INFINITI INDY INSIDER *Daily Report From the 1999 Indianapolis 500* Race Day -- Sunday, May 30 The first 350 miles of the 83rd running of the Indianapolis 500 went well for the Infiniti Indy project. The engine manufacturer led the race...
INFINITI INDY INSIDER *Daily Report From the 1999 Indianapolis 500* Race Day -- Sunday, May 30
The first 350 miles of the 83rd running of the Indianapolis 500 went well for the Infiniti Indy project. The engine manufacturer led the race just past the midway point with driver Eddie Cheever Jr. and had two cars running solidly in the top ten. Unfortunately, the race did not end as well. All three Infiniti Indy powered cars retired early because of engine troubles.
The Infiniti Indy power plant led its first laps ever at the famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway with driver Eddie Cheever running up front in the race for four laps. Starting from 16th, Cheever charged through the field and was running in the top ten by the third race lap. He remained in the top ten, leading laps 121 to 124, until lap 141 when he retired from the race because of an engine failure.
Rookie Jeret Schroeder also had a remarkable run while his day lasted. Scoring as high as seventh place, and running in the top ten for over 50 laps, his day ended 25 laps from the 500-mile point because of engine troubles. His teammate Roberto Guerrero ran as high as 18th and went out of the race for the same reason on lap 149.
Quotes: Jeret Schroeder, No. 96 Purity Farms/CBR Cobb Racing Infiniti/G Force/Firestone (Started 21st, Ran as high as 7th, Finished 15th): "I was having a really good time. I was just buying time, picking cars off one at a time. I was just trying to stay out of trouble. Cobb Racing did an excellent job, the Firestone tires were fabulous, and we had good, strong power from the Infiniti but unfortunately fell short of finishing by a few laps."
Eddie Cheever Jr., No. 51 Team Cheever/Children's Beverage Group Infiniti/Dallara/Goodyear (Started 16th, Ran as high as 1st, Finished 18th): "This team gave me a great car. I could pass high or low…anywhere. No one could touch us in traffic. All I ever ask of this team is to give me a car that is competitive and that's what they did. I'm very proud of what this team has done. I'm glad that we made the switch to Infiniti, but I do wish we had done it earlier. We tried to cram six months of work into two months and we came up short. The engine is incredibly strong. We still need to work on its reliability."
Roberto Guerrero, No. 50 CBR Cobb Racing Infiniti/G Force/Firestone (Started 25th, Ran as high as 18th, Finished 25th): "The engine started smoking really bad, and I just turned it off. I think we were running really well. It's too bad we didn't get a break. It's disappointing. Maybe we'll get a break next year."