IRL: Kansas: Cheever Racing Friday qualifying report

Red Bull Cheever Racing in top five in practice at Kansas. Eddie Cheever Jr. and Tomas Scheckter both posted speeds in the top five in practice today at the 1.5-mile Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kansas. Scheckter was the third fastest driver...

Red Bull Cheever Racing in top five in practice at Kansas.

Eddie Cheever Jr. and Tomas Scheckter both posted speeds in the top five in practice today at the 1.5-mile Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kansas. Scheckter was the third fastest driver overall at 218.197 mph in the No. 52 Red Bull Cheever Racing Infiniti. In the No. 51 car, Cheever was fifth fastest at 217.849.

Tomas Scheckter on Practice: "The car is still not right. I need to sit down with the engineers and look at what we are doing. I must admit I got a big tow today for that fast time. We'll see what everyone really has in qualifying tomorrow. The Infiniti engine does well here. It's got more power and more power in a certain range, which suits this track. I don't think it will be as easy to pass here as Fontana or Texas, because it feels like there is one line. With the way my car is handling now it would take a lot of courage to hang it out high and pass people. I think you will have to get a good tow and pass people low."

Tomas on Team's Season-Best Finish of Fourth at Richmond: "It was very satisfying (to finish fourth after starting 18th). As a driver, it is always a good feeling when you are passing cars. It was also good for the team to finish in the top five after we struggled in qualifying and the previous race at Pikes Peak."

Eddie Cheever Jr. on Practice: "Practice was good today, with both Red Bull cars in the top five. We had to change the balance to get where we want to be. While I am pleased to see four Infiniti-powered cars in the top five, I think we can do better with the engine's performance. We are going to take a look at that tonight. There are definitely two different setups required for this weekend: one for qualifying and one for the race."

Eddie Cheever Jr. on what's special about Kansas Speedway: "I won here last year. It's new, it's fast. There is a lot of enthusiasm. We are not that far away from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway which has such a rich heritage. There are a lot of great midget and sprint car drivers that come from around here. You don't have to tell people what you are doing when you race in Kansas. This is one of the really bright hot spots for open-wheel racing here in the United States. To be able to come here and see the grandstands filled and receive all the interest we have is fantastic. This is going to be one of those races, along with Texas, where all the drivers and teams will put extra effort into winning."

Eddie Cheever Jr. on Debut of Indy Racing Infiniti Pro Series at Kansas: "It will be an interesting race from a team owner's perspective. This is a chance for us team owners to go out and see the talent of young, up-and-coming drivers. The problem in the past, with taking drivers from midget and sprint car racing and putting them into an IRL car, was that they are not used to the cornering speed, the way we race, or the aerodynamics. This is a great way for them to develop the same skills they will use in the IRL.

"We've started a whole new series of racing here in the United States. We race every race on ovals at very high speeds. I think it is good to give drivers the opportunity to learn things at one step lower than the IRL. The speeds in the IRL are so much faster than what many of the rookie drivers are used to driving. To make a mistake at 220 miles per hour has horrendous consequences. It's better if drivers have a chance to work that out at a slower speed. All the team owners in the IRL are very curious to see who wins this first Infiniti Pro Series race."

Race Information
The Ameristar Casino Indy 200 at Kansas Speedway starts at 1 p.m. (EDT) July 7. The race will be televised live on ABC and by the Indy Racing Radio Network. Practice and qualifying takes place on July 6. Live timing and scoring of all on-track activity can be found on www.indyracing.com.

Red Bull Cheever Racing, based in Indianapolis, is the brainchild of 1998 Indy 500 champion Eddie Cheever Jr. A leader in American motorsports, the Indy Racing League team is built on Cheever's experience in Formula One, sports cars and open-wheel oval racing. Corporate and technical partnerships with the world's leading energy drink Red Bull, Nissan North America's Infiniti Division, TWR Group, and Lincoln Financial Group greatly enhance the team's resources and technology. For more information, visit www.cheeverindyracing.com.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Tomas Scheckter , Eddie Cheever