IRL: Texas Poling Toward the Championship

RAY TAKES PPG POLE AT TEXAS, GAINS KEY POINTS IN TITLE DRIVE FORT WORTH, Texas, Oct. 16, 1999 - Pep Boys Indy Racing League points leader Greg Ray won the PPG Pole for the Mall.com 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday, earning three...

RAY TAKES PPG POLE AT TEXAS, GAINS KEY POINTS IN TITLE DRIVE

FORT WORTH, Texas, Oct. 16, 1999 - Pep Boys Indy Racing League points leader Greg Ray won the PPG Pole for the Mall.com 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday, earning three crucial points in his drive for the Pep Boys Million as series champion. Ray, from Plano, Texas, turned a fast lap of 24.238 seconds, 216.107 mph in the Glidden-Menards Dallara/Aurora/Firestone on the 1.5-mile oval. This is Ray's fourth pole of the season, the most of any league driver. Mark Dismore will start second in the MCI WorldCom Dallara/Aurora/Goodyear after a best lap of 216.071. Scott Goodyear will start third after a fast lap of 216.036 in the Pennzoil Panther G Force/Aurora/Goodyear. The pole provided a welcome boost to Ray and Team Menard. Three of the team's engines expired during practice Friday and Saturday morning, causing the team to scramble in preparation for qualifying. "We've struggled all weekend long," Ray said. "We just couldn't find a rhythm. Finally, it reached a point where it was give up or dig down deep. And we all dug down real deep." "We threw the biggest pair of dice we could, and I was real happy with the car during qualifying. At this point, every point counts, and I was real happy to pick up the three points for qualifying." The 208-lap, 312-mile race starts at 2 p.m. (EDT) Sunday and will be televised at 4 p.m. (EDT) Sunday on ABC. Six drivers entered this event with a mathematical chance at winning a $1 million bonus as season champion, but only Ray, second-place Kenny Brack and third-place Sam Schmidt remain eligible after qualifying. Scott Sharp, Scott Goodyear and Buddy Lazier were eliminated from contention after Ray earned three points for the PPG Pole. Ray has 258 points after qualifying, Brack 242 and Schmidt 225. "I will be the first one to tell you that this championship is a lot bigger than a race win," Ray said. "But we are going to try to pull off both this weekend." Brack will start fifth in the A.J. Foyt Power Team Racing G Force/Aurora/Goodyear. Schmidt will start fourth in the Sprint PCS-Mall.com G Force/Aurora/Firestone. In the battle for Sprint PCS Rookie of the Year honors, Scott Harrington will start eighth in the CertainTeed Building Products Special Dallara/Aurora/Firestone. Rookie points leader Robby McGehee will start 14th in the Energizer Advanced Formula Dallara/Aurora/Firestone. McGehee leads Harrington, 138-137, in the standings. Sarah Fisher, 19, will start 17th in her Indy Racing debut after posting a fast lap of 213.074 in the Team Pelfrey Dallara/Aurora/Firestone.

MALL.COM 500 NOTEBOOK

On the air: The Mall.com 500 will be televised on a same-day, delayed basis at 4 p.m. (EDT) Sunday on ABC. The Indy Racing Radio Network will broadcast a 30-minute prerace show at 1:30 p.m. (EDT) Sunday, followed by the live race broadcast at 2 p.m. A qualifying highlights show will be broadcast from 5:30-6 p.m. (EDT) Saturday. The area IRRN affiliate is WBAP-AM 820, Arlington, Texas. The IRRN race broadcast also will be available live on the Internet at www.indyracingleague.com as part of a partnership between Indy Racing Online and broadcast.com, the world's leading Web broadcast site.

***

Tickets: Tickets are available for the Mall.com 500 on Oct. 17. Call (817) 215-8500 for more information. Ticket information also is available on the World Wide Web at http://www.texasmotorspeedway.com .

Source: IMS/IRL

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Robby McGehee , Sarah Fisher , Greg Ray , Buddy Lazier , Scott Sharp , Mark Dismore , Scott Goodyear , Kenny Brack , Sam Schmidt , A.J. Foyt