IRL: Charlotte race day notes

DAY 5 -- JULY 26 RACE DAY Track temperature was 133 degrees at 3:15 p.m., according to Goodyear tire engineers. *** In pre-race ceremonies for the VisionAire 500: Grand Marshal is Keith Duesenberg. Honorary Starter is Jim Rice, VisionAire ...

DAY 5 -- JULY 26 RACE DAY

Track temperature was 133 degrees at 3:15 p.m., according to Goodyear tire engineers. *** In pre-race ceremonies for the VisionAire 500: Grand Marshal is Keith Duesenberg. Honorary Starter is Jim Rice, VisionAire chairman, CEO and president. Presentation of the colors is by A.L. Brown High School Navy JROTC. Invocation is by Mark Wingler, Motor Racing Outreach. National Anthem is by Neil Zarelli. Starting command will be given by Bruton Smith. *** Sheryl Smith of Union Grove, N.C. is Grand prize winner of the Carolina Oldsmobile Dealer Marketing Group's "Aurora Sweepstakes" held in conjunction with the VisionAire 500. Darwin Clark, Oldsmobile general manager, and Steve Lamb, president of the Carolina Oldsmobile Marketing Group, will present the keys to a 1997 Aurora to Ms. Smith during pre-race ceremonies. Eighty Oldsmobile dealers in the mid-Atlantic region participated in the promotion. Other prize winners in "The Great Aurora Raceday Giveaway" sweepstakes received terrace box seats to see the first IRL event at Charlotte. *** Stan Wattles got a look at the new Riley & Scott chassis for the first time today. He's scheduled to take delivery of an R&S MK V IRL car on Aug. 18. "I'm extremely impressed with what they've done," Wattles said. "From what I've seen, it's a superior chassis. It's a neat and tight package. From a mechanical standpoint, it seems like it's extremely user-friendly." Wattles said that after delivery of the car, his Metro Racing Systems team will go right into testing. "We'll go straight to Texas and do two days there, bring the car back to Florida and go through it, then be ready for the Vegas test," he said. "We may have some more tests, but we're really shooting for being at the Vegas race (Oct. 11)." *** J.D. Kemp and Kevin McGee steered Duke University to the National Collegiate Association of Racing (NCAR) exhibition victory in Legends Cars today, based on points of the two heats. Also participating were the Universities of South Carolina, North Carolina at Charlotte and Tennessee and North Carolina State. The competition featured requirements that all crew members and drivers must be engineering majors at schools which have an accredited degree in engineering. Another collegiate exhibition is scheduled at the UAW-GM Quality 500 in October and five collegiate events are scheduled in 1998. ***

POST-U.S. FORMULA FORD 2000 RACE NOTES, QUOTES: Andrea DeLorenzi won the second of the two U.S. Formula Ford 2000 races of the week, with Ryan Hampton second and Jeff Shafer third. JEFF SHAFER: "I got a really good start and a bunch of them got tangled up at the chicane. I got a real good run out of the chicane and passed several cars going down the backstretch. There were enough yellow flags, that I was able to hang with the leaders. But eight laps from the end, I broke a header. I pulled up beside Ryan on that last yellow and let him know that I wouldn't be able to pass him, all I could do was stay in his draft. I don't know what happened behind me, but they got tangled up in the chicane in the last lap and I was able to hang on to finish third." RYAN HAMPTON: "It was definitely busy out there. We took some downforce out of the car. It was a rocketship down the straightaways, but I couldn't brake as well. I could pass Andrea on the straightaways, but he would get me back under braking. I laid back and tried to get a run on Andrea on the last lap, but I couldn't catch him. I gave it a try. My hat is off to Andrea. He drove a great race." ANDREA DeLORENZI: "I'm sorry for my English. This is my first time in the United States. I think is a beautiful place for the people. The racing was very spectacular and competitive. In Europe, once someone gets in front the race is usually over. Here there is a lot of passing and the last lap is very important." *** VISIONAIRE 500 RACE RUNNING:

Track temperature was 107 degrees at 7 p.m., according to Goodyear tire engineers. Pit road speed: 80 miles an hour. 8:15 p.m. -- Temperature was 86 degrees, track temperature was 99 degrees, according to Firestone tire engineers. 8:17 p.m. -- Command to start engines. 8:19 p.m. -- Field away. Lap 1: #2 Stewart leads into Turn 1. #14 Hamilton passes #5 Luyendyk for second, Turn 3. Lap 3: #91 Lazier passes #1 Boat for fourth, Turn 3. Lap 4: #2 Stewart leads #14 Hamilton by .5 of a second. Lap 6: #91 Lazier passes outside #5 Luyendyk for third, Turn 2. Lap 7: #40 Miller to pits, stopped at pit entrance. Lap 8: #1 Boat passes #5 Luyendyk for fifth. #2 Stewart leads #14 Hamilton by 1.3 seconds. Lap 13: #2 Stewart leads #14 Hamilton by 3.7 seconds. Lap 14: #40 Miller back on track, seven laps down, crew fixed electrical problem. Lap 15: #91 Lazier takes second in three-wide pass in trioval. Lap 17: #2 Stewart leads #91 Lazier by 3.0 seconds. Lap 21: #40 Miller returns to pits, crew takes engine cover off. Lap 22: #2 Stewart leads #91 Lazier by 3.7 seconds. Lap 24: #2 Stewart leads #91 Lazier by 4.3 seconds. Lap 25: Leaders -- #2 Stewart, #91 Lazier, #14 Hamilton, #1 Boat, #28 Dismore. Lap 26: 15 cars on lead lap. Lap 28: #2 Stewart leads #91 Lazier by .6 of a second. Lap 31: #2 Stewart leads #91 Lazier by 1.7 seconds. Lap 33: #31 Ray, in seventh, slowed on course, to pits. #2 Stewart leads #91 Lazier by 3.2 seconds. Lap 35: 9 cars on lead lap. Lap 36: #40 Miller returned to track, 25 laps down, crew changed electrical box. Lap 38: #2 Stewart leads #91 Lazier by 6.3 seconds. Lap 40: #40 Miller returned to pits. Leaders -- #2 Stewart, #91 Lazier, #1 Boat, #14 Hamilton, #21 Guerrero. Lap 41: #28 Dismore, previously in fourth, to pits, four tires, fuel. Lap 42: #17 Giaffone to pits. Lap 44: #2 Stewart leads #91 Lazier by 15.2 seconds. Lap 45: #91 Lazier, in second, to pits, four tires, fuel. #1 Boat to pits, four tires, fuel. Lap 47: #2 Stewart to pits, four tires, fuel. #14 Hamilton to pits, four tires, fuel. Lap 48: #6 Goodyear leads lap while #2 Stewart was in pits. Lap 49: #2 Stewart takes lead, #28 Dismore second. Lap 50: #2 Stewart leads #28 Dismore by 12.5 seconds, #91 Lazier third, followed by #5 Luyendyk, #21 Guerrero. Lap 52: #5 Luyendyk to pits, unscheduled, loses lap to leader, four tires, fuel, crew tried to correct push. Lap 56: #5 Luyendyk returns to pit road, does not stop. Lap 57: #91 Lazier passes #28 Dismore for second. Lap 61: #2 Stewart leads #91 Lazier by 10.8 seconds. Lap 63: #2 Stewart turned the lap at 205.230 miles an hour. #5 Luyendyk returns to pits, crew working under front cover, right rear, handling problem. Lap 65: 7 cars on lead lap. Lap 66: Leaders -- #2 Stewart, #91 Lazier, #28 Dismore, #21 Guerrero, #33 Kite, #6 Goodyear, #1 Boat. Lap 68: #2 Stewart leads #91 Lazier by 15.3 seconds. Lap 72: YELLOW, debris in Turn 2. Lap 74: #1 Boat, #33 Kite, #28 Dismore to pits. Lap 75: #2 Stewart, leader, to pits, four tires, fuel. #22 Sospiri to pits, driver out of car, crew reports car lost oil pressure. Lap 76: #91 Lazier leads, followed by #1 Boat, #28 Dismore, #33 Kite, #2 Stewart. Lap 77: GREEN. Lap 78: #2 Stewart passes #33 Kite for fourth, #2 Stewart reportedly has lost radio communication. Lap 81: #91 Lazier leads #1 Boat by 2.1 seconds. Lap 82: #5 Luyendyk returns to pits, driver out of car. LUYENDYK: "Something happened to the handling. About five or six laps into the race, it just went away. We made several pit stops to try to fix it but we couldn't figure out what was wrong with it." Lap 83: 6 cars on lead lap. Lap 86: #2 Stewart passes #33 Kite for fourth. Lap 87: #1 Boat ran lap, in second, at 211.873. #91 Lazier leads #1 Boat by 3.1 seconds. Lap 91: #27 Guthrie to pits. Lap 93: #91 Lazier, in lead, to pits, four tires, fuel. #1 Boat takes lead. MILLER: "I am so very frustrated right now. I had a really good start. I was staying right with the pack. The car was hanging right in there. Then, all of a sudden, it just quit. We changed all the electrical parts, but that wasn't the solution. They say, 'that's racing,' but I'm behind that phrase now. We were really optimistic about tonight and now we're sitting in the garage." Lap 98: SECOND YELLOW, #28 Dismore smoking, stopped on inside of Turn 2. Leaders -- #1 Boat, #33 Kite, #21 Guerrero, #2 Stewart, #17 Giaffone (+1). Lap 100: #1 Boat, #33 Kite, #2 Stewart to pits. SOSPIRI: "I think it was an electrical problem. The race was going well. The car was real loose on the first set of tires but we got the handling back with the second set. Then, all of a sudden, something electrical went wrong and we're finished." Lap 101: #21 Guerrero, who didn't pit, takes lead. RAY: (crew said broken cam sensor trigger put him out) "The car was handling real nice. We went from 17th to seventh in 25 laps. We were looking forward to seeing the yellow and orange car and giving him a real run for his money. But Lady Luck struck us down." Lap 104: Leaders -- #21 Guerrero, #1 Boat, #33 Kite, #2 Stewart, #4 Brack. Lap 107: GREEN. #21 Guerrero passed #4 Brack on restart, putting #4 Brack a lap down. Lap 108: #91 Lazier giving chase to #21 Guerrero to try to get lap back. Lap 109: #2 Stewart to pits, unscheduled, goes two laps down, four tires, fuel, handling problem. Lap 110: #10 M. Groff to pits, engine cover off. Lap 112: Leaders -- #21 Guerrero, #1 Boat, #33 Kite, #91 Lazier (+1), #4 Brack (+1). DISMORE: "It burnt a piston or broke a rod. It made a bunch of noise so it's definitely something in the bottom end. We had a push but it wasn't bad and the car was running great. If we had some more time to work on the push, we could've been really fast for the end." Lap 117: #21 Guerrero leads #1 Boat by 6.6 seconds. Lap 120: #91 Lazier gets back on lead lap, as he and leader #21 Guerrero "high-lowed" #99 Schmidt on backstretch. Lap 124: #99 Schmidt to pits, small fire in back. Lap 126: #21 Guerrero leads #1 Boat by 2.0 seconds. #2 Stewart in ninth, two laps down. Lap 127: #1 Boat to lead, previous leader #21 Guerrero, #30 R. Groff to pits. Lap 130: #1 Boat leads #33 Kite by .5 of a second, #91 Lazier third, all on lead lap. #21 Guerrero dropped to seventh, one lap down, on pit stop. Lap 133: #10 M. Groff returned to track, crew replaced clamp on tailpipe that was broken. Lap 139: #1 Boat leads #33 Kite by .2 of a second. Lap 140: #33 Kite goes underneath #1 Boat down front straight to lead his first IRL lap. SCHMIDT: "It was really disappointing. We were looking forward to it being a good race. It wasn't handling very good. In Turn 3, it started shuddering and lost oil pressure." Lap 144: THIRD YELLOW, #14 Hamilton, #21 Guerrero (in sixth and seventh position, one lap down), tangled in Turn 2, #7 Salazar later involved. #14 Hamilton, #21 Guerrero out, #7 Salazar continued to pits to repair nose cone. Lap 146: #1 Boat in lead, and #91 Lazier to pits. #33 Kite remained on track. Lap 147: #33 Kite to lead. Lap 150: Leaders -- #33 Kite, #1 Boat, #91 Lazier, #6 Goodyear (+1), #17 Giaffone (+1). Lap 151: #33 Kite to pits, four tires, fuel. Stop by #33 Kite put #6 Goodyear, #17 Giaffone back on lead lap. Lap 154: #17 Giaffone, #7 Salazar to pits, fuel only. #6 Goodyear to pits. #6 Goodyear stayed on lead lap, #17 Giaffone goes one lap down. Lap 155: GREEN. Lap 156: #1 Boat leads #91 Lazier by .1 of a second in traffic. Lap 160: #1 Boat leads, #91 Lazier by .2 of a second, #33 Kite by 6.8 seconds. Lap 164: FOURTH YELLOW, #33 Kite, running third and trailing leader by 11.6 seconds, hit outside wall in trioval. Lap 166: #1 Boat, #91 Lazier, in first and second, to pits. #91 Lazier beat #1 Boat out of pits. Lap 167: #91 Lazier leads lap, followed by #1 Boat, #6 Goodyear , #17 Giaffone on lead lap. DANNY "CHOCOLATE" MYERS (fueler for #17 Giaffone): There's no comparison except it's racing. These guys were absolutely wonderful. It's been pleasant working with Joie Chitwood and all the IRL guys. It isn't any harder or easier, it's still racing and it's great racing and I'm enjoying it." Lap 171: GREEN. Lap 173: #91 Lazier leads #1 Boat by 1.0 second. Lap 176: #91 Lazier leads #1 Boat by .1 of a second. Lap 178: #91 Lazier leads #1 Boat by .7 of a second as they try to lap #6 Goodyear. Lap 181: #91 Lazier on grass in trioval trying to lap #6 Goodyear. Lap 184: #91 Lazier leads #1 Boat by .6 of a second. Lazier turned lap at 208.889. Lap 189: #91 Lazier leads #1 Boat by 1.6 seconds. Lap 192: #91 Lazier leads #1 Boat by 1.8 seconds. Lap 194: #30 R. Groff to pits, engine off. Lap 196: #1 Boat takes lead past #91 Lazier into Turn 3, in three-wide under #18 Paul Jr. Lap 197: #91 Lazier passed #1 Boat at start-finish line to retake lead. Lap 200: #91 Lazier puts #6 Goodyear one lap down at start-finish line. Lap 201: #91 Lazier leads #1 Boat by 1.6 seconds. Lap 202: #91 Lazier ran lap at 209.343. Lap 204: #91 Lazier turned lap at 210.806. Lap 208: #91 Buddy Lazier wins inaugural VisionAire 500 by 3.3 seconds over #1 Billy Boat. It was Lazier's second IRL victory, coming after his win in the 1996 Indianapolis 500. #6 Scott Goodyear third, #17 Affonso Giaffone fourth, #4 Kenny Brack fifth.

POST-RACE NOTES, QUOTES:

--Tony Stewart extended his streaks of consecutive first laps led to six and consecutive races led to six. He has now led in 10 of the 11 IRL races to date. It was Stewart's sixth straight top-10 finish. --Billy Boat tied his previous best IRL finish of second in Texas and gained his third top-10 finish in four IRL starts. --Scott Goodyear has now recorded his fifth top-10 finish in six IRL starts with his third place. --Affonso Giaffone got his best career finish of fourth. His previous best IRL finish was ninth at Pikes Peak. --Kenny Brack got his best career finish of fifth as well as his first running at the finish. His best previous IRL finish was 11th at Phoenix in March. --There were 13 lead changes in the VisionAire 500. --Roberto Guerrero's 21 laps led were his first since leading 47 laps of the 1996 Indianapolis 500. --Davey Hamilton's accident ended his streak of eight straight races running at the finish.

JIMMY KITE: "It wasn't a big hit. It just eased up and we don't know if I had a cut tire or something just happened. We'll have to look at it. I just lost the front end and the car didn't make the turn when it was supposed to. I knew it was our race, given all the things that are happening. The car was so fast, it would go anywhere and do anything I asked it to. It was just a very good car. Unlike Colorado, when we didn't run enough laps to be able to say, we proved it today. You could say we were the fastest out there." (NOTE: Team Scandia computers showed that Kite would have been three laps short on fuel if he had continued and would have been required to make a "splash-and-go.")

ROBBIE GROFF: "A broken CV joint put us out. We were good during the first stint, then we were off on the second. Then we were good again. We had an OK night and would have had a top-10 finish."

JOHN PAUL JR.: "It was a little tough being the moving chicane but we kept getting better and better. I got run up real high several times and got stuff all over my tires. We went three-abreast into (Turn) 1 once and I thought I was going to hit the wall. Physically, I'm all right. I had some pain in my heels because of the bumps through the turns but the doctor told me to expect that and it didn't hinder my performance. I think we had the car too stiff over the bumps and were losing traction and that's why we didn't have the speed we needed. But with this being my first race back, I'm pleased and we brought the car home in one piece. I don't know what happened on the last lap. It just shut off."

ROBERTO GUERRERO: "Well, I got alongside Davey Hamilton. He told me in the ambulance that he didn't see me. His car wasn't working very well. We touched and that was it. It's a shame. We have the Pennzoil car running in the front. Now, it's a matter of just finishing. I know we'll finish the next one. We're going to win that one. I'm excited about it."

DAVEY HAMILTON: "Roberto and I got together. It was just close racing, I guess. He was a littlke quicker than me. I went into Turn 1 kind of high. There just wasn't enough room. It's a heartbreaker. We ran out of fuel before the first pit stop. We had to fight all night to get our lap back. This is the second DNF for our team. It's a heartbreaker, leading the points. We have two races left, we got a great team. I know we can do it. We just need to fix all those little problems. The good thing is that I'm okay."

MIKE GROFF: "Long day for the knee and the leg. It's good to finish. This is all new for us, this package. The team did a great job. I think what we'll do is test before Loudon." (about his first IRL race under the lights): "Interesting..the first time I've run an Indy car at night. There is a couple of things that I can work on. It's definitely different. I didn't know what to expect." (about the car): "We're just behind the 8-ball. That's the biggest problem. The biggest thing for us to work with the car a little bit." (about his leg): I think I rushed it a little bit. Hindsight's always 20-20, although I'm glad I ran." EDDIE CHEEVER JR.: "It was a hard race. I dropped back in the beginning, then the car started coming back to me. We had some bad luck on a couple of pit stops. The car was just a little bit slow at the end of the front straightaway. The car handled very well. It's an awesome place to race. Loudon is a good place for us."

ELISEO SALAZAR: "We got up to ninth very quickly. It was a long night for us. It was like a 24 Hours of LeMAns race. The engine wasn't working properly, then we hit Guerrero and Hamilton. That pretty much ended our day. The car was bouncing bigtime after the accident."

DICK SIMON (Salazar's engineer): "Disappointed. We passed five cars right off the bat. The rear roll bar got stuck. That slowed us down a little bit. He actually ran some good laps after the accident, even though he lost a shock in the front."

MIKE BELDEN (gasman for Jeff Gordon's Winston Cup car and fueler tonight for #31 Greg Ray): "The biggest difference are just the open wheels and the stock cars but it's the same when you want to win as bad as they do. I was very impressed with their patience and professionalism."

JIM GUTHRIE: "Finishing this one is like a victory. My back was hurting after the first pit stop. My shoulders had fallen asleep by the second pit stop and my hands have been asleep for I don't know how long. I told my crew that it only hurt when I breathed so I tried not to breathe."

AFFONSO GIAFFONE: "I'm really happy to be able to finish. We have a new crew for this one. I'm leaving to test tomorrow for the first time in Loudon."

STEPHAN GREGOIRE: "We had a big problem because the car was too low. We set it up too low so it was touching the track all the time and heating up the car. But I did finish."

KENNY BRACK: "I ran pretty well. We had understeer over the bumps and the shock absorber adjustment was wrong and we didn't have time to fix that in the pits."

MARCO GRECO: "I felt the car was pretty good. We had understeer. The last lap, I was in front of Gregoire and was making ground when I got a guy a little in Turn 1. I'm happy...I think we're progressing with the team. This is the second time we finished this year. I'm looking forward to the next race."

--The fastest lap of the race was by Billy Boat on Lap 9 at 213.506 miles an hour. --The fastest leading lap was by Buddy Lazier on Lap 82 at 212.089.

BILLY BOAT: "When I first passed him (Lazier), it was in traffic. I thought I might be able to hold him off but we picked up a push at the end. After that, I really didn't have much for him." (about having trouble passing his teammate Hamilton): "You have to use a little extra caution when you're passing your teammate. You can imagine A.J. wouldn't be too happy if we took each other out." (about pit strategy): "A.J.'s been doing this long enough to know that when you get a yellow, you've got to take advantage of it. I think we only made one green-flag pit stop all night. We used good pit strategy and the yellows worked in our favor." (on the crowd): I think we had a fantastic turnout. Riding around in the Camaros before the race, all the fans were very enthusiastic. They've got some great race fans here and I think we put on a pretty good show for them. Tonight's show was what open wheel IRL racing is all about." SCOTT GOODYEAR: "As the laps wound down, we got better and better. In the beginning, we had to battle a car that wasn't user-friendly. The guys adjusted on it on every pit stop and got the car working pretty good. Most of the tracks we run on are not too highly banked. And when you come here with 24 degrees, you feel like you're on a ferris wheel." (about getting lapped): "I wasn't going fast enough. At the end , the car was probably good enough to get my lap back but even if the yellow had come out, we would've had a long way to go. We also had to conserve fuel over the final laps." (about the fans): "I noticed one family in Turn 4 that was jumping up and down each time I went by, so I think they were pretty excited. From a racing point of view, I think this was the raciest event we've had. In today's racing, every lap is a sprint lap and you have to go as hard as you can. And that's what makes it so exciting."

NOTE: Bruton Smith was scheduled to give the starting command for the VisionAire 500 but didn't. Scott Briggs of Apex, N.C., gave the command instead. ***

TONY GEORGE (IRL founder): "Certainly several people out on the race track made an impression on a lot of people's minds. Where exactly they'll fit in in the annals of history in Charlotte. I think they should be commended for the effort they did put on. We hope to be back and I think they all want to come back. Some of 'em have some unfinished business. They ran hard all night and weren't there at the end. I'm sure they appreciate the opportunity to be here and they want to become names in the hearts and minds of the fans in North Carolina. I think the race fans came out to see what this was all about and I think they got a good show. That's about as good as we can do right now. We had close racing, had a couple of racing incidents but it's very tough to come out and run as close as you run out here -- it takes a lot of concentration, a lot of focus, a lot of commitment -- with these open-wheeled cars and I'm just very proud of the job they did and I hope the fans can appreciate that. We certainly think this was a success and I hope Humpy and Bruton feel the same way. I think it's a good foundation, a good base to build on."

BUDDY LAZIER: (about going into the grass): "It's not something you want to do. It's so important to keep the momentum running. I didn't have any choice. I didn't like it and it definitely jumped sideways coming off there once bigtime. To me, it's just an incredible win because my lady and I and my whole family are huge Winston Cup fans. We always have been. To be watching races here for as long as I can remember and then being able to come here and run in an open-wheel format is awesome and then to be able to win, it's just unbelieveable." (about missing Victory Lane): "I didn't know where it was, to be honest with you. I've seen it on TV. With fireworks going off...I know what it looks like but I didn't know where it was. That's always the hard part, finding Victory Lane." (about the drama of Indy-style racing): "The new format of car and motor this year really lends itself to this close racing. We've had seven races, seven different winners. It's tight, tight racing and you've gotta fight for every inch. So that makes for a good show." (about the win): "We're going to enjoy it as long as we can. We are heading up and getting ready for next race too. Indianapolis was awesome and you party and it's just an incredible thing because it's a dream come true to win that one. And this is another dream come true for me. This is a real special win for me. I really had to fight hard. I used up all the adjustments I had inside my race car and fighting for every inch. That's the kind that you really savor because you know you got everything out of what you had. The crew did a spectacular job and got me just in the right place where I needed to be for track position. We didn't take any tires at the end, we just took fuel. We barely made it. And that's a real sweet win when you win it by a hair."

RON HEMELGARN: "I think the race was fantastic. I think the crowd was very, very good for our first race here. I was really worried that Indy cars coming into NASCAR country, what was going to happen, but I think the crowd was fantastic. I know we had 'em excited at the end. They were all standing on their feet. To me, it means a lot. Next week, we go to Indianapolis for the Brickyard 400. My sponsors and I are part of Lake Speed's car. But to come here and win this race and show the people of the South what Indy car racing is all about, it's just wonderful.

TONY STEWART (NOTE: Stewart received therapy on his neck and shoulders both before and after the race): "We lost our radio toward the end of the first run. I had no communication with our pits. We had to do it all with hand signals. It was a matter of survival out there. It was kind of a helpless feeling. The crew did the best they could. At that point, you're just hgolding on to do the best you can. There was no spotter to tell you who was inside or outside of you. I was just hanging on for dear life. To have the luck we did during the race and still come out with the point lead, we're pretty happy."

Attendance for the VisionAire 500 was 73,039, the speedway announced.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Tony Stewart , Greg Ray , Buddy Lazier , Davey Hamilton , Billy Boat , Scott Goodyear , Roberto Guerrero , Kenny Brack , Ryan Hampton , Stan Wattles , Scott Briggs , Jeff Shafer