OLDSMOBILE SHINES UNDER THE LIGHTS IN CHARLOTTE IRL Aurora V8 Scores 15th Straight IRL Victory in the Heart of Stock Car Country Concord, N.C.; July 25, 1998 - Oldsmobile returned to its racing roots in stock car country tonight as the IRL ...
OLDSMOBILE SHINES UNDER THE LIGHTS IN CHARLOTTE
IRL Aurora V8 Scores 15th Straight IRL Victory in the Heart of Stock Car Country
Concord, N.C.; July 25, 1998 - Oldsmobile returned to its racing roots in stock car country tonight as the IRL Aurora V8 racing engine scored its 15th consecutive Pep Boys Indy Racing League win in the VisionAire 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Kenny Brack of Karlstad, Sweden posted his breakthrough first IRL victory in an Oldsmobile-powered Dallara owned by legendary Texan A.J. Foyt. Brack became the 12th different winner in the IRL series.
An estimated crowd of 50,000 race fans saw Brack lead an Oldsmobile sweep of the top nine finishing positions as the open-wheel Indy cars raced three abreast at over 200 mph on the high-banked 1.5-mile superspeedway. Brack beat runner-up Jeff Ward to the finish line by 5.062 seconds. Scott Goodyear was third across the stripe.
Brack mounted a late-race charge after a miscue on his final pit stop on Lap 174 of the 208-lap contest dropped him to third. Eleven laps later he passed Goodyear for second place and then set out in pursuit of race-leader Ward. Brack whittled away Ward's 2.072-second advantage, and took the lead for good on Lap 196 with a daring outside pass in Turn 2.
"After the last pit stop, I knew that I just had to drive as hard as I could," Brack said. "I always drive hard, but I really wanted to win this one bad. The car was really good in traffic and that's what helped us win the race."
"After all the mistakes we made in the pits, I thought it wasn't our night," said Foyt. "We turned the hell out of the motor, and I owe a lot of thanks to Katech for building us a good engine. Kenny was on the rev limiter, and the engine stayed together.
"I'm glad to see the No. 14 Power Team car in the winner's circle," added Foyt, a four-time Indy 500 winner. "I won all of my races in car No. 14 - it looks beautiful tonight. Kenny drove a hell of race."
Jeff Ward equaled his best finish of the season with a runner-up finish in ISM Racing's G-Force Aurora. "I picked up a vibration late in the race," Ward reported. "We came real close to winning - we'll get one before the year is over."
Scott Goodyear finished on the lead lap with a third-place finish in Panther Racing's G-Force Aurora. "We moved up in the points and that's what's important," said Goodyear. "We've got to chase the championship now."
Racers using Oldsmobile engines led all 208 laps on the high-banked (24-degree) tri-oval. Brack led a total of 77 laps and averaged 158.408 mph for the victory. Twelve cars were running at the finish - eleven of them powered by IRL Aurora V8 engines.
Twenty-two of the 24 starters (92% of the field) in the seventh round of the 11-race IRL series used Oldsmobile engines. Tony Stewart set the absolute speed record at Charlotte Motor Speedway at 220.498 mph in qualifying to capture his fourth IRL pole of the season and the ninth of his career. Stewart and five other drivers eclipsed the 217.164 mph track record set at last year's inaugural IRL event.
The next event for the IRL Aurora V8 will be the Radisson 200 at Pikes Peak International Raceway in Fountain, Colo., on Sunday, August 16. The Radisson 200 will be televised live on ABC at 4:00 p.m. EDT.
VISIONAIRE 500 RESULTS
Top Five Finishers: Driver Entrant Engine Laps 1. Kenny Brack A.J. Foyt Ent. Oldsmobile 208 2. Jeff Ward ISM Racing Oldsmobile 208 3. Scott Goodyear Panther Racing Oldsmobile 208 4. Arie Luyendyk Treadway Racing Oldsmobile 206 5. Marco Greco Phoenix Racing Oldsmobile 205
Pole: Tony Stewart/Oldsmobile, 220.498 mph (track record) Fastest Lap: Kenny Brack/Oldsmobile, 218.314 mph
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