IRL: Infiniti Motorsports Pikes Peak race report

Buhl Finishes Third With Infiniti Engine; Cheever Close Behind in Sixth Fountain, COLO. (June 17, 2001) -- Infiniti continued its success at Pikes Peak International Raceway, with Robbie Buhl placing third with the Infiniti-powered Team ...

Buhl Finishes Third With Infiniti Engine; Cheever Close Behind in Sixth

Fountain, COLO. (June 17, 2001) -- Infiniti continued its success at Pikes Peak International Raceway, with Robbie Buhl placing third with the Infiniti-powered Team Purex/Dreyer & Reinbold Racing car at the Radisson Indy 200 June 17. It's the best finish to date for the new Infiniti Indy 35A engine, which made its debut at the Phoenix season opener earlier this year.

Starting fourth, Buhl charged to second position by the ninth lap. He continued to run in the top three for the remainder of the 200-lap race, making a serious challenge on Sam Hornish Jr. for second place in the closing laps. Buhl's podium finish marks Dreyer & Reinbold Racing's best finish this season, and the second time Buhl has finished on the podium with the Infiniti powerplant (third at Phoenix in 1999).

Winner of the 2000 Pikes Peak race, Eddie Cheever Jr. finished sixth this year with the No. 51 Cheever Indy Racing Infiniti. Starting tenth, Cheever moved into fifth position on lap 37, placing the two Infiniti-powered entries in the top five for over half the race. Cheever ran as high as fourth at the halfway point of the race, but then a lost cylinder caused the engine to loose horsepower, dropping Cheever back to a sixth-place finish.

The Indy Racing Northern Light Series returns to action in two weeks with races at Richmond International Raceway on June 30 (ESPN at 8 p.m. EDT) and Kansas Speedway on July 8 (ABC at 1 p.m. EDT).

QUOTES

Robbie Buhl, No. 24 Team Purex Dreyer & Reinbold Racing GForce-Infiniti: "We made some gains with the car right there at the end. It was great when I was by myself. If I could have got by Hornish, we could have left him but when I got in behind him we got some dirty air. Things have been turning around for all the Team Purex/Dreyer & Reinbold guys since the month of May. The Infiniti motor program is really coming around. We are going to win races with that motor, between Eddie and myself, before this year is out. We got on the podium today and we're going to win this year. The Infiniti Motorsports guys have been working really hard since the beginning of the year, and slowly we've been working those bugs out, making progress."

Eddie Cheever Jr., No. 51 Cheever Indy Racing Infiniti: "We're not sure what happened yet. We lost a cylinder about halfway through the race. It was very difficult. I had to drop down two gears to fourth just to keep going, but we soldiered on. I've got to say the Infiniti 35A is pretty tough. It was a good race. The guys did an awesome job in the pits today. They were the best pit stops I've had all year. Unfortunately, so far it's been a very long, difficult championship for us. We keep getting close, but then we always seem to run into problems."

Steve Kight, director of marketing and motorsports, Infiniti Division: "Robbie had a great run today. We are really knocking on the door. We are going to keep attacking in every race. We still have a long way to go with the engine, but we are real excited about the program. (About interest in engines from other teams) We are going to continue our program with both Eddie and Robbie, but we have been getting a lot of calls. What we are going to do is continue with our objective, to win races. With that in mind, I think you are going to see more Infiniti engines in the very near future." <pre> RACE RESULTS

1  91  Lazier, Buddy  D/O/F  200
2  4   Hornish Jr, Sam  D/O/F  200
*3 24  Buhl, Robbie  G/I/F  200
4  98  Boat, Billy  D/O/F  200
5  88  Dare, Airton  G/O/F  198
*6 51  Cheever Jr, Eddie  D/I/F  198
7  21  Giaffone, Felipe  G/O/F  198
8  8   Sharp, Scott  D/O/F  197
9  99  Hearn, Richie  D/O/F  197
10 15  Fisher, Sarah  D/O/F  197
11 3   Unser Jr, Al  G/O/F  196
12 35  Ward, Jeff  G/O/F  196
13 28  Dismore, Mark  D/O/F  196
14 14  Salazar, Eliseo  D/O/F  194
15 12  Calkins, Buzz  D/O/F  193
16 11  Beechler, Donnie  D/O/F  192
17 77  Lazier, Jaques  G/O/F  145
18 2   Ray, Greg  D/O/F  132
19 32  Andre, Didier  G/O/F  104
20 81  Roe, Billy  G/O/F  34
21 55  Hattori, Shigeaki  D/O/F  0

-IM-

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