McGEHEE LOOKS TO KEEP THE MOMENTUM GOING AT THIS WEEKENDâ€™S VEGAS.COM 500 IRL MAI EVENT LAS VEGAS (Sept. 20) â€“ It may hardly faze Robby McGehee to go 200 mph in an Indy car, but plop the kid down in the middle the Las Vegas Strip and it...
McGEHEE LOOKS TO KEEP THE MOMENTUM GOING AT THIS WEEKEND’S VEGAS.COM 500 IRL MAI EVENT
LAS VEGAS (Sept. 20) – It may hardly faze Robby McGehee to go 200 mph in an Indy car, but plop the kid down in the middle the Las Vegas Strip and it becomes a breathtaking experience.
The 26-year-old St. Louis native and 1999 Indy 500 Rookie of the Year brings his #55 Energizer Advanced Formula Dallara/Aurora/Firestone entry to town for this weekend’s Vegas.com 500 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
“I love going to Las Vegascity,” said McGehee, who’s coming off a seventh-place finish at Pikes Peak last month, the best finish of his inaugural Pep Boys Indy Racing League season since finishing fifth at Indy. “There’s so much to see and do, I’m even going to stay around for a few days after the race so I can really enjoy the place!”
First things first, McGehee and the Energizer Motorsports team look to air it out on the 1.5-mile LVMS oval after solid runs on the 1-mile ovals at Dover and Pikes Peak for, among other reasons, the promising young driver’s shot at winning series Rookie of the Year honors.
“It’s one of our goals, sure, but I’m not thinking about it all the time,” said McGehee, who trails Scott Harrington by 11 points in the Rookie of the Year standings with just two races to go. “Like we have since we first started this program last May, our philosophy is simply to stay in the running each race, finish, and then see where that puts us. If we stick to the program, then things like Rookie of the Year will take care of themselves.”
Perhaps most importantly, McGehee says, the Energizer Motorsports camp is having lots of fun after overcoming those not-so-unexpected growing pains. Just in time for the last event at Pikes Peak, they finished upgrading their Dallara chassis package with all the necessary hardware and systems, and switched to fast and reliable Comptech engines. And the results showed immediately as, for the first time this year, they endured the full weekend of practice, qualifying and the race at Pikes Peak without any major dramas.
“I’m really happy with our entire package,” McGehee said. “It’s grwhen you can go to the racetrack confident that you can run in the top five or top 10 in qualifying and the race. Everybody is enjoying himself again, like we did back when we were winning races in F2000. We’re all looking forward to getting back out there this weekend. Las Vegas is a real driver’s track, being a much flatter oval than Charlotte or Atlanta or Texas. You can really use all of your downforce. It’s a whole different setup and it’s harder to drive, but it’s a great equalizer.”
Practice for the Vegas.com 500 begins Friday (Sept. 24) with qualifying set for Saturday (Sept. 25). Race time is 11:30 a.m. PDT Sunday (Sept. 25). It will be broadcast live by ESPN.