Fountain, Colo. (June 27, 1999) - Greg Ray won the Radisson 200 this afternoon, crossing the finish line just twelve one-hundredths of a second ahead of second place finisher Sam Schmidt. Ray and Schmidt traded the lead six times before Ray took...
Fountain, Colo. (June 27, 1999) - Greg Ray won the Radisson 200 this afternoon, crossing the finish line just twelve one-hundredths of a second ahead of second place finisher Sam Schmidt. Ray and Schmidt traded the lead six times before Ray took the lead for good on lap 178, only twelve laps from the finish.
"It was fun," said Schmidt after posting a second place finish for the second time in his career. "I told Greg, 'let's go another 100 laps for all the marbles,' but he wouldn't go for it."
Schmidt closed the six-second gap on Ray when a late caution period stopped the action on lap 184. "We were really charging at the end," Schmidt stated. "We just needed a couple of more laps."
"When Sam and I were out there, we were clearly faster than everyone," said Ray, after posting his first Pep Boys Indy Racing League event. There were times when Sam was in the lead that he disappeared. And sometimes I was able to pull ahead. With 15 laps to go, I was just cruising with Cheever and Lazier. All of a sudden there was Sam again."
Finishing third was Davey Hamilton, the only driver to compete in every Indy Racing League event ever held. "This is our best finish of the year," said Hamilton. "We're climbing up the ladder and we're looking for that first win. We were in good shape all day until the final stop, when we lost our clutch. We stalled it coming out of the pits under green flag racing, that hurt us.
Rounding out the top five behind Ray, Schmidt and Hamilton were Eddie Cheever and Buddy Lazier. Both drivers completed the entire 200 lap distance.
"Infiniti did a superb job," said Cheever. "We had an engine that could have won today."
While Cheever tried to mount a challenge on Hamilton, Lazier was all over Cheever's tail. "If I had even thought of lifting, Lazier would have passed me," said the 1997 Indianapolis 500 winner. "Some of my best races have been when I've been up against Buddy."
The Pep Boys Indy Racing League moves to the Atlanta Motor Speedway for their next race, the Kobalt Tools 500 on July 17, 1999.