INDY 500 PRACTICE NOTES Reigning Indy 500 winner, Eddie Cheever, Jr. and his ...
INDY 500 PRACTICE NOTES
Reigning Indy 500 winner, Eddie Cheever, Jr. and his #51 Team Cheever/The Children's Beverage Group Dallara/Goodyear/Infiniti clocked the 8th fastest time today at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway at a speed of 221.888 mph, covering the 2.5-mile track at a time of 40.561 seconds. Team Cheever's Wim Eyckmans, was the 4th fastest rookie as he drove his #52 EGP/Beaulieu of America Dallara/Goodyear Oldsmobile at a speed of 217.187 mph and a time of 41.439.
Top Ten: Saturday, May 15, 1999 1. Ray 225.887 6. Lazier 222.866 2. Luyendyk 225.163 7. Ward 222.096 3. Goodyear 224.406 8. Cheever 221.888 4. Schmidt 224.394 9. Hollansworth 221.811 5. Brack 222.910 10. Boat 221.724
Eddie Cheever, Jr. #51 Team Cheever/The Children's Beverage Group/Dallara/Goodyear/Infiniti
On being back at Indy "I always enjoy the first day. This is the most important race of the year. It is very exciting. The fans here have a deep understanding of the history of this race and its participants. They are the most knowledgeable oval open wheel race fans in the world.
On the day "I'd put my guys against anyone in this paddock and there are some very strong teams here. I just came in from our first run (Cheever's fast time in the first hour of today's practice was 221.888) and told them that they never cease to amaze me. They always give me more each time we go out."
"We are a very good collective. We are a meat and potatoes team. We focus on what needs to be done and we get it done. We're taking on big and well-funded teams and every now and again, we trip them up. We took the first race of the season at Disney, we were in the lead at Phoenix before the accident with Lazier and ran third at Charlotte."
"We come to Indy as an even better team than last year. This is a very difficult circuit. I think the toughest job in Indiana would be to be a guy predicting the weather. We experience that same kind of dilemma every day here because the conditions change constantly. You must always have the highest respect for this place. "
On the car "The guys have given me a great car as usual. The Infiniti engine ran well. We just put it in the back of a new car. We ran the majority of our laps today in the very hot weather. We're going to avoid cool weather as much as possible in the next few days because we don't think its relevant to the race."
Primary sponsorship of Team Cheever comes from The Children's Beverage Group. The Children's Beverage Group (TCBG) is the designer of the RIP-IT SIP-IT(tm) straw-in-the-pouch drinking system that began distribution nationwide in 1997. For more information, call TCBG's corporate headquarters at 847-562-4040 or visit their website at http://www.tcbginc.com. Associate sponsors of Team Cheever include GO-RACHELS.COM, Menards, Ceramiche Ragno, Goodyear, STP, TruGreen*Chemlawn, Bosch, Pennzoil and Invincible Sportswear.
Wim Eyckmans #52 EGP/Beaulieu of America/Team/Dallara/Goodyear/Oldsmobile
On Being at Indy "It is wonderful to be here with all the activity. Prior to this I have only tested and been one of a few teams on site. Now, all the drivers and fans are here. It is very exciting. I am really enjoying the fans, as they seem to want to get to know me. It is a bit surprising because in Europe, when someone asks for your autograph, they rarely speak to you. Here, when they stop me, they ask me where I'm from, how to pronounce my name, pat me on the back for doing a good job. I like it."
On the day "We had some engine problems at the start of our practice, which was frustrating. We had to replace a cam sensor and put on a second crank sensor to use. For a rookie, the opportunity to do consistent laps is the best way to make significant gains. When you have problems like this, you go out for a few laps and then come in and then go out again. It is frustrating. Once I got up to speed, however, things seemed to go well. We made some changes to the car and, even with just 57 laps, learned a lot. Tomorrow we hope to have more time on the track."
Primary sponsorship of Wim Eyckmans comes from EGP and Beaulieu of America. EGP, based near Brussels-Belgium, was founded in 1997. After several years of research and development, the firm has introduced an extensive line of fully environmental cleaning products for use in the industrial, business and domestic arenas. The company currently employs a staff of 28 and is growing quickly. Turnover for 1998 was $15 million dollars. EGP's goals are to double their turnover in 1999, to expand strongly on the US market and to bring a safer and more responsible use to the maintenance tasks in today's world at large. Beaulieu of America is the largest privately held, and overall, the third largest carpet and rug manufacturer in the world. The most fully integrated company in the floor covering industry, Beaulieu controls production from raw materials to finished products. This vertical integration allows Beaulieu to control product quality standards and ensures a continuous supply of material to marketplace demands. With approximately 12,000 employees worldwide, Beaulieu of America reported annual sales revenues of $1.5 billion in 1998.