FORT WORTH, Texas - Scott Sharp became the first five-time winner in the Indy Racing League and extended Oldsmobile's IRL winning streak to 34 consecutive races with a photofinish victory over Robby McGehee in the rain-delayed Casino Magic 500 at...
FORT WORTH, Texas - Scott Sharp became the first five-time winner in the Indy Racing League and extended Oldsmobile's IRL winning streak to 34 consecutive races with a photofinish victory over Robby McGehee in the rain-delayed Casino Magic 500 at Texas Motor Speedway.
The wait was worth it for the hardy fans who returned for Sunday's matinee performance after rain washed out both qualifying and the scheduled Saturday night race. Eight drivers exchanged the lead 31 times - in addition to dozens of unofficial lead changes around the high-banked 1.5-mile superspeedway. Sharp held off McGehee by .059 seconds at the stripe, the closest finish in IRL history. Sharp's 169.182 mph average speed also set a series record.
"That was a great race!" exclaimed Sharp as he expressed the sentiments of many observers. "I was all out the whole final lap."
Sharp's Kelley Racing Delphi Automotive Systems Oldsmobile Dallara enjoyed exceptional fuel mileage with a Comptech-prepared IRL Aurora V8 engine. That advantage proved pivotal in the closing stages of the race when several of Sharp's rivals had to pit for fuel under the green flag. Sharp had the luxury of a yellow-flag stop on lap 172.
"We had outstanding fuel mileage," Sharp reported. "We had some left, and got a lucky break."
McGehee's runner-up finish in Treadway Racing's Mall.com Oldsmobile G-Force was the best result of his young career. "I should have tried everything I could to get the low line on Scott," he said. "That's the lesson I learned the hard way today."
Oldsmobile IRL Aurora V8 engines powered the first eight finishers and led 202 of 208 laps. Twenty-five of the 27 starters used Oldsmobile motors.
Al Unser Jr. led the most laps (79) and finished third in Galles ECR Racing's Tickets.com Oldsmobile G-Force. "I've never had this much fun in my life!" said the two-time Indy 500 winner, expressing the feelings of drivers and fans alike.
<pre> RACE SUMMARY: Track: Texas Motor Speedway, 1.5-mile oval Winner: Scott Sharp, Kelley Racing Delphi Automotive Systems Oldsmobile Dallara Margin of Victory: .059 seconds Average Speed: 169.182 mph
Top Five Finishers: Pos./Driver/Engine Laps 1. Scott Sharp/Oldsmobile 208 2. Robby McGehee/Oldsmobile 208 3. Al Unser Jr./Oldsmobile 208 4. Buzz Calkins/Oldsmobile 208 5. Scott Goodyear/Oldsmobile 208
Pole: Buddy Lazier/Oldsmobile (Grid determined by entrant points after qualifying canceled due to rain) Fastest Lap: Eddie Cheever Jr./Infiniti, 213.065 mph
Manufacturer Results: Oldsmobile Infiniti Laps Led 202 6 Starters 25 2 Running at Finish 14 2 Winning Oldsmobile Engine Builder: Comptech Machine
POINT STANDINGS: (After 5 of 9 events) Driver/Engine Wins Points 1. Buddy Lazier/Olds 1 164 2. Scott Goodyear/Olds 0 142 3. Eddie Cheever/Infiniti 0 126 4, Robbie Buhl/Infiniti 1* 124 5. Eliseo Salazar/Olds 0 123 *Oldsmobile engine
Manufacturer Wins Points 1. Oldsmobile 5 53 2. Nissan 0 35
NEXT RACE: Radisson Indy 200, Pikes Peak International Raceway, Fountain, Colo., June 18, 2000