IRL: Infiniti duo exit Atlanta race early

Atlanta, Ga. (April 28, 2001) -- It was a disappointing day for Infiniti at the zMax 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, with both Infiniti drivers exiting the race early. Eddie Cheever Jr., who qualified third and was among the top three in every ...

Atlanta, Ga. (April 28, 2001) -- It was a disappointing day for Infiniti at the zMax 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, with both Infiniti drivers exiting the race early.

Eddie Cheever Jr., who qualified third and was among the top three in every session during the two-day event, was in fourth place on lap 34 when the engine expired in the No. 51 Excite@Home car. Starting 19th, Robbie Buhl was making his way through the field, scoring as high as 12th, before getting caught in the middle of a fiery 11-car accident on lap 53. Buhl was released from the infield medical center with a bruised right leg.

The Indianapolis 500 is the next race on the schedule for the Indy Racing Northern Light Series. The festivities begin with opening day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday, May 6. The challenge for pole position is Saturday, May 12 and race day is Sunday, May 27.

QUOTES

Robbie Buhl, No. 24 Team Purex Dreyer & Reinbold Racing GForce-Infiniti (Started 19th, Finished 20th): "I was very happy with where we were going with our car considering we haven't had a very good weekend. There was four or five cars in front of me and it looked like someone in the outside lane checked up. Some guys touched and set off a chain reaction. I poked for a hole, but the hole didn't stay there. Then I got hit and launched into the wall with my right side. The car is totaled, unfortunately. It's frustrating. It's not what our guys need rolling into Indianapolis. It's just part of the game."

Eddie Cheever Jr., No. 51 Excite@Home Dallara-Infiniti (Started 3rd, Finished 24th): "It's obviously not how we wanted to finish, and we're not quite sure what happened, but we think it was something in the top end of the engine. The #51 Excite@Home car had a bit of push at the beginning of the race, but I was keeping the leaders in sight and I'm sure we would have made a run at the win. It's a shame. The Infiniti engine performed flawlessly all weekend long and we were in the top three in every session. We've got a good ten days of practice at Indy before the Indianapolis 500 on May 27, so we're going to reassess some things."

-Infiniti Racing

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Eddie Cheever , Robbie Buhl
Teams Dreyer & Reinbold Racing