Indianapolis, IN (April 17, 2001) - Cheever Indy Racing teammates Eddie Cheever Jr. and Scott Goodyear turned a total of 153 incident-free laps in the team's ...
Indianapolis, IN (April 17, 2001) - Cheever Indy Racing teammates Eddie Cheever Jr. and Scott Goodyear turned a total of 153 incident-free laps in the team's #51 Excite@Home Infiniti machines at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Monday as private testing intensified in preparation for the 85th Indy 500 on May 27.
For Goodyear, a two-time runner-up at the Indy 500, the session marked his first opportunity to turn laps at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in his new Cheever Indy Racing Infiniti.
"The test turned out well, not only from an engine standpoint but also from a team standpoint," noted Goodyear, who will campaign the #52 Cheever Indy Racing entry at this year's Indianapolis 500. "The team made a lot of correct calls on changes to the car. Having a great day like that under our belts gives us a lot of confidence heading into opening day on May 6."
While speeds weren't announced, 1998 Indy 500 Champion Cheever said his #51 Excite@Home Infiniti was "trimmed out to run 220," even though air temperatures were in the mid-40 degree range and high winds were prevalent around the 2.5-mile Speedway oval.
"I think for the very cold and windy conditions, we got a lot accomplished," said Goodyear, who also serves at the test driver for the Infiniti Indy engine program. "The wind was actually very strong. The wind at the Speedway is not bad if it stays constant, because at least you know what to do with it and how to deal with it on a turn-by-turn basis. However, late in the day there were some very strong gusts and they were enough to actually move the car around. Overall it was maybe not as enjoyable as the Speedway can be, but it certainly kept us on our toes."
"We were breaking in a new car and just doing preliminary early runs on it," Cheever added. "Scott is doing some development work. I think good laps in May will be in the region of 225. Right now we are just trying to rack up miles."
The new Infiniti 35A engine, which powered its first race laps just one month ago at Phoenix, received rave reviews following its Indianapolis Motor Speedway debut.
"The Infiniti motor ran flawlessly and I think we're going to have a good month of May with both Cheever Indy Racing cars," stated Goodyear. " With the new engine being smaller and 30 pounds lighter, the center of gravity has changed. We spent 20-30 laps Monday morning just getting into the area and the times seemed to come down quite well. We made quite a few quick changes and the car responded very quickly.
Concluded Goodyear: "I feel that we're going to be in a very strong position to contend for the win at Indy. I'm very excited about the 500 this year."
Official practice for the 85th Indianapolis 500 begins with Opening Day on May 6, with the race scheduled for May 27.
Primary Sponsorship of the #51 Indy Car comes from Excite@Home. The company is based in Redwood City, California, at the heart of Silicon Valley. Associate sponsors of Cheever Indy Racing include Infiniti, Firestone, Menards, Bosch, Pennzoil, Streaming Media Corporation, and Eviciti.
Excite@Home is the leader in broadband, offering residential and commercial services, with a global footprint of 74 million homes under long-term contract. Excite@Home offers consumers residential broadband services and businesses high-speed commercial services. Excite@Home has over 14 million cable franchise homes under contract outside of North America and localized versions of the Excite service in 15 leading international markets.