which Robby McGehee finished seventh. Fried will perform the same duties in Sunday's Vegas.com 500. "You know, I'm walking the casinos here this weekend watching people jumping for joy when they win a big jackpot, but I'm feeling like I don't even need to gamble because I'm already the luckiest guy in town," said Fried. He has a scheduled doctor visit this coming week, after which he hopes he will no longer have to keep his left arm immobilized.
ACCOLADES -- Energizer Motorsports mechanic Troy Stevens was honored at Thursday night's Championship Auto Mechanics (CAM) annual banquet as a member of the Snap-On/CAM Indy Racing League 1999 All-Start Team.