IRL: Dover Monster Mile Provides a Challenge

DOVER'S 'MONSTER MILE' WILL PROVIDE QUITE A CHALLENGE DOVER, Del., July 21, 1999 - There is no shorter race than the MBNA Mid-Atlantic 200 on the Pep Boys Indy Racing League schedule, but there may be no tougher event, either. ...

DOVER'S 'MONSTER MILE' WILL PROVIDE QUITE A CHALLENGE

DOVER, Del., July 21, 1999 - There is no shorter race than the MBNA Mid-Atlantic 200 on the Pep Boys Indy Racing League schedule, but there may be no tougher event, either. This event, Aug. 1 at Dover Downs International Speedway, is unlike any other on the Indy Racing schedule, for many reasons. First, drivers are subjected to tremendous g-forces while whirling around the 1-mile oval due to the 24-degree banking in the turns of the "Monster Mile." Drivers also must display keen concentration at all times, as they will turn 1-mile laps in around 20 seconds. In fact, last year's PPG Pole speed was an astonishing 185.204 mph. Few mistakes are tolerated at such a torrid pace. That speed also creates superb, side-by-side racing. No driver can afford to use conservative tactics, as the short race distance and short track length reward aggression. It's easy to fall a lap down at Dover but very tough to recover that lap. Dover Downs also is the only all-concrete track on the surface, which poses challenges to drivers and teams accustomed to competing and setting up a car for asphalt surfaces. Quite simply: The meek may inherit the earth, but they won't win an Indy Racing event at Dover. Despite the tough reputation of the "Monster Mile," there are plenty of competitors capable of winning in the Pep Boys Indy Racing League's second trip to Dover. Start with the defending champion, Scott Sharp. He edged Buddy Lazier to the checkered flag by just .689 of a second in the closest finish of the 1998 season. Sharp enters Dover this year on a roll. He earned his first victory of the season at the last event, the Kobalt Mechanics Tools 500 presented by MCI WorldCom on July 17 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The win in the Delphi Automotive Systems Dallara/Aurora/Goodyear vaulted Sharp from a tie for fifth to second in the season point standings, just 21 behind Scott Goodyear. Three of Sharp's four career Indy Racing victories have come on 1-mile ovals, more bad news for his competitors. Sharp is one of only three drivers this season to post top-10 finishes on the two previous events on 1-mile tracks - the others are Jeff Ward and Sam Schmidt -- with eighth-place showings in March at Phoenix and last month at Pikes Peak. This also is Sharp's home track among circuits on the Pep Boys Indy Racing League schedule, as he was born and raised in Connecticut. Points leader Goodyear also is a contender for victory. The first of his league-leading two victories this season came on a tricky 1-mile oval at Phoenix International Raceway. He also finished a solid sixth in this event last year in the Pennzoil Panther G Force/Aurora/Goodyear. Plus Goodyear has shown remarkable resiliency since taking the points lead after winning the Longhorn 500 presented by MCI WorldCom on June 12 at Texas Motor Speedway. His last two races, at Pikes Peak and Atlanta, have been sub-par by his standards, with finishes of 12th and 16th, respectively. But the Panther Pack has done more than enough to keep its man at the front of the points. The recent tough stretch is the first time this season that Goodyear has posted consecutive finishes outside of the top 10. So he's due for an upswing at Dover. Ward and Schmidt also must receive strong consideration for the winner's circle, as they join Sharp as masters of the mile this season. Ward finished second at Phoenix and ninth at Pikes Peak in the Yahoo!-MerchantOnline.com Dallara/Aurora/Goodyear, while Schmidt finished ninth at Phoenix and second at Pikes Peak in the Sprint PCS G Force/Aurora/Firestone. Ward also has the added incentive of staying close in the hunt for the Pep Boys Million awarded to the season champion. He is third in the standings with 153 points, just six behind Sharp and 27 behind leader Goodyear. Eddie Cheever Jr. also has the same motivation in The Children's Beverage Group-Team Cheever Dallara/Infiniti/Goodyear, as he is fourth in points with 149. Greg Ray won the most recent Indy Racing event on a mile, last month at Pikes Peak, so he must be considered a strong candidate for victory in the Glidden-Menards Dallara/Aurora/Firestone. If lineage is any indication of victory, Davey Hamilton is a solid pick. Hamilton cut his racing teeth on tough dirt and asphalt bullrings in the Northwest, so the "Monster Mile" suits his style. He finished fourth at this event last year and a season-best second on the mile at Pikes Peak last month. Bobby Unser won the pole for the first Indy Racing event at Dover in 1969, and don't be surprised if his son, Robby, takes success a step further on Race Day. Robby Unser has quietly climbed from 24th to seventh in the point standings with four consecutive top-10 finishes in the PetroMoly-Team Pelfrey Dallara/Aurora/Firestone, including a career-best second on July 17 at Atlanta.

MBNA MID-ATLANTIC 200 NOTEBOOK

Schedule: The MBNA Mid-Atlantic 200 starts at 12:30 p.m. (EDT) Aug. 1. PPG Pole qualifying starts at noon (EDT) July 31. Practice sessions start at 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. (EDT) July 30, and 9 a.m. and 3:45 p.m. (EDT) July 31.

On the air: The MBNA Mid-Atlantic 200 will be televised on a same-day, tape-delayed basis at 3 p.m. (EDT) Aug. 1 on FOX. It will be the first Pep Boys Indy Racing League broadcast on the FOX network. SpeedVision will televise PPG Pole qualifying live at noon (EDT) July 31. The Indy Racing Radio Network will broadcast a 30-minute prerace show at noon (EDT) Aug. 1, followed by the live race broadcast at 12:30 p.m. A qualifying highlights show will be broadcast from 3:30-4 p.m. (EDT) July 31. The area IRRN affiliate is WDSD-FM 92.9 and WRDX-FM 94.7, Dover, Del. The IRRN race broadcast also will be available live on the Internet at www.indyracingleague.com as part of a partnership between Indy Racing Online and broadcast.com, the world's leading Web broadcast site. *** Tickets: Tickets are available for the MBNA Mid-Atlantic 200. Call (800) 441-7223 for more information. Information also is available on the World Wide Web at http://www.doverdowns.com .

Pep Boys Indy Racing League MBNA Mid-Atlantic 200 At Dover Downs International Speedway Aug. 1, 1999

Car  Driver                     Residence
       Car Name                                        C/E/T  Entrant
2    Greg Ray                   Plano, Texas
       Glidden/Menards                                 D/A/F  Team Menard,  Inc
2T   Greg Ray                   Plano, Texas
       Glidden/Menards                                 D/A/F  Team Menard,  Inc
3    Raul Boesel                Curitiba, Brazil
       b-fast Shopper/Brant Racing  R&S MKV            R/A/G  Brant Racing
3T   Raul Boesel                Curitiba, Brazil
       b-fast Shopper/Brant Racing  R&S MKV            R/A/G  Brant Racing
4    Scott Goodyear             Carmel, Ind.
       Pennzoil Panther G Force                        G/A/G  Panther Racing
4T   Scott Goodyear             Carmel, Ind.
       Pennzoil Panther G Force                        G/A/G  Panther Racing
6    Eliseo Salazar             Santiago, Chile
       Nienhouse Motorsports Racing Special            G/A/F  Nienhouse Motorsp
6T   Eliseo Salazar             Santiago, Chile
       Nienhouse Motorsports Racing Special            G/A/F  Nienhouse Motorsp
7    Stephan Gregoire           Indianapolis
       Dick Simon  Racing/Mex./Tok./Vik. Air Tools     G/A/F  Dick Simon Racing
7T   Stephan Gregoire           Indianapolis
       Dick Simon  Racing/Mex./Tok./Vik. Air Tools     G/A/F  Dick Simon Racing
8    Scott Sharp                Carmel, Ind.
       Delphi Automotive Systems                       D/A/G  Kelley Racing
8T   Scott Sharp                Carmel, Ind.
       Delphi Automotive Systems                       D/A/G  Kelley Racing
9    Davey Hamilton             Las Vegas
       Galles Racing Spinal Conquest                   D/A/G  Galles Racing
9T   Davey Hamilton             Las Vegas
       Galles Racing Spinal Conquest                   D/A/G  Galles Racing
11   Billy Boat                 Phoenix
       Harrah's A.J. Foyt Racing                       D/A/G  A.J.  Foyt Enterp
11T  Billy Boat                 Phoenix
       Harrah's A.J. Foyt Racing                       D/A/G  A.J.  Foyt Enterp
12   Buzz Calkins               Denver
       Bradley Food Marts/Sav-O-Mat                    G/A/F  Bradley Motorspor
14   Kenny Brack                Karlstad, Sweden
       A.J. Foyt PowerTeam Racing                      D/A/G  A.J. Foyt Enterpr
14T  Kenny Brack                Karlstad, Sweden
       A.J. Foyt PowerTeam Racing                      D/A/G  A.J. Foyt Enterpr
20   Tyce Carlson               Indianapolis
       Hubbard Photographics Inc./Immke  Auto Group    D/A/F  Blueprint-Immke R
20T  Tyce Carlson               Indianapolis
       Hubbard Photographics Inc./Immke  Auto Group    D/A/F  Blueprint-Immke R
21   Jeff Ward                  San Juan Capistrano, Calif.
       Yahoo!/MerchantOnline.com/Dallara/Olds          D/A/G  Pagan Racing
21T  Jeff Ward                  San Juan Capistrano, Calif.
       Yahoo!/MerchantOnline.com/Dallara/Olds          D/A/G  Pagan Racing
22   Ronnie Johncox (R)         Jackson, Mich.
       TBA                                             D/A/G  Tri Star  Motorsp
22T  Ronnie Johncox (R)         Jackson, Mich.
       TBA                                             D/A/G  Tri Star  Motorsp
28   Mark Dismore               Greenfield, Ind.
       MCI WorldCom                                    D/A/G  Kelley Racing
28T  Mark Dismore               Greenfield, Ind.
       MCI WorldCom                                    D/A/G  Kelley Racing
30   Jimmy Kite                 Stockbridge, Ga.
       Team Losi/Fast Rod/McCormack  Motorsports       G/A/F  McCormack Motorsp
30T  Jimmy Kite                 Stockbridge, Ga.
       Team Losi/Fast Rod/McCormack  Motorsports       G/A/F  McCormack Motorsp
33   Jaques Lazier (R)          Vail, Colo.
       Warner Br. Std.  Str./Truscelli Team Racing     G/A/G  Truscelli Team Ra
33T  Jaques Lazier (R)          Vail, Colo.
       Warner Br. Std.  Str/Truscelli Team Racing      G/A/G  Truscelli Team Ra
35   TBA                        TBA
       Delco Remy/Micr./Fuz.com/ISM Racing/G Force     G/A/G  ISM Racing
35T  TBA                        TBA
       Delco Remy/Micr./Fuz.com/ISM Racing/G Force     G/A/G  ISM Racing
42   John Hollansworth Jr. (R)  Dallas
       CompuCom/Lycos/TeamXtreme                       D/A/F  TeamXtreme Racing
42T  John Hollansworth Jr. (R)  Dallas
       CompuCom/Lycos/TeamXtreme                       D/A/F  TeamXtreme Racing
51   Eddie Cheever Jr.          Orlando, Fla.
       The Children's Bev.  Grp/Team Cheever/Infiniti  D/I/G  Team Cheever
51T  Eddie Cheever Jr.          Orlando, Fla.
       The Children's Bev.  Grp/Team Cheever/Infiniti  D/I/G  Team Cheever
55   Robby McGehee (R)          St. Louis
       Energizer Advanced Formula                      D/A/F  Conti Racing
55T  Robby McGehee (R)          St. Louis
       Energizer Advanced Formula                      D/A/F  Conti Racing
66   Scott Harrington (R)       Indianapolis
       The CertainTeed Building  Products Special      D/A/F  Harrington Motors
66T  Scott Harrington (R)       Indianapolis
       The CertainTeed Building  Products Special      D/I/F  Harrington Motors
81   Robby Unser                Albuquerque, N.M.
       PetroMoly/Team Pelfrey                          D/A/F  Team Pelfrey
81T  Robby Unser                Albuquerque, N.M.
       PetroMoly/Team Pelfrey                          D/A/F  Team Pelfrey
91   Buddy Lazier               Vail, Colo.
       Delta Faucet/Coors Light/Hemelgarn  Racing      D/A/G  Hemelgarn Racing
91T  Buddy Lazier               Vail, Colo.
       Delta Faucet/Coors Light/Hemelgarn  Racing      D/A/G  Hemelgarn Racing
98   Donnie Beechler            Springfield, Ill.
       Big Daddy's BBQ Sauce and  Spices               D/A/F  Cahill Auto Racing
98T  Donnie Beechler            Springfield, Ill.
       Big Daddy's BBQ Sauce and  Spices               D/A/F  Cahill Auto Racing
99   Sam Schmidt                Las Vegas
       Sprint PCS                                      G/A/F  Treadway  Racing
99T  Sam Schmidt                Las Vegas
       Sprint PCS                                      G/A/F  Treadway  Racing

Legend: Chassis: D=Dallara, G=G Force, R=Riley & Scott. Engine: A=Oldsmobile Aurora, I=Nissan Infiniti. Tire: F=Firestone, G=Goodyear. R=Rookie.

Source: IMS/IRL

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Buzz Calkins , Robby McGehee , Greg Ray , Eddie Cheever , Eliseo Salazar , Buddy Lazier , Stephan Gregoire , Jeff Ward , Davey Hamilton , Scott Sharp , Billy Boat , Mark Dismore , Scott Goodyear , Jaques Lazier  , Jimmy Kite , Raul Boesel , Donnie Beechler , Kenny Brack , Sam Schmidt , Bobby Unser , Tyce Carlson , Scott Harrington , Ronnie Johncox , Robby Unser , Dick Simon , A.J. Foyt
Teams Panther Racing