For Immediate Release STEWART GETS SECOND STRAIGHT PPG POLE WITH RUN OF 170.012 MILES AN HOUR AT PHOENIX INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY PHOENIX, Saturday, March 22, 1997 Tony Stewart toured the one-mile Phoenix International Raceway...
For Immediate Release
STEWART GETS SECOND STRAIGHT PPG POLE WITH RUN OF 170.012 MILES AN HOUR AT PHOENIX INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY
PHOENIX, Saturday, March 22, 1997 Tony Stewart toured the one-mile Phoenix International Raceway oval at 170.012 miles an hour Saturday to grab the pole position for Sunday's $1,146,400 Indy Racing League Phoenix 200.
Stewart became the first driver to exceed 170 miles an hour on a qualifying lap with the IRL's new car/engine combination and the first IRL driver to claim the $10,000 bonus prize to go with the regular posting of $10,000 for the PPG Pole Award.
It was the second straight IRL pole for the Indianapolis driver, who also won the pole for the Indy 200 at Walt Disney World in January and used the same Glidden/Menard Special G Force/Oldsmobile Aurora for both runs.
Jim Guthrie of Albuquerque, driving the Blueprint Racing Dallara/Aurora, was second to Stewart with a lap at 169.484 and claimed his best career IRL starting spot. His previous best in five previous races was ninth at Walt Disney World. Guthrie was a steady front runner at P.I.R. throughout testing and practice and looked forward to his first front-row start.
"I guess I'd liken it to the David and Goliath story," Guthrie said. "I'd like to slay the giant, maybe here, maybe at Indy (the Indianapolis 500 on May 25). This engine has 640 miles on it. I hope it can go 840. We've rebuilt it three times but it's in good shape for this race."
Scott Goodyear of Canada and Arie Luyendyk of Scottsdale, Ariz., teammates for Treadway Racing, nailed down second-row starting spots. Goodyear checked in at 166.044 in the Treadway Racing/NORTEL G Force/Aurora and Luyendyk, the P.I.R. track record holder, was at 165.784 in the Treadway Racing/WavePhore G Force/Aurora.
"That thing was really rockin'," Stewart said of his qualifying run. "In the last practice run, we got the car nailed down. I thought we could get a little more (speed). Before qualifying, we played with the gears and the aerodynamics and it paid off. We're happy getting poles, but need to get the monkey off our back in the race."
Stewart has led five of the six IRL races to date but is still looking for his first victory for Team Menard.
In all, 20 drivers qualified Saturday and 1996 IRL co-champion Scott Sharp and rookie Affonso Giaffone were added to the field.
Buzz Calkins, who qualified for fifth starting position, hit the wall in Turn 4 during the final practice session. Calkins was uninjured, but the car sustained heavy left side and left rear damage.
The Phoenix 200 will be televised live by ABC Sports and also carried live on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network. Starting time is 2 p.m. Phoenix time (4 p.m. EST).
Car Driver Car Name C/E/T Time Speed ROW 1 1 2 Tony Stewart Glidden/Menard/Special G/A/F 21.175 170.012 2 27 * Jim Guthrie Blueprint Racing D/A/F 21.241 169.484 ROW 2 3 6 Scott Goodyear Treadway Racing/NORTEL G/A/F 21.681 166.044 4 5 W Arie Luyendyk Treadway Racing/WavePhore G/A/F 21.715 165.784 ROW 3 5 3 Robbie Buhl Menard/Quaker State/Special G/A/F 21.956 163.964 6 16 R* Sam Schmidt Blueprint Racing D/A/F 21.973 163.837 ROW 4 7 51 Eddie Cheever, Jr. FirstPlus Team Cheever G/A/G 22.017 163.510 8 22 Marco Greco Intl Sports Ltd/Scandia/Alta/ Xcel/Royal Purple D/A/G 22.019 163.495 ROW 5 9 4 R* Kenny Brack Monsoon Galles Racing G/A/G 22.027 163.436 10 21 W Roberto Guerrero Pennzoil Racing D/I/G 22.075 163.080 ROW 6 11 18 John Paul, Jr. Klipsch Tnemec V-Line Earl's D/A/G 22.100 162.896 12 30 R* Jeret Schroeder McCormack Motorsports G/A/G 22.136 162.631 ROW 7 13 91 Buddy Lazier Delta Faucet-Montana- Hemelgarn Racing D/I/F 22.148 162.543 14 14 Davey Hamilton AJ Foyt/Power Team Racing G/A/G 22.161 162.448 ROW 8 15 33 * Fermin Velez Mi-Jack Scandia Alta Xcel Royal Purple D/A/G 22.235 161.907 16 10 Mike Groff Jonathan Byrd's Cafeteria Bryant Heating & Cooling G/I/F 22.520 159.858 ROW 9 17 50 R* Billy Roe Eurointernational Dallara Aurora D/A/F 22.650 158.940 18 40 R* Jack Miller AMS Crest Racing D/A/F 22.779 158.040 ROW 10 19 77 Stephan Gregoire Miller-Eads Co/Chastain Motorsports G/A/G 23.235 154.939 20 1 Scott Sharp Conseco/AJ Foyt Racing G/A/G NT NS ROW 11 21 17 R* Affonso Giaffone General Motors of Brazil/Chitwood/ Dallara D/A/GNT NS 22 12 # Buzz Calkins Bradley Foodmarts G/A/G 21.947 164.032
# Started backup car at the end of field after originally qualified car was damaged in final practice.
PPG Pole Winner: Tony Stewart
True Value Pole Winning Chief Mechanic: John O'Gara/Team Menard, Inc.
Legend: W- Past Phoenix Winner *- Indy Racing League Series Rookie R- Phoenix 200 Rookie
Chassis Legend: D- Dallara; G- G Force Engine Legend: A- Oldsmobile Aurora; I- Nissan Infiniti Tire Legend: F- Firestone; G- Goodyear