Indianapolis 500 Race 5 of 15, Indy Racing League Championship Indianapolis, Ind. Cheever fifth fastest on opening day at Indianapolis. Eddie Cheever Jr. started his day by having breakfast with the Mayor of Indianapolis, went on to...
Race 5 of 15, Indy Racing League Championship
Cheever fifth fastest on opening day at Indianapolis.
Eddie Cheever Jr. started his day by having breakfast with the Mayor of Indianapolis, went on to participate in the Parade of Champions as part of the Indianapolis 500 Opening Day ceremonies, and topped it all off by turning the fifth fastest lap of the day at 226.374 mph in the No. 51 Red Bull Cheever Racing Infiniti.
Indianapolis 500 rookie Max Papis was 29th fastest overall of the 39 cars on track today in the No. 53 Red Bull Cheever Racing Infiniti. It was Papis' first time to drive an Indy Racing League car, and his first experience on the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He turned a total of 42 laps today in his Red Bull Cheever Racing initiation.
Tomas Scheckter, driver of the No. 52 Red Bull Cheever Racing Infiniti, watched from pit lane today after being suspended through May 7 by Indy Racing League officials for unsportsmanlike conduct after the Nazareth race. He is now medically cleared to drive after suffering injuries in a crash during the Firestone Indy 225 at Nazareth Speedway.
Eddie Cheever Jr. on Opening Day at Indianapolis:
"All you ever really do on the first day is to make sure that everything is running properly. Everybody wants to go fast, but that is not really what our goal is today. We are trying to have a good balance. Once you have the balance the speed comes by itself."
Eddie Cheever Jr. on Teammates Scheckter and Papis:
"Tomas has handicapped himself, all of his own doing. I hope it will be another lesson that he can put in his mental notebook. He will be fine when he gets back on the race track. I have no doubt about that. Max is just trying to get familiar to the feeling of driving a different type of car. The car he is used to racing handles a bit different. These cars have a different weight distribution. It will take him a little bit of time."
Eddie Cheever Jr. on Team:
"All three drivers at Red Bull Cheever Racing are at a different point in their career. Tomas is just starting, Max is in the prime of his career, and I am trying to win the Indy 500 for the second time. We all have different motivations, but the goal is the same. When I walked into the garage for the first time this month I thought: What mayhem. I couldn't believe there were so many people on the team. I am astonished that we can actually attempt to enter three cars that have a chance of winning the Indy 500. Many times when you run a three-car team one of them just happens on a whim or its something you put together for the last weekend. Every one of these drivers, if they work properly with their group, has a good chance of winning the race. I think it is a great accomplishment for Red Bull Cheever Racing. Without the technical support of Nissan Infiniti and the backing of Red Bull it would not have been possible. I am very proud of what we have done here."
Max Papis on Opening Day at Indianapolis:
"This is actually my first time ever in an IRL car and my first time driving at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It's quite a lot to learn. It's quite impressive. This is definitely something different than I have ever done before. I am working on getting used to the car and the speeds. The speeds here definitely require a lot of respect. The goal is to get the right feeling on the car, log it in my brain and work on it for tomorrow. The fans here are great. They have shown a lot of support and they are very knowledgeable. Being out there in the same place where so many great names in the history of auto racing have driven is something that can't be bought with any amount of money."
Max Papis on Owner and Teammate Eddie Cheever Jr.:
"Besides being the boss, Eddie is also a great race car driver. Not very many people have done more miles on this track than him."
*5) (51) Cheever Jr, Eddie D/I/F, 39.7572, 226.374, 19
*6) (51T) Cheever Jr, Eddie D/I/F, 39.7736, 226.281, 11
*29) (53) Papis, Max D/I/F 40.7744, 220.727, 42
The 86th running of the Indianapolis 500 starts at noon (EDT) Sunday, May 26. The race will be televised live on ABC and by the Indy Racing Radio Network. Live timing and scoring of all on-track activity can be found on www.indyracing.com.