Team Cheever: #51 Team Cheever Dallara/Firestone/Infiniti Wednesday Notes: January Open Test Dates
1998 Indy 500 winner, Eddie Cheever, Jr. ran his Dallara (99)/Firestone/Infiniti for 220 laps today at his hometown track of Walt Disney World Speedway as he prepared to defend his two-time winner's status of the event (1997,1999). The Delphi Indy 200 is scheduled to take place at 12 noon on January 29th. As the lone Infiniti entrant, Cheever had the seventh fastest time in the first day of the two-day Open Test lapping the 1-mile tri-oval in 21.983 seconds at a speed of 163.763 mph.
"We ran another 220 plus miles today. The engine is strong; it didn't miss a beat. This is the second engine we've run these kind of consistent laps on recently. I am pleased with the way our "endurance testing" is going with Infiniti.
"We also ran the tires to the thread today to see what info we could get there. The Firestones are very consistent. They demand an entirely different set up over the arc of a full tank of fuel than the Goodyears we ran last year. With the new tires, I would say we are 50% through our learning curve and should be at about 70% by the end of tomorrow."
"I am naturally looking forward to the race. I love racing here at Disney and in my own backyard. I do, however, wish we had our new car. So far, without it, we are at a disadvantage. The new cars that have come here this week have definitely taken a big jump forward."
Top Ten For The Day 1. Greg Ray 21.372 168.445 2. Greg Ray -T 21.466 167.707 3. Scott Sharp 21.514 167.333 4. Buzz Calkins 21.548 167.069 5. Mark Dismore 21.589 166.752 6. Robby McGehee 21.619 166.520 7. Eddie Cheever, Jr. 21.983 163.763 8. Sam Schmidt 22.039 163.347 9. Al Unser, Jr. 22.207 162.111 10. Jeff Ward 22.264 161.696
* The EDDIE CHEEVER & FRIENDS DRIVE FOR CHILDREN Golf Tournament benefiting Arnold Palmer Hospital for Women and Children will take place at the prestigious Isleworth Country Club in Orlando on Monday, January 24th. Joining Eddie Cheever to help raise money will be eminent Golf teacher, David Leadbetter. The sold-out event has already raised over $75,000 in sponsorship commitments and participant fees.
* TICKETS FOR KIDS CHARITY DRIVE. In addition to the money raised by the tournament itself, friends of the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children & Women can order tickets to the Delphi Indy 200 at Walt Disney World knowing that 50% of their purchase will be donated directly to the hospital. In special cooperation with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, fans can call for tickets at 1-800-822-INDY and give the phrase "Eddie Cheever's #51 Drives For Children" to ensure this special donation.