IRL: Charlotte race report

BRACK EARNS FIRST CAREER PEP BOYS IRL VICTORY AT VISIONAIRE 500 CONCORD, N.C., July 25, 1998 - Kenny Brack made a daring pass of Jeff Ward with 12 laps remaining and pulled away for his first career Pep Boys Indy Racing League victory Saturday...

BRACK EARNS FIRST CAREER PEP BOYS IRL VICTORY AT VISIONAIRE 500

CONCORD, N.C., July 25, 1998 - Kenny Brack made a daring pass of Jeff Ward with 12 laps remaining and pulled away for his first career Pep Boys Indy Racing League victory Saturday night at the VisionAire 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Brack drove high exiting Turn 2 in a three-wide formation on Lap 196, with the lapped car of Marco Greco between him and leader Ward. Brack then drove his A.J. Foyt Power Team Dallara/Aurora/Goodyear past Greco and Ward at the start of the back straightaway and then pulled away for good. He won by 5.602 seconds over Ward.

"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." Scott Goodyear was third in the Pennzoil Panther G Force/Aurora/Goodyear, the last car on the lead lap. Arie Luyendyk was fourth in the Sprint PCS-RadioShack-QUALCOMM G Force/Aurora/Firestone, two laps down. Brack, from Karlstad, Sweden, led 76 of 208 laps on the 1.5-mile tri-oval. His average speed was 158.408 mph in a wild race that featured 20 lead changes. He earned $139,850.

Ward took the lead on Lap 175 in the ISM Racing-Prolong-Superflo-Tabasco G Force/Aurora/Goodyear when Brack entered the pits for his final stop. Brack then stalked Ward, passing Goodyear for second on Lap 185. Brack was 2.072 seconds behind Ward.

Brack then started turning laps between 216 and 218 mph - nearly 3 mph faster than Ward - to close the gap. He pulled even on Lap 192, as he and Ward split the lapped car of Tyce Carlson. Ward held off Brack's attempt that time, but Brack made his decisive move four laps later, also in traffic.

"After the last stop, what was going through my mind was that I just had to go for it," Brack said. "We took on tires on that last stop, and I'm glad we did. The car ran really good. It was really good in traffic, and that's what helped us win the race."

Pole sitter Tony Stewart led 19 laps early in the race but was sidelined after just 54 laps due to an oil leak and mechanical problems in the Glidden-Menards Special Dallara/Aurora/Firestone. He finished 21st.

Points leader Scott Sharp missed a chance to build a comfortable lead over Stewart when he crashed his Delphi Automotive Systems Dallara/Aurora/Goodyear while running second on Lap 105, ending his night in 18th.

Sharp leads Stewart, 214-206, in the standings after seven of 11 races. Davey Hamilton is third with 189 after finishing seventh in the Reebok-Nienhouse Motorsports Dallara/Aurora/Goodyear.

The next Pep Boys IRL race is the Radisson 200 on Aug. 16 at Pikes Peak International Raceway.

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Tony Stewart , Jeff Ward , Davey Hamilton , Scott Sharp , Arie Luyendyk , Scott Goodyear , Kenny Brack , Tyce Carlson , A.J. Foyt