Robby McGehee #55 Energizer Advanced Formula Dallara/Aurora/Firestone Colorado Indy 200 Qualifying -- Saturday, Aug. 28, 1999 Round 8 of 10 on the 1999 Pep Boys Indy Racing League
Robby McGehee enjoyed the best qualifying effort of his Pep Boys Indy Racing League rookie season today, piloting the #55 Energizer Advanced Formula Dallara/Aurora/ Firestone entry to a fast qualifying lap of 20.703 seconds (an average of 176.263 mph) around the 1-mile Pikes Peak International Raceway oval. He'll start eighth on the grid in Sunday's inaugural Colorado Indy 200, which begins at 2 p.m. MDT and will be televised by Fox Sports Net. Greg Ray won the pole in 20.424 seconds (176.263 mph).
In addition to arriving for this weekend's race with all-new 1999 chassis updates and a switch to Comptech-prepared engines for the first time this season, McGehee and his Energizer Motorsports teammates welcomed back crew chief Steve Fried, who was critically injured in a pit accident during last May's Indianapolis 500. McGehee won Indy 500 Rookie of the Year honors in that race, finishing fifth, while Fried immediately mounted a storybook road to recovery after suffering extensive injuries.
ROBBY MCGEHEE -- "The Energizer Advanced Formula car has been just great all weekend. It's amazing what a difference it makes being able to run every minute of every session. It hasn't quite been that kind of a season so far, so it feels good to have our car in position to win on Sunday here. It was a pretty easy qualifying run. I just put the pedal to the metal from the 'lap out' command and ran my best laps of the weekend. Not having to deal with traffic has everything to do with that. But we're feeling incredibly confident. It's such an amazing feeling to have Steve (Fried) back. Just to have him around brings our whole team together. He's on a slow but determined road to recovery, and he even hopes to be back working over the wall on pit stops by the end of the year."
STEVE FRIED -- "Having been in racing all my life, I always knew the racing world was one, big family. But since my accident, that family has grown immensely. I never knew it was so huge. All the cards, letters, flowers, balloons, e-mails, everything that I've received since the accident has mean an awful lot to me. It's been a bit trying at times, but all I've wanted to do was to get back out here. I'm doing all I can, but I feel more like a blister because I show up when the work is done. It's great to be back. One of my goals was to get back to the track by this weekend. I hope to be working over the wall again by Texas (the Oct. 17 season finale)."