PIKES PEAK INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY PPIR STAFF PICKS TOP 10 HIGHLIGHTS OF '98 SEASON 1. NASCAR Busch Grand National Series comes to PPIR 2. NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series comes to PPIR 3. Kenny Brack runs out of gas and coasts across finish...
PIKES PEAK INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY PPIR STAFF PICKS TOP 10 HIGHLIGHTS OF '98 SEASON
1. NASCAR Busch Grand National Series comes to PPIR 2. NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series comes to PPIR 3. Kenny Brack runs out of gas and coasts across finish line to win IRL 4. First time for Craftsman Truck Series to use pit stops 5. IRL driver Jeff Ward's gift to burn victim Eric Meinig 6. PPIR has fastest ever IRL race 6. Children's Hospital kids sing National Anthem 8. Ron Hornaday gets stuck in grass after winning NASCAR Craftsman Truck race 9. Carelli becomes first Coloradan to win an event at PPIR (2nd RE/MAX Challenge) 10. Super Modified and Midget national records established
PPIR PICKS TOP 10 HIGHLIGHTS OF '98 SEASON
FOUNTAIN, Colo. - So much. So fast. Before the Pikes Peak International Raceway staff jumped with both feet into planning for the 1999 season, it took a brief pit stop to reflect on the highlights from the 1998 PPIR season.
The Top 10 list combines evidence of PPIR's rapid growth in its second season with further proof that the Maginificent Mile is one of the fastest one-mile ovals in the country. Tempered with activities on the racing surface are two examples of compassion exhibited by one racer and the courage of troupe of young signers.
The following is PPIR's 1998 Top 10 along with a brief description of each item:
1. NASCAR BUSCH GRAND NATIONAL SERIES COMES TO PPIR
NASCAR second biggest series elevated PPIR to another level by making a rare foray west of the MIssissippi River on June 12-14 to open PPIR's season. A championship Sunday crowd of 31,250 for the Lycos.com 250, which was won by Matt Kenseth.
2. NASCAR CRAFTSMAN TRUCK SERIES COMES TO PPIR
The NASCAR Truck series moved to PPIR from Colorado National Speedway near Denver. The Tempus Resorts 300K joined with the NASCAR Winston West KIDDE Safety 150 and NASCAR RE/MAX Challenge series to form the July 24-26 NASCAR Triple-Header weekend.
3. KENNY BRACK RUNS OUT OF GAS AND COASTS ACROSS FINISH LINE TO WIN IRL
The biggest crowd of the year - 32,537 - saw Kenny Brack of A.J. Foyt's Power Team coast across the finish line to win the Aug. 16 Radisson 200 Pep Boys Indy Racing League event.
4. FIRST TIME FOR CRAFTSMAN TRUCK SERIES TO USE PIT STOPS
PPIR will be in the Craftsman Truck Series history books as the first track when the series implemented green-flag pit stops. Prior to the Tempus Resorts 300K, truck teams were limited to a mandatory "half-time" pit stop.
5. IRL DRIVER JEFF WARD'S GIFT TO BURN VICTIM ERIC MEINIG
Ward was dominating the Radisson 200 Pep Boys IRL event on Aug. 16 when a cut tire sent him into the wall on Lap 117. After being checked out in the Infield Care Center, he renewed his friendship with Eric Meinig, a 5-year-old burn victim. Ward went back to the ISM transporter and had the helmet he wore in the 1998 Indianapolis 500 delivered to Eric.
6. (TIE) PPIR HAS FASTEST EVER IRL RACE
Brack won the quickest 200-mile race in Indy Racing League history. Brack's race-record average speed was 133.515 mph. Billy Boat, Brack's teammate, reset the PPIR speed record when he won the pole with a lap of 20.160 seconds at 178.571 mph.
6. (TIE) CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL KIDS SING NATIONAL ANTHEM
The Children's Hospital Ambassador kids, with assistance from Michele Ward, performed an emotional version of the National Anthem prior to the Sept. 27 Children's Hospital Grand Prix.
8. RON HORNADAY GETS STUCK IN GRASS AFTER WINNING NASCAR TRUCK RACE
Immediately after Hornaday took the checkered flag, he did a serious of 360-degrees spins near the start/finish line then got his Chevy truck stuck in the grass.
9. CARELLI BECOMES FIRST COLORADAN TO WIN AN EVENT AT PPIR
Aurora's Carelli became the first from Colorado to win at PPIR when he won the NASCAR RE/MAX Challenge on July 26, which was his wife Cathy's birthday.
10. SILVER CROWN AND SUPER MODIFIED NATIONAL RECORDS ESTABLISHED
Russ Gamester set a national USAC Silver Crown record by winning the pole in 25.537 seconds at 1140.972 seconds on July 11 in the Rocky Mountain Classic. Troy Regier set a Western Super Modified record on June 12 when he qualified in 25.5 seconds at 160.00 mph during the Lycos.com 250 Weekend.