Kansas City, KS (July 7, 2001) - After pacing the field in every practice session, Eddie Cheever Jr. earned the best start of his Indy Racing career by placing his Infiniti-powered entry on the front row of the grid for tomorrow's inaugural IRL ...
Kansas City, KS (July 7, 2001) - After pacing the field in every practice session, Eddie Cheever Jr. earned the best start of his Indy Racing career by placing his Infiniti-powered entry on the front row of the grid for tomorrow's inaugural IRL event at the 1.5-mile Kansas Speedway, the Ameristar Casino Indy 200. Cheever claimed his second place starting position with a fast lap of 216.085 mph (25.3234 seconds), mere fractions of a second behind polesitter Scott Sharp (216.175 mph/25.3128 seconds).
Cheever - who has started third or higher in four of the last six Indy Racing events - also notched the highest starting spot for the Infiniti 35A engine with today's qualifying performance. Robbie Buhl earned the first front row start for Infiniti Motorsports with the previous version of the powerplant at Pikes Peak last year.
Sunday's eighth round of Indy Racing Northern Light Series competition, the Ameristar Casino Indy 200, will be broadcast live on ABC at 1:00 PM Eastern.
Eddie Cheever Jr. (on his qualifying run): "We didn't get the pole but there is always tomorrow. The car ran very well. The Infiniti engine is strong and we had a good balance. We were a little bit slower than we thought we were going to be. We hit the rev limiter going into Turn 3, which might have cost us a little bit."
On the race tomorrow: "It's going to be a very difficult race. We don't have any data on what the car is going to do or how the track is going to change during the race, so we have to have a very wide window of operation with the car. It's going to be slippery, it's going to be hot, and there will be cars with handling problems because of those factors. You're almost better off to slow down a little bit and make sure you are consistent. Consistency is going to be everything tomorrow."
On the competition in the IRL: "Every race there are ten cars that could win. There are very few boy scouts in the first ten cars, so you can expect an exciting race. I can guarantee you that there will be an argument after the race. It's going to be very competitive. There is about a line and half out there now, but tomorrow I think you will definitely see us opening up that awfully fun outside line that we spend so much time playing in."
On the heat: "The track is new, the asphalt is impeccable, and although we do have track temperatures in excess of 140 degrees, the Firestone tires are doing very well."
Associate sponsors of Cheever Indy Racing include Infiniti, Firestone, Menards, Bosch, True Grit, and Eviciti.