IRL: Charlotte race story

Kenny Brack drove the No. 14 A.J. Foyt Power Team Dallara to victory in the VisionAire 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway tonight. Brack led 77 of the 208 laps on the 1.5 mile banked superspeedway, to capture his first career IRL victory. In...

Kenny Brack drove the No. 14 A.J. Foyt Power Team Dallara to victory in the VisionAire 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway tonight. Brack led 77 of the 208 laps on the 1.5 mile banked superspeedway, to capture his first career IRL victory. In taking the win, Brack set a record speed of 158.408 mph for the event, the highest average speed for an IRL race this season.

Brack, who qualified third quickest, spent most of the evening running in the top three, including the race eight different times. The last half of the race was highlighted by a continuous three-car battle between Brack and eventual second and third place drivers Jeff Ward and Scott Goodyear.

The victory came despite errors on the part of the crew, including nearly missing an opportunity to pit under yellow late in the race. His final stop, on lap 174, came one lap after everyone else pitted, moving him from the lead to the end of the pack. "I've never seen a crew make so many mistakes and still end up winning," said team owner Foyt. "The other team (Greg Ray's No. 11 Conseco car) kept making some mistakes. We had the problem at the end with the pit stop, and everything was on Kenny to win. He made us look like champions."

"We screwed up a little bit at the end with the last pit stop, but it turned out good at the end," said Brack. "There was a lot of wild passing tonight. I'm just happy to be where I am."

Finishing second was Jeff Ward. Ward led twice, for a total of 56 laps. A sharp vibration forced the 1997 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year to slow down his pace late in the event. His reduced pace, plus an encounter with a lapped car, allowed Brack to take the lead from Ward on the 196th lap.

"We went a full run and a half on our tires.  Then we developed a
vibration.  We decided to keep running and settle for second," said Ward.

Scott Goodyear salvaged a third place finish after developing a vibration late in the race. "After the last restart", he said, "we picked up a real bad vibration, and the oil light was coming on. The vibration was so bad I couldn't even read the pit board going down the pit stretch." Goodyear was satisfied with the finish. "We gained some points on Stewart and Sharp and that's real important because we've got a championship to chase."

Highest placing rookie was Stevie Reeves in the Pagan Racing Dallara. Reeves finished tenth. After starting 20th, Reeves ran as high as seventh place before being sidelined by a broken CV joint on lap 184. "The car was really comfortable," Reeves said. "We're pleased with everything. The team has had a lot of patience with me this week. I'm disappointed that this happened."

Ken Plotkin and David Reininger - Motorsport News International

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Greg Ray , Jeff Ward , Scott Goodyear , Kenny Brack , Stevie Reeves , A.J. Foyt