20th Anniversary Grand Prix of Miami Race 1 of 15, Indy Racing League Championship Homestead-Miami Speedway, Homestead, Fla. March 2, 2002 Scheckter Finishes Sixth in Oval Racing Debut with Red Bull Cheever Racing Tomas Scheckter finished...
20th Anniversary Grand Prix of Miami
Race 1 of 15, Indy Racing League Championship
Homestead-Miami Speedway, Homestead, Fla.
March 2, 2002
Scheckter Finishes Sixth in Oval Racing Debut with Red Bull Cheever Racing
Tomas Scheckter finished sixth in his oval-racing debut with Red Bull Cheever Racing at the Grand Prix of Miami at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Scheckter, the youngest driver in the 26-car field, was the highest placing rookie in the race.
Regarding his first race in the Indy Racing League, Scheckter said: "It was crazy. Especially with the restarts when so many cars are packed together. You're breaking sideways into the first corner and you have cars left and right of you. It was so exciting. It was really good racing."
Red Bull Cheever Racing Race Recap
Tomas Scheckter started third in the No. 52 Red Bull Cheever Racing Infiniti, but dropped to the back of the field after taking several unscheduled pit stops early in the race to repair damage caused by an altercation with teammate Eddie Cheever Jr. The accident put Cheever out of the race on lap three, while Scheckter continued to finish sixth.
General Manager Richard Caron said, "It was an expensive weekend, with two different rookie mistakes. All I can say about Tomas is that it is inexcusable to be running into your teammate. The Red Bull Cheever Racing crew did a good job all weekend bouncing back from adversity. In the race Tomas' car was very competitive. He went down a few laps at the beginning of the race, but the crew made up one lap in the pits. Hopefully, we won't have another weekend like this one."
Tomas Scheckter on Race (Started 3rd, Finished 6th):
"First of all I need to apologize to Eddie about our coming together at the beginning of the race. At the start of the race there were cars everywhere around me on the straights. I was behind Eddie, and one of the Penske cars made a move on him. It created a gap for me. I tried to follow the Penske car. I went over the white line, to try to avoid Eddie. We made slight contact, and I got a bit sideways. Unfortunately he went into the wall and I carried on. From there on I just pushed as hard as I could. The Red Bull Cheever Racing crew gave me a good car. They worked very hard this weekend. I was happy that we were able to finish sixth."
Eddie Cheever Jr. on Race (Started 4th, Finished 25th):
"I was going down the back straight and de Ferran got a run on me and passed me going into the turn. As I was going around close to de Ferran, Scheckter came in too deep and his right front wing hit my left tire and he knocked me off into the wall. We talked about this until I was blue in the face. Take your time, we said to him. I would be just as angry right now if he had done that to somebody else, but to do it to your teammate, that's just asinine."
The Bombardier ATV Copper World Indy 200 at Phoenix International Raceway is next on the 15-race Indy Racing League schedule. The March 17 race will be televised live on ABC at 4 p.m. (Eastern).
Red Bull Cheever Racing, based in Indianapolis, is the brainchild of 1998 Indy 500 champion Eddie Cheever Jr. A leader in American motorsports, the Indy Racing League team is built on Cheever's experience in Formula One, sports cars and open-wheel oval racing. Corporate and technical partnerships with the world's leading energy drink Red Bull, Nissan North America's Infiniti Division, TWR Group, and Lincoln Financial Group greatly enhance the team's resources and technology. For more information, visit www.cheeverindyracing.com.