IRL: Infiniti Motorsports Indy 500 preview

Indianapolis 500 Indianapolis Motor Speedway Round four of the 13-race 2001 Indy Racing Northern Light Series INFINITI DRIVERS: Robbie Buhl, No. 24 Team Purex Dreyer & Reinbold Racing GForce-Infiniti-Firestone Eddie Cheever Jr., No. 51...

Indianapolis 500
Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Round four of the 13-race 2001 Indy Racing Northern Light Series

INFINITI DRIVERS: Robbie Buhl, No. 24 Team Purex Dreyer & Reinbold Racing GForce-Infiniti-Firestone
Eddie Cheever Jr., No. 51 Excite@Home Dallara-Infiniti-Firestone
Scott Goodyear, No. 52 Cheever Indy Racing Dallara-Infiniti-Firestone

INFINITI NOTES: The Indy 500 is the fourth race that the all-new Infiniti 35A engine is being used. Eddie Cheever Jr. scored the best finish with the engine, to date, by finishing ninth at the Infiniti Grand Prix of Miami on April 8. The new Infiniti racing engine is smaller, lighter, and features a lower center of gravity than the previous engine.

This will be the fifth year that Infiniti has provided engines to teams entered in the Indianapolis 500. Following is a year-by-year recap:

2000 Indianapolis 500 -- A fifth place showing at the Indianapolis 500 with Eddie Cheever Jr. in the Excite@Home Dallara, highlighted what was a trouble-free day for Infiniti. Steve Knapp, in a Dreyer & Reinbold Racing entry, joined Eddie Cheever Jr. in finishing the race. Cheever finished fifth after starting 10th, while Knapp finished 19th after starting 27th.

1999 Indianapolis 500 -- The Infiniti Indy powerplant led the Indianapolis 500, with Eddie Cheever Jr. leading four laps in the No. 51 Team Cheever/Children's Beverage Group Dallara. He ran in the top ten for 138 laps, before retiring on lap 141. Two other Infiniti's made the field: Jeret Schroeder ran as high as seventh and finished 15th, and Roberto Guerrero finished 25th.

1998 Indianapolis 500 -- One Infiniti-powered car qualified for the 1998 Indianapolis 500. Dr. Jack Miller qualified 15th and finished 21st.

1997 Indianapolis 500 -- Infiniti had six cars in the 1997 Indianapolis 500. Mike Groff (started 18th, finished 12th), Lyn St. James (started 34th, finished 13th), Dennis Vitolo (started 28th, finished 15th), Johnny Unser (Started 35th, finished 18th), Dr. Jack Miller (started 17th, finished 20th), and Roberto Guerrero (started 19th, finished 27th).

The best Indy Racing finish for the Infiniti engine was a victory by Eddie Cheever Jr. at Pikes Peak International Raceway on June 18, 2000. The best qualifying effort was second, earned by Robbie Buhl at Pikes Peak International Raceway on June 17, 2000.

SCHEDULE: (All times local Indianapolis time, Eastern Standard Time. Add one hour for Eastern Daylight Savings Time) <pre> Sunday, May 6 - Opening Day 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., Practice

Monday, May 7 through Friday, May 11 - Practice Days 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Daily Practice

On TV: 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., ESPN2, Daily

Saturday, May 12 - Pole Day 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m., Practice 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Qualifications

On TV: 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., ESPN 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., ABC 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., ESPN2

Sunday, May 13 - Second Day Qualifications 10:00 a.m. to 11:15 a.m., Practice 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., Qualifications

On TV: 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., ESPN 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., ESPN2

Monday, May 14 and Tuesday, May 15 No Track Activity

On TV: 5:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., ESPN2, Daily

Wednesday, May 16 through Saturday, May 19 - Practice Days 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Daily Practice

On TV: 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., ESPN2, Daily

Sunday, May 20 - Bump Day 10:00 a.m. to 11:15 a.m., Practice 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., Qualifications

On TV: 11:00 a.m. to 1 p.m., ESPN 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., ESPN2 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., ABC 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., ESPN2 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., Road To Indy, ESPN2

Monday, May 21 and Tuesday, May 22 No Track Activity

On TV: 5:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., ESPN2

Wednesday, May 23 - Community Day No Track Activity 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., Track Open To Public 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., Garage Open To Public

On TV: 5:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., ESPN2

Thursday, May 24 - Carburetion Day 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Final Practice 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., Pit Stop Competition

On TV: 3:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., ESPN2 5:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., ESPN2

Friday, May 25 No Track Activity

On TV: 5:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., ESPN2

Saturday, May 26 No Track Activity 11:00 a.m., Public Drivers Meeting 12:00 p.m., Indy 500 Festival Parade, Downtown

On TV: 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., Indy 500 Preview, ESPN

Sunday, May 27 11:00 a.m., 85th Indianapolis 500 7:00 p.m., Victory Celebration, Indiana Roof Ballroom

On TV: 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Indy 500 Coverage, ABC

ON THE WEB: *Infiniti related race reports, results, notes, and digital images are available at www.infinitinews.com.

*Live timing and scoring reports for the Indianapolis 500 practice, qualifying and race are available on the Internet at www.indyracing.com.

-IM-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Eddie Cheever , Robbie Buhl , Scott Goodyear , Jeret Schroeder , Roberto Guerrero , Lyn St. James , Steve Knapp , Johnny Unser , Jack Miller
Teams Dreyer & Reinbold Racing