FORT WORTH-DALLAS (Sept. 11, 1998) - Indianapolis 500 winner Eddie Cheever was the first owner-driver combination in the Pep Boys Indy Racing League. Cheever is anxious for the Sept. 20 Lone Star 500 at Texas Motor Speedway to prove his...
FORT WORTH-DALLAS (Sept. 11, 1998) - Indianapolis 500 winner Eddie Cheever was the first owner-driver combination in the Pep Boys Indy Racing League. Cheever is anxious for the Sept. 20 Lone Star 500 at Texas Motor Speedway to prove his Rachel's Chips Dallara/Aurora is worthy of a return visit to the winner's circle.
Cheever joined an elite group of race drivers May 24 when he captured the 82nd Indy 500. Cheever's team suffered a letdown following that race and he is looking forward to the second IRL race of the season at Texas Motor Speedway to post another 1998 triumph.
"We were focused so hard on winning Indy, which we did, that we had all of our cars set up just for that one speedway," Cheever said. "We have had to completely redo the setups for all of our cars, especially for a high-banked, high-speed facility like Texas.
"We finished third at Atlanta in the last race so I know we are back now. After winning a race as big as Indianapolis, we had a three-month period where things weren't going right. We got over our hangover at Atlanta.
"Atlanta and Texas are very similar speedways," he continued. "That is why we are so fired up about coming to Texas. NASCAR is famous for its stock car drafting. Well, tracks like Texas Motor Speedway are the draft centers of Indy Car racing.
"There will be packs of cars drafting each other. In this case, you really depend on the driver in front of you. Texas also places such a premium on having enough horsepower.
"Winning the '500' has made such a difference in my life," Cheever commented. "You have to win the race to savor the importance it has to the public. Now I am recognized walking through an airport. It is nice not having to explain what kind of cars you race. Now people know.
"Texas has such a history of great Indy Car racing champions. Drivers like A.J. Foyt, Johnny Rutherford, Lloyd Ruby, Jim McElreath make winning at Texas all that more important. We hope to be standing in victory lane at the end of the Lone Star 500."