HAMPTON, Ga., July 16, 1999 - Billy Boat claimed his first PPG Pole of the season during qualifying Friday for the Kobalt Mechanics Tools 500 presented by MCI WorldCom at Atlanta Motor Speedway, leading the tightest field in Pep Boys Indy...
HAMPTON, Ga., July 16, 1999 - Billy Boat claimed his first PPG Pole of the season during qualifying Friday for the Kobalt Mechanics Tools 500 presented by MCI WorldCom at Atlanta Motor Speedway, leading the tightest field in Pep Boys Indy Racing League history. Boat, from Phoenix, posted the top lap of 25.087 seconds, 215.251 mph in the Harrah's A.J. Foyt Racing Dallara/Aurora/Goodyear, only .620 of a second faster than the slowest qualifier. The previous record for tightest field was 1.026 seconds at Phoenix International Raceway in 1998. "The secret here is trying to find the right balance and the right gear," Boat said. "(Team owner) A.J. (Foyt) picked the right gear. You have to have everything perfect, and tonight we had everything perfect." Greg Ray will start on the outside of the front row in the Glidden-Menards Dallara/Aurora/Firestone after posting a fast lap of 214.848. It will be his fifth front-row start in six races this season.
The Kobalt Mechanics Tools 500 presented by MCI WorldCom starts at 7:30 p.m. (EDT) Saturday. The 208-lap race will be televised live on FOX Sports Net.
Boat increased his qualifying speed by 1.871 mph over his fastest lap in practice, earning his eighth career pole in a car owned by four-time Indianapolis 500 winner A.J. Foyt. Boat also won the pole last year at this event. "I think we only picked up two-tenths (of a second)," Boat said. "It's hard to find those two-tenths, but I think we were the only car to go faster on the second lap."
Sam Schmidt will start third in the Sprint PCS G Force/Aurora/Firestone after a fast lap of 214.737. Mark Dismore qualified fourth at 214.669 in the MCI WorldCom Dallara/Aurora/Goodyear followed by series points leader Scott Goodyear at 214.516 in the Pennzoil Panther G Force/Aurora/Goodyear. Jimmy Kite, raised in nearby Stockbridge, Ga., will start 11th in the Team Losi-Fastrod-McCormack Motorsports G Force/Aurora/Firestone after posting a fast lap of 212.799. Kenny Brack, defending event and league champion, qualified 14th at 212.081 in the A.J. Foyt Power Team Racing Dallara/Aurora/Goodyear.
Tickets: Tickets are available for the Kobalt Mechanics Tools 500 presented by MCI WorldCom. Call (770) 946-4211 for more information. Ticket information also is available on the World Wide Web at http://www.atlantamotorspeedway.com .
*** On the air: The Kobalt Mechanics Tools 500 presented by MCI WorldCom will be televised live at 7:30 p.m. (EDT) July 17 on FOX Sports Net. The Indy Racing Radio Network will broadcast a 30-minute prerace show at 7 p.m. (EDT) July 17, followed by the live race broadcast at 7:30 p.m. The area IRRN affiliate is WBTR-AM 1330 and WBTR-FM 92.1, Carrolton, Ga. 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.