IRL: Las Vegas open test preview

For Immediate Release TITLE CONTENDERS, 18 OTHERS EXPECTED FOR IRL VEGAS OPEN TEST INDIANAPOLIS, August 28, 1997 -- Tony Stewart, the Indy Racing League's 1996-97 driver point leader, and Davey Hamilton, his nearest challenger, head...

For Immediate Release

TITLE CONTENDERS, 18 OTHERS EXPECTED FOR IRL VEGAS OPEN TEST

INDIANAPOLIS, August 28, 1997 -- Tony Stewart, the Indy Racing League's 1996-97 driver point leader, and Davey Hamilton, his nearest challenger, head the list of drivers scheduled to participate in the League's open test Sept. 3-5 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

At least 12 teams and 18 drivers are expected to take part in the test to prepare for the season-closing Las Vegas 500k on Oct. 11 at the 1.5-mile oval.

Stewart holds a 10-point edge over Hamilton with 38 points available in the Las Vegas race. Eddie Cheever Jr., is third in the point race, but mathematically could only tie for the title if Stewart doesn't start at Vegas.

Team Menard will have both Stewart and Robbie Buhl on hand at the test. Hamilton, who now resides in Las Vegas, will be joined by Billy Boat in the AJ Foyt Enterprises stable.

The test will be the first for supermodified and Indianapolis 500 veteran Paul Durant with the Jonathan Byrd-Cunningham team. Durant takes over from Johnny Unser, who is scheduled to test for Hemelgarn Racing in Las Vegas along with Buddy Lazier.

Others expected to test are: Team Scandia -- Jimmy Kite, Eliseo Salazar, Vincenzo Sospiri PDM/Kelley Racing -- John Paul Jr., Mark Dismore Chastain Motorsports -- Stephan Gregoire Pagan Racing -- Roberto Guerrero Chitwood Motorsports -- Affonso Giaffone Bradley Motorsports -- Buzz Calkins Arizona Motorsports - Dr. Jack Miller Blueprint Racing -- Jim Guthrie Fans are invited to attend a free IRL driver autograph session in the Las Vegas Motor Speedway garage area from 4 - 5 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 4.

Ticket information for the Las Vegas 500 is available by calling 1-800-644-4444.

EDITORS, ASSIGNMENT DESKS NOTE: There will be a media gathering and drivers will be available for interviews from 3 - 4 p.m. on Thursday, September 4 in the Las Vegas Motor Speedway garage area. For more information, contact Andy Hall at 702/644-4444.

..IRL97-32..

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Tony Stewart , Buzz Calkins , Eddie Cheever , Robbie Buhl , Eliseo Salazar , Buddy Lazier , Stephan Gregoire , Davey Hamilton , Billy Boat , Mark Dismore , Jim Guthrie , Roberto Guerrero , Jimmy Kite , Johnny Unser , John Paul , Vincenzo Sospiri , Jack Miller