OLDSMOBILE MOTORSPORT REPORT: Sunday, October 17, 1999 Results from Mall.com 500 at Texas Motor Speedway 10th of 10 Pep Boys Indy Racing League races RAY RACES TO IRL TITLE AS DISMORE SCORES FIRST VICTORY; OLDSMOBILE SWEEPS SERIES FORT WORTH...
OLDSMOBILE MOTORSPORT REPORT: Sunday, October 17, 1999 Results from Mall.com 500 at Texas Motor Speedway 10th of 10 Pep Boys Indy Racing League races
RAY RACES TO IRL TITLE AS DISMORE SCORES FIRST VICTORY; OLDSMOBILE SWEEPS SERIES
FORT WORTH - Mark Dismore won the battle, Greg Ray won the war, and Oldsmobile's IRL Aurora V8 won it all in the Mall.com 500 at Texas Motor Speedway, the season finale of the ten-race Pep Boys Indy Racing League series.
Mark Dismore scored his first career victory in Kelley Racing's MCI WorldCom Oldsmobile Dallara by a one-lap margin over Davey Hamilton. Greg Ray finished third in Team Menard's Glidden Oldsmobile Dallara and won the $1 million Pep Boys championship. Oldsmobile ended the IRL's "Four-Liter Era" with a perfect 29-0 record and swept the manufacturer, driver, team, and rookie championships for the third straight year.
"I'll take second if I can win tomorrow," Dismore declared after qualifying second to Ray on Saturday. He made the trade on Sunday and celebrated an emotional victory. "I needed a windshield wiper in my helmet," said the tearful driver.
After a four-hour rain delay, the 208-lap race began with temperatures 40 degrees colder than practice and qualifying. IRL officials introduced a unique yellow/green starting procedure to bring the tires up to operating temperature. Polesitter Ray led the first 24 laps before relinquishing the lead to Dismore. Scott Goodyear dominated the first half of the race with Pennzoil Panther Racing's Oldsmobile G-Force, leading 65 laps before he crashed in Turn 4. Kenny Brack led 53 circuits and was in position to snatch the $1 million prize from Ray, but a problem with the rear wheel hub sidelined the defending IRL champion.
Dismore took control on lap 187 and held the lead to the finish. Savvy pit strategy gave Dismore a comfortable one-lap margin at the checkered flag.
"Mark won tonight because he was patient and our strategy paid off," explained car owner Tom Kelley. "He has a lot of heart."
Ray secured Team Menard's second driver and team titles in the last three years. After a slow start this season, he rocketed to the top of the standings with four poles, three wins, and a runner-up finish.
"I felt we could have won tonight, but we gambled on a call," said Ray. "It's hard to put the whole weight of the championship season on one night, but that's what it came down to - and we won it."
Scott Harrington claimed the rookie championship in his Certainteed Building Products Dallara with a single Oldsmobile engine. "All year long we practiced, qualified, and raced with that one motor," Harrington reported. "We'd pull it out, rebuild it, and go to the next race. I can't even think how many miles it has on it. It should be retired and put in a museum!"
"The car felt great, and I was able to go flat-out all day long," noted Hamilton after scoring his second runner-up finish of the season. "We had a good day, a good car, and everything performed well. I think we've run over 600 miles on our engine, and it was still strong at the end."
Accidents sidelined several of the contenders as Goodyear and Sam Schmidt were both involved in incidents. A total of 78 laps were run under six caution flags.
Oldsmobile IRL Aurora V8 engines swept the podium and powered 16 of the 17 cars running at the finish. Competing against Nissan's Infiniti Indy, Oldsmobile engines won every race, won every pole, won every championship and ran the fastest lap in all 29 races since the IRL introduced its naturally aspirated engine formula in January 1997.
A new generation of 3.5-liter engines will be introduced next year when the IRL kicks off its fifth season at the Indy 200 at Walt Disney World Speedway on January 22, 2000.
RACE SUMMARY: Track: Texas Motor Speedway, 1.5-mile oval, Fort Worth, Texas Winner: Mark Dismore, Kelley Racing MCI WorldCom Oldsmobile Dallara Margin of Victory: One lap Average Speed: 135.246 mph
Top Five Finishers: Pos./Driver/Engine Laps 1. Mark Dismore/Oldsmobile 208 2. Davey Hamilton/Oldsmobile 207 3. Greg Ray/Oldsmobile 207 4. Eddie Cheever Jr./Infiniti 207 5. John Hollansworth/Oldsmobile 206
Pole: Greg Ray/Oldsmobile, 216.107 mph Fastest Lap: Scott Goodyear/Oldsmobile, 217.579 mph
Manufacturer Results: Aurora Infiniti Laps Led 208 0 Starters 25 1 Running at Finish 16 1 Winning Oldsmobile Engine Builder: Comptech Machine
POINT STANDINGS: (After 10 of 10 events) Driver/Engine Wins Points 1. Greg Ray/Olds 3 293 2. Kenny Brack/Olds 1 256 3. Mark Dismore 1 240 4. Davey Hamilton 0 237 5. Sam Schmidt/Olds 1 233 Manufacturer Wins Points 1. Oldsmobile 10 110 2. Nissan 0 70