INFINITI INDY INSIDER *Trackside Report, Kobalt Mechanics Tools 500 presented by MCI WorldCom, Atlanta Motor Speedway* Race -- Saturday, July 17 Infiniti Indy and Team Cheever finished sixth in the Kobalt Mechanics Tools 500 at Atlanta Motor ...
INFINITI INDY INSIDER *Trackside Report, Kobalt Mechanics Tools 500 presented by MCI WorldCom, Atlanta Motor Speedway* Race -- Saturday, July 17
Infiniti Indy and Team Cheever finished sixth in the Kobalt Mechanics Tools 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway tonight. The finish gives the 4.0-liter DOHC Infiniti Indy V8 engine its fourth top-six finish of the season.
Starting the race from 21st, Cheever immediately moved towards the front in the No. 51 The Children's Beverage Group/Team Cheever Infiniti. He ran much of the 208-lap race in the top ten, scoring as high as fifth in the first half of the race. While Cheever's lap times were competitive compared to the leaders, he suffered from gearbox woes which caused him to drop back in the running order after each pit stop. Cheever expertly fought his way through the field after each pit stop and took the checkered flag in sixth place.
Tonight's finish maintains the team's fourth-place standings in the driver's championship, only 31 points behind Scott Goodyear.
The Pep Boys Indy Racing League action continues in two weeks in Dover, Del. for the Mid-Atlantic 200 on the 1.0-mile high-banked Dover Downs International Speedway. The Aug. 1 race will be televised by Fox.
Quotes: Eddie Cheever Jr., No. 51 Team Cheever/Children's Beverage Group Infiniti/Dallara/Goodyear (Qualified 21st, Finished 6th): "The throttle just wasn't smooth from the start and I stripped a gear on the first stop. The guys did a great job tonight of keeping me coming back each time. They got me out of the pits three times with me starting in third gear. This is the third race in a row that I've had to beat the Infiniti engine up badly and it has held up exceptionally well. I was hoping to find a dancing partner to ease things along, but no one would play with me tonight. On a track like this running alone works everything way too hard."
Race Result Highlights:
1. Scott Sharp 2. Robby Unser 3. Kenny Brack 4. Eliseo Salazar 5. Buzz Calkins 6. Eddie Cheever Jr. 7. Davey Hamilton 8. Donnie Beechler 9. Jimmy Kite 10. Billy Boat