IRL: Eddie Cheever Prepared for Charlotte


CHEEVER PREPARED FOR CHARLOTTE NIGHTS #51 Team Cheever/Children's Beverage Group Dallara debuts its Infiniti engine program

Charlotte, North Carolina - Ask Eddie Cheever what he thinks of the upcoming Pep Boys Indy Racing League race this Saturday night, May 1st at the Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte and his eyes light up in anticipation.

"I love coming here," said the reigning Indy 500 winner. "Charlotte has always been an exciting venue for our cars and with the recent tests here, teams have been reaching similar speeds to what we post at Indy. Doing 222 mph on a 2.5-mile track is one thing, but doing it on a 1.5-mile superspeedway, three deep into the turns, spells only one thing...EXCITEMENT!"

Throw into the mix Cheever's recent decision to switch from Oldsmobile to Infiniti along with his being ranked third in the Drivers Points, the team, second in the overall standings, a win at Walt Disney World Speedway in the first race of the season and an amazingly strong run at Phoenix (before tangling with Buddy Lazier with 50 laps to go in the race), and its hard to disagree.

"Historically after Phoenix, we would all be in our workshops getting ready for Indy," described Cheever. "Now, we are all focused on Charlotte, a track which is totally different than Indy...from both an engine and a handling perspective. With our decision to move to Infiniti, we are at the low end of the learning curve. Charlotte is a god send which is allowing us more time with our new program."

In addition to his Indy Racing League effort, Cheever, who is also participating in the 4-race invitational IROC series, is getting his first taste of stockcar racing in America. The experience may turn out to be a lasting one as Team Cheever reviews the possibility of entering the BUSCH/NASCAR arena in the year 2000.

"I believe the future success of the Pep Boys Indy Racing League will be based in large part to how well it is received in NASCAR venues like Charlotte," said team owner, Cheever. "There are a lot of similarities between NASCAR and the IRL and we hope to capitalize on them as early as next season."

The VisionAire 500 will be televised on Speedvision at 8pm on Saturday, May 1st. Speedvision will also televise the PPG Pole qualifying at 6pm, Friday, April 30th.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Eddie Cheever , Buddy Lazier