IRL: Boat Seeks Revenge in Texas

BOAT SEEKS REVENGE IN DALLAS AT TRUE VALUE 500 INDIANAPOLIS, May 27, 1998 - Billy Boat, pole sitter at this year's Indianapolis 500, is thinking revenge when he returns to Texas Motor Speedway for the True Value 500 on June 6. ...


INDIANAPOLIS, May 27, 1998 - Billy Boat, pole sitter at this year's Indianapolis 500, is thinking revenge when he returns to Texas Motor Speedway for the True Value 500 on June 6. "The whole (A.J. Foyt) team goes back with you might say a little bit of vengeance," Boat said. "We probably think we have a little bit something to prove. "We feel we won that race last year, and they gave us second. We crossed the finish line first." The inaugural Pep Boys Indy Racing League event at the 1.5-mile quad-oval swirled in controversy at the end of the night race. Boat appeared to be the winner, but Arie Luyendyk was awarded the victory after a scoring audit. Then in Victory Lane, car owner Foyt shoved Luyendyk. The incident drew worldwide attention. In a way, it pushed the unknown Boat into prominent recognition. "We had lots of headlines and lots of TV time," said Phoenix native Boat with a laugh. "I had to look at Dallas last year, it was only my second Indy-style race, and regardless of what happened it still was a good performance and it helped solidify my position in this league. It definitely was a big stepping stone for me. "It really helped in developing a relationship here with A.J. Foyt Racing." Boat, 32, certainly hiked that relationship May 16 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Everyone felt certain Tony Stewart, defending Pep Boys IRL champion, would win the pole handily, but when the day was complete it was Boat and his green Conseco-A.J. Foyt Racing Dallara/Aurora/Goodyear that had captured the coveted front row inside starting position. His four-lap speed average was 223.503 mph. "You know A.J. never shows his hand," Boat said. "Not the week before, not the day before, not the morning of, not ever. You have to take advantage of every opportunity." Boat led the first 12 laps at Indy but ended up 23rd after being plagued with drive line problems. He now turns his serious thoughts to Texas, admitting that he doesn't know a lot about the track alterations made since the NASCAR Winston Cup race earlier this spring. "They did a great job with it the first time," he said. "The second time around it should be even better, so I anticipate it will be a multi-groove racetrack, high speed, flat-out type of place just like it was before. "It will be great for the fans, great for passing." Boat loves racing at night, because that's how he grew up in the sport. He calls the initial Pep Boys IRL night race last June at Texas like a homecoming. When Boat, a graduate of Arizona State University, began racing midgets he drove several times at Devil's Bowl in Mesquite, Texas. "The first time I ran at Devil's Bowl was in a go-kart many years ago, when I was probably 12 years old," Boat said. "They had the IKF Nationals there, and we should have won that but ended up running third. I ran there a couple times in a sprint car over the years, and I don't think I had a lot of success there. "It's just always fun to go back to Dallas."


Guthrie released: Jim Guthrie, injured during a crash in the Indianapolis 500, was released May 27 from Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis and flew home to Albuquerque, N.M., with his wife, Missy. Guthrie suffered a broken right elbow and left fibula, cracked right ribs and a slight laceration on his right leg after hitting the wall in Turn 3 on Lap 49. He will miss this event but could return to the driver's seat June 28 at New Hampshire International Speedway. When Guthrie returns, he will drive for Cobb Racing. Guthrie entered the first three races of this season in a car fielded by ISM Racing.

*** Texas Two-Step: The True Value 500 will be the first race of the "Texas Two-Step" Championship, a unique bonus program providing extra incentive for strong performances by drivers in both Pep Boys IRL races this year at Texas Motor Speedway.

The Pep Boys IRL driver who scores the most combined points in the True Value 500 on June 6 and the Lone Star 500 on Sept. 20 will earn a $100,000 bonus as the Texas Two-Step champion. The driver with the second-highest total will earn $50,000.

*** Event schedule: The second annual True Value 500 is scheduled to start at 8 p.m. (CDT) June 6. Qualifying starts at 8:15 p.m. June 4. Pep Boys IRL practice sessions will take place at 2 and 5 p.m. June 4, and 2:30 and 6 p.m. June 5.

*** Broadcast schedule: The True Value 500 will be televised live on TNN at 9 p.m. (EDT) June 6. Pole qualifying will be televised live on SpeedVision at 9:15 p.m. (EDT) June 4.

The IMS Radio Network will broadcast the race live at 9 p.m. (EDT) June 6, with a pre-race show starting at 8:30 p.m.

*** World Wide Web:

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Tony Stewart , Arie Luyendyk , Billy Boat , Jim Guthrie , A.J. Foyt