Ameristar Casino Indy 200 Postscript Foyt back on winning track; Caviezel does Pace Car duty KANSAS CITY, Kan., Monday, July 8, 2002 -- When A.J. Foyt greeted Kenny Brack in Victory Lane on May 30, 1999, at the 83rd Indianapolis 500, Foyt...
Ameristar Casino Indy 200 Postscript
Foyt back on winning track; Caviezel does Pace Car duty
KANSAS CITY, Kan., Monday, July 8, 2002 -- When A.J. Foyt greeted Kenny Brack in Victory Lane on May 30, 1999, at the 83rd Indianapolis 500, Foyt probably didn't figure that his next Indy Racing win would come 39 races and more than three years later.
Foyt and his team ended their dry spell July 7 at Kansas Speedway in a dominating way, with two victories. First, his grandson A.J. Foyt IV won the inaugural Indy Racing Infiniti Pro Series event after starting on the pole.
Then one of Foyt's Indy Racing drivers, Airton Dare, took the lead from Sam Hornish Jr. on Lap 198 of the 200-lap Ameristar Casino Indy 200 and drove to his first career IRL victory.
"All I can say is to have something like today is like being at Harrah's Casino and hitting a double jackpot," said Foyt, who has Harrah's as a primary sponsor for both Dare and Foyt IV. "Both boys drove a hell of a race, and what else can I ask for?"
Foyt never lost sight of Victory Lane during the dry spell and insists his team was competitive before Dare's victory at Kansas.
"I think we were in contention all year," Foyt said. "On two or three different occasions, we were up there. The way I look at it when I look at my whole career, I look over the last five years: won Indy (1999, Brack), won two championships (1996, Scott Sharp and 1998, Brack), two seconds. So I can't say we have had a bad year just because maybe six months you are going to run into a dry spell."
Ending the dry spell was sweet for Foyt, but Dare winning in Kansas City was a bit ironic, too. Foyt captured his first open-wheel victory in the Kansas City area in 1957. He went on to win four Indianapolis 500s, seven national driving championships, the Daytona 500 and the Le Mans 24 Hours.
Back to work: While A.J. Foyt IV enjoyed a perfect start to his Indy Racing career by winning the inaugural Indy Racing Infiniti Pro Series race at Kansas Speedway, he still had to go to work after the race. Foyt is the right-front tire changer on Airton Dare's car.
"He said, 'Am I changing the tires still?" A.J. Foyt said of his grandson's question after his victory. "I said, 'You're Airton's right-front tire man, yeah."
Scheckter's bad luck: Tomas Scheckter led the Ameristar Casino Indy 200 at Kansas when he crashed in Turn 2 on Lap 191. MBNA Pole winner Scheckter had led 101 laps, more than any other driver, to win the Marlboro Lap Leader Award.
It's not the first time this season that rookie Scheckter has seen a probable win evaporate late in the race from the seat of his No. 52 Red Bull Cheever Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone.
Scheckter led the 86th Indianapolis 500 when he made contact with the SAFER Barrier in Turn 4 with less than 30 laps to go, ending his day after leading a race-high 85 laps.
At the Boomtown 500 on June 8 at Texas, Scheckter again led the most laps, 107, when his clutch failed while leading on Lap 159. Scheckter, who remains winless, has led 321 laps this season, the third most in the series.
"It's disappointing," Scheckter said. "We just can't seem to get a break. We had an unbelievable weekend with winning the pole and leading so many laps. It was a perfect race up to the last 10 laps.
"With 10 laps to go, I had low tire pressure in the right rear. It deflated, and there was no way I could control the car."
Pace Car duty: Motion picture star Jim Caviezel, who drove the 50th Anniversary Chevrolet Corvette Pace Car at the start of the 86th Indianapolis 500 in May, was on hand at Kansas Speedway to drive the Chevrolet Pace Car to start the Ameristar Casino Indy 200.
Caviezel played the lead role of Tom Chapman in "High Crimes," the hit 20th Century Fox motion picture released in April that also starred Ashley Judd and Morgan Freeman.
He can be seen in the title role of Edmond Dantes in "The Count of Monte Cristo," and is also the star of the upcoming Premiere Distributors/MGM release "Madison," a true story about the 1971 Gold Cup Power Boat championships at Madison, Ind. The motion picture will hit theatres nationwide Aug. 23.
Three close to $1 million: Three more drivers are within striking distance of the $1-million mark in Indy Racing League season money winnings.
Indianapolis 500 champion Helio Castroneves leads the money-winning list with $2,142,465 after nine races, with $1,606,215 of this total coming in one check from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for winning the 86th Indianapolis 500.
Closing in on $1 million are Gil de Ferran ($933,465), Sam Hornish Jr. ($927,815) and Felipe Giaffone ($927,415).
Hornish earned a record $2,477,025 last year when he won the Indy Racing League championship, with $1 million coming in the season-ending league bonus.
Buddy Lazier collected $2,176,200 in his championship season of 2000; Greg Ray $2,061,800 as champion in 1999 and Kenny Brack $2,106,800 in 1998. In the 1996-97 season, Tony Stewart won the championship and purses totaling $1,142,450, but two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Arie Luyendyk was the top money-winner with $2,079,150 although he placed sixth in the final standings.
Facts and figures: Facts and figures from the Ameristar Casino Indy 200:
*This was Airton Dare's first career Indy Racing League victory. He won in his 31st career IRL start.
*Marlboro Team Penske teammates Gil de Ferran and Helio Castroneves are the only drivers to be running at the finish of each race this year.
*The average speed of the Ameristar Casino Indy 200 was 178.527 mph, the second fastest in league history. The record was set in March 2002 at California Speedway, where Sam Hornish Jr. won with an average speed of 179.345 mph.
*Airton Dare was the seventh different winner of the season. Only Sam Hornish Jr. (three victories) and Helio Castroneves (two victories) have won more than once.
*Airton Dare's margin of victory over Sam Hornish Jr. at Kansas Speedway was .1741, the fourth race in 2002 to have a margin of victory of less than a second. In 65 Indy Racing League events, 23 have had finishes of less than one second.
*This was the fifth time in nine IRL races this season that the winner has not assumed the lead until three laps or less were remaining Scott Sharp (Nazareth) and Jeff Ward (Texas) took the lead on the final lap. Sam Hornish Jr. took command with two laps to go at California and Richmond, and Airton Dare took the lead from Hornish at Kansas on Lap 198 of 200.
*Felipe Giaffone finished fourth at Kansas, his seventh consecutive top-six finish.
*Alex Barron finished eighth. He has finished in the top 10 in six consecutive races.