IRL: Cheever Sets Sights on Victory in Las Vegas

Las Vegas, NV - After leading laps in the first two rounds of 2000 Indy Racing Northern Light Series competition, Eddie Cheever Jr. is intent on leading the final lap of this Saturday's Vegas Indy 300 in his ...

Las Vegas, NV - After leading laps in the first two rounds of 2000 Indy Racing Northern Light Series competition, Eddie Cheever Jr. is intent on leading the final lap of this Saturday's Vegas Indy 300 in his #51 Excite@Home Indy Race Car. But even 1998 Indianapolis 500 Champion Cheever admits that claiming victory on the grueling 1.5-mile desert oval will be no easy feat.

"Las Vegas is a very tough track for several reasons," explains Cheever, who led 32 laps of the 1999 event before engine-related difficulties ended his promising run. "The minimal banking combined with the sun and the sand means that tires and handling will be the key issues for the race. The track surface can degenerate quickly, making it very slippery and difficult, but it's these kinds of slick conditions that I thrive on."

"Last year's Las Vegas race was probably our best performance with the Infiniti engine," continues Cheever. "We showed that we could run at the front and challenge for the win. Nissan and Infiniti have done a lot of work since then, and we've been very competitive in the first two 2000 events. The entire #51 Excite@Home Indy Race Team would like not only to continue that trend, but also to finish off what we started at Vegas last year."

The Las Vegas Motor Speedway circuit, the first 1.5-mile oval that the Northern Light series will visit in 2000, is a spectacular site for this Saturday's 208-lap Indy Racing event.

"The Vegas track is a great facility that always produces some heart-stopping, intense racing," notes Cheever. "It's a little unfortunate that we are racing on Easter weekend when people will be spending time at home with their families, but they'll still be able to watch all the action live on ABC. The Indy Racing Northern Light Series is so competitive right now that whether you're watching at home or at the track, it's always an exciting show."

The Vegas Indy 300 will be televised live on ABC at 3:30pm (EDT) on April 22. Qualifying will be televised on ESPN2 at 5:30pm (EDT) on Friday, April 21.

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Eddie Cheever