IRL: Cheever Kentucky Friday summary

Sparta, KY (August 10, 2001) - Eddie Cheever Jr. paced the field during the opening day of practice for Sunday's Belterra Resort Indy 300 at Kentucky Speedway, posting a fast lap of 25.1820 seconds (214.439 mph) in his ...

Sparta, KY (August 10, 2001) - Eddie Cheever Jr. paced the field during the opening day of practice for Sunday's Belterra Resort Indy 300 at Kentucky Speedway, posting a fast lap of 25.1820 seconds (214.439 mph) in his #51 Cheever Indy Racing Infiniti. The 1998 Indy 500 Champion was the only driver to exceed 214 mph on the 1.5-mile oval.

Cheever, who captured the first victory for the new Infiniti Indy 35A engine at Kansas City in July, will aim for his first Indy Racing pole position tomorrow. MBNA Pole Qualifying will be broadcast on August 11 at midnight EDT on ESPN2.

Eddie Cheever Jr. (on Friday practice): "We tried a few things at the start of the afternoon session that did not work. Once we got those issues sorted out, we were able to run on full tanks for the last part of the practice. The car felt good and we were able to run a 214. We still have some work to do. It's going to be very close in qualifying."

On the track surface: "The track has done a marvelous job on the track surface. It's unfortunate that such a new facility had these problems, but the winter probably had an effect. They've done a great job on the surface and it's not an issue."

On the rear wing modification: "I stick to my guns: I wish we'd go back to six degrees of wing. It was a lot of fun last year because you had to really drive the car. Now we have just a little too much downforce. I like it a bit slipperier. With 12 degrees of wing, whoever is in front is at a disadvantage because he or she is punching a hole in the air big enough to drag ten cars around, not just three."

On the Infiniti Indy 35A engine: "The Infiniti 35A has been strong all season, especially on 1.5 mile ovals. We're in good shape. When we won in Kansas last month, we were the fastest on the track, we missed the pole position by almost nothing, and we were the fastest in the pits. It was a good race, and we are trying to emulate that every time we go out for the rest of the year."

kk-CIR

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Eddie Cheever