Las Vegas, Nevada - As the hunt for the Championship title narrows to the two remaining race, no less than twelve drivers are in strong contention for one of the coveted Top Three spots in the Points Standings. Going into the Vegas.com 500, Eddie...
Las Vegas, Nevada - As the hunt for the Championship title narrows to the two remaining race, no less than twelve drivers are in strong contention for one of the coveted Top Three spots in the Points Standings. Going into the Vegas.com 500, Eddie Cheever, Jr. sits in a three way tie in 7th spot, 69 points from points leader, Greg Ray, and a slim 25 points from second place, Scott Goodyear. Team Cheever will be the sole team representing the Infiniti Indy engine program.
"We are absolutely in the hunt. To have twelve guys so close, it's almost ridiculous," spoke Cheever of the Championship. "We are completely focused on winning races... if not for the Championship, then, for a Top Three finish for the season. It is all still very much attainable."
It won't be just his fellow racers that will make things difficult for Cheever this weekend; the windy conditions that throw sand onto the Vegas course will put an equal strain on individual performances. More conventional in shape and with less banking than the other 1.5-mile ovals that the Pep Boys Indy Racing League runs on, the Vegas speedway limits the available lines the driver has to play with whereby heightening the demand on teams to find the set up that will work.
"This is a very tough track. When you come to a place like Vegas, with its minimal banking and slick surface, it switches everyone's focus to issues of handling," said Cheever. "With the sun and the sand, Vegas can quickly degenerate into the kind of conditions I personally thrive on.... slippery and difficult."
"It should be a great race. Tires are extremely important here and you can go through them quickly," continued Cheever. "Because of this, we've done a lot of testing here with Goodyear. Our focus this weekend will be maximizing whatever grip is available in our tires and getting our race and pit strategies to the point of flawlessness."
The Vegas.com 500 will air live on ESPN2 at 2:30pm (EDT) on Sunday, September 26th. The Pep Boys Indy Racing League Qualifier will ais live on SpeedVision at 3pm (EDT), September 25th.