IRL: Billy Boat Cruises to Work in Style in Phoenix

BOAT PUTS UNIQUE TWIST INTO RUSH-HOUR COMMUTE IN PHOENIX By Paul Kelly indyracingleague.com PHOENIX, Feb. 25, 1999 - Billy Boat drove to work Feb. 25 surrounded by Arizona State Police cruisers, yet he broke no laws. Boat ...

BOAT PUTS UNIQUE TWIST INTO RUSH-HOUR COMMUTE IN PHOENIX

By Paul Kelly indyracingleague.com

PHOENIX, Feb. 25, 1999 - Billy Boat drove to work Feb. 25 surrounded by Arizona State Police cruisers, yet he broke no laws. Boat received a special police escort as he drove his A.J. Foyt Enterprises Dallara/Aurora/Goodyear race car along Interstate 10 and on surface streets en route to Phoenix International Raceway. Boat and many other Pep Boys Indy Racing League competitors will participate in the "Test in the West" on Feb. 26-27 at PIR, site of the MCI WorldCom 200 on March 28. "It was a great promotion and a lot of fun," said Boat, a resident of Glendale, a Phoenix suburb. "Where else can you drive your Indy car down I-10 and have the police escort you instead of trying to chase you?" Boat started his unique morning commute at his home with his wife, Andrea, and four children. He darted out of the house and climbed into his 700-horsepower, open-wheel race car parked in his driveway. 1998 Indianapolis 500 PPG Pole winner Boat then met fellow Pep Boys Indy Racing League competitor Arie Luyendyk, a Scottsdale resident, at a Circle K convenience store for morning coffee. Boat and Luyendyk's race cars were parked in front of the store. Boat then started his drive on Interstate 10 east of the 1-mile oval at PIR. Arizona State Police cruisers escorted Boat down the right lane of Interstate 10, causing passenger-car drivers in the passing lane to gawk in disbelief. Perhaps the funniest moment of the trip came when a motorcycle policeman stopped a car on the shoulder of the highway as Boat drove past. The officer jokingly issued a speeding ticket to two-time Indianapolis 500 champion Luyendyk, standing beside his Sprint PCS G Force/Aurora/Firestone race car and trying to talk his way out of the ticket. Well-wishers greeted Boat on surface streets after he exited the interstate en route to the track. A group of nearly 200 students from Littleton Elementary stood along the road in front of the school, cheering on Boat and holding up signs as he drove past.

*** "Test in the West" schedule: Pep Boys Indy Racing League testing will start from 9 a.m.-noon Feb. 26, continuing from 1-5 p.m. Testing will resume from 9-11:30 a.m. Feb. 27, ending with a session from 1-5 p.m.

*** Come on down: Fans are welcome to attend the "Test in the West" all day Feb. 27. Admission is free. Pep Boys Indy Racing League drivers will participate in an autograph session for fans from 11:45 a.m.-12:30 p.m. on the track.

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Arie Luyendyk , Billy Boat , Paul Kelly , A.J. Foyt