IRL: Homestead-Miami: Cheever Racing Thursday notes

Red Bull Cheever Racing Tops Speed Charts in Practice at Miami Rookie Tomas Scheckter was fastest, while team owner/driver Eddie Cheever Jr. was second fastest in the first day of practice at Homestead-Miami Speedway for the 20th Anniversary...

Red Bull Cheever Racing Tops Speed Charts in Practice at Miami

Rookie Tomas Scheckter was fastest, while team owner/driver Eddie Cheever Jr. was second fastest in the first day of practice at Homestead-Miami Speedway for the 20th Anniversary Grand Prix of Miami. Scheckter, in the No. 52 Red Bull Cheever Racing Infiniti, topped the charts with a 204.497 mph average speed. Cheever was close behind, in second place, at 203.378 mph.

Tomas Scheckter on Setting the Pace in Practice:

"Today we spent time on both qualifying and race setups. We learned a lot in both areas. We just need to stay in form, maintaining our pace tomorrow as well. The crew of the Red Bull Cheever Racing team is working very hard and everything is coming together. We also spent some time working on coming in and out of the pits. The yellow flags and pit stops will be something new for me in this race. This is a good beginning in my relationship with Red Bull Cheever Racing."

Eddie Cheever Jr. on Friday Practice Sessions:

"We worked on our qualifying runs this morning, with two different setups on each of the Infiniti-powered Red Bull Cheever Racing cars. We'll decide which way to go tomorrow based on our debriefings today. This afternoon we did full-tanks, using setups that were a continuation of what we had when we tested here. It was much warmer then, so it's going to be very tricky. The hardest job for the engineers this weekend is to stay on top of the temperature because it dramatically changes the setup of the car. If you get that wrong then you'll be in trouble."

Eddie Cheever Jr. on the Red Bull Cheever Racing's 2002 Preparations:

"The night before the first practice session, at the start of the season, is always difficult because you don't know what you have. After today I would say that we did our work well, although we still have a lot of work remaining. It looks like we made the right decision on our second driver, Tomas, and that we will have a competitive package with the Red Bull Cheever Racing Dallara-Infiniti-Firestone car."

Eddie Cheever Jr. on the Infiniti Indy V8 Engine Package:

"I would have to say that the Nissan/Infiniti engineers are a quarter-step ahead of the competition right now. They are going to have to keep up the work though, because I am sure the pressure is going to be strong heading into Indianapolis."

Eddie Cheever Jr. on Growth of the Indy Racing League:

"The Indy Racing League has made steady progress the past six years. With each year the series has grown stronger and stronger. There are strong, sound business principles behind what we are doing. It would be silly to say that Team Penske has not contributed greatly to the series' growth for 2002, but we would have continued to grow with or without them. There are also several other teams that are going to be very tough to beat: you have proven winners such as Buddy Lazier at Hemelgarn, the Pennzoil team, and Menard's operation. Then there are new teams like Mo Nunn with Felipe Giaffone, and Ganassi with Jeff Ward that are looking strong. I think anyone in the top ten will have the chance to win come race day."

-cr-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Tomas Scheckter , Eddie Cheever , Buddy Lazier , Jeff Ward , Mo Nunn
Teams Team Penske