Joliet, Ill. (September 2, 2001) -- Power and perseverance were the words of the day as Eddie Cheever Jr. and the Infiniti Indy 35A engine claimed a hard-fought third place finish at Sunday's inaugural Delphi Indy 300 at Chicagoland Speedway. The...
Joliet, Ill. (September 2, 2001) -- Power and perseverance were the words of the day as Eddie Cheever Jr. and the Infiniti Indy 35A engine claimed a hard-fought third place finish at Sunday's inaugural Delphi Indy 300 at Chicagoland Speedway. The performance marked Cheever's best finish since capturing the first victory for the new Infiniti Indy 35A engine at Kansas City in July.
Cheever, who qualified second, dropped as low as fifteenth as he battled handling problems early in the race but rebounded and was running third prior to pitting on lap 126 of the 200-lap event. Unfortunately, his surge to the front was impeded by electrical problems which caused his engine to stall while exiting the pits. Cheever fell to eighth place but remained undaunted, storming through the field to earn his second top-three finish of the season.
Eddie Cheever Jr. (on the race): "We had the fastest car and the best engine out there but we had an electronic problem on our last two pit stops and the engine kept stalling. I'd come into the pits third and come out fifteenth. I'd lose ten places and gain ten places, just back and forth and back and forth. I had the best car and it's a sin to finish third with an engine like we had."
On racing at Chicagoland Speedway: "The track is great. It reminds me a lot of Texas where you can run two abreast. I even thought of trying three abreast once but that didn't last long. There's a lot of grip. It was very tight, aggressive, and busy -- like a pack of bumble bees. But coming up on traffic when there's a hundred laps to go is fun. When there are twenty laps to go and you have a car that should have won the race, it's very frustrating."
On series champion Sam Hornish Jr.: "Sam did one heck of a job. He beat a great champion. My heartfelt congratulations to Sam and his team."
Associate sponsors of Cheever Indy Racing include Infiniti, Firestone, Menards, Bosch, True Grit, and Eviciti.