Cheever Wins With Infiniti Power at Kansas KANSAS CITY, Kan. (July 8, 2001) -- Eddie Cheever Jr. gave Infiniti its second victory in Indy Racing League competition with an exciting win at the Ameristar Casino Indy 200 at Kansas Speedway. In an...
Cheever Wins With Infiniti Power at Kansas
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (July 8, 2001) -- Eddie Cheever Jr. gave Infiniti its second victory in Indy Racing League competition with an exciting win at the Ameristar Casino Indy 200 at Kansas Speedway.
In an ultra-competitive race, which had eight different leaders, Cheever still managed to dominate the event by leading over half the race (104 laps) with his Infiniti-powered machine. He led the final quarter of the 200-lap race, with the exception of seven laps late in the race when Sam Hornish Jr. got by him using a draft. Cheever was able to pass Hornish back with two laps to go, winning his fifth career Indy Racing victory.
The win marked the first victory for new Infiniti Indy 35A engine, which debuted at Phoenix International Raceway earlier this season. Eddie Cheever Jr. also scored Infiniti's first Indy Racing victory in June 2000 at Pikes Peak with the previous version of the 3.5-liter Infiniti Indy V8 powerplant.
Cheever dominated the entire weekend at the new Kansas Speedway, leading every practice session prior to the race. He earned a career-best second in qualifying, missing the pole position by fractions of a second.
Robbie Buhl was also quick all weekend in Kansas City, running in the top five in every practice session and qualifying fourth. Unfortunately, he retired early from the race with an apparent engine problem on lap 55.
The Harrah's Indy 200 at Nashville Superspeedway on July 21 is next on the schedule for the Indy Racing Northern Light Series. The event will be televised live on ESPN.
Eddie Cheever Jr., No. 51 Cheever Indy Racing Infiniti (Finished 1st): "I'm very proud of the Infiniti engineers. I had an advantage here, and it wasn't superior driving skill. It was the Infiniti powerplant in the back of my car. My engine ran impeccably. Everything was perfect. It was one of those days you want to happen more often than they do. I had a great time today. I'm not embarrassed to say I had an advantage today and it was my engine. If anyone wants one, you can go buy one. They're available. The funny thing is, the last time I had equipment as competitive as this, was when I was running for Renault in Formula One in the early eighties. The top engineer I worked with then (Bernard Dudot) is now heading up the Infiniti Indy program, so I've closed the circle here. It's just very satisfying to sit up here today and know that we were the best in Kansas and our whole package was complete. I know I sound like an Infiniti advertisement, but it's because I'm incredibly proud of what they have managed to accomplish."
Robbie Buhl, No. 24 Team Purex Dreyer & Reinbold Racing GForce-Infiniti (Finished 21st): "Something seized up in the motor when I was coming down pit lane. I had an awesome car. It could go high or go low. It's too bad."
Steve Kight, director of marketing and motorsports, Infiniti Division: "We've been knocking on the door since Atlanta and today everything worked. The Cheever Indy Racing team was great, Eddie was great and he drove a super race. The new Infiniti Indy 35A engine was there when we needed it. It's the results of a lot of hard work on the part of our designers in Japan and the work over here on this side. Everything is really coming together. Now that we have won, we'll move on and look forward to winning the next race."