IRL: Kentucky: Cheever Racing race notes

Cheever salvages 11th-place finish for Red Bull Cheever Racing at Kentucky. Red Bull Cheever Racing drivers Eddie Cheever Jr. and Buddy Rice came back from various setbacks to finish 11th and 12th Sunday in the Belterra Resort 300 at Kentucky ...

Cheever salvages 11th-place finish for Red Bull Cheever Racing at Kentucky.

Red Bull Cheever Racing drivers Eddie Cheever Jr. and Buddy Rice came back from various setbacks to finish 11th and 12th Sunday in the Belterra Resort 300 at Kentucky Speedway. Tomas Scheckter finished 22nd after a crash on lap 89.

Cheever ran as high as sixth in the 200-lap race on the 1.5-mile Kentucky Speedway. He was in seventh prior to his final pit stop when he entered the pits several laps early because of a blistered tire. A yellow flag came out ten laps later and the rest of the field pit. Restarting from the back of the pack, Cheever charged to the front to salvage an 11th-place finish in the No. 51 Red Bull Cheever Racing Infiniti.

"I had a great car those last 40 laps," Cheever said. "I could go anywhere on the track. It was a shame we had to pit for that tire, but it was the right decision considering the alternative."

In his second IRL race Phoenix native Buddy Rice ran as high as fourth. A tire cut by debris on lap 123 sent his car into a spin. Rice recovered brilliantly, saving the car from hitting anything, but dropped to 17th place.

"That put us a lot further behind than we wanted to be," Rice said. "We were trying to stay right there out of the top five until the end and then make a charge. The puncture put us too far back."

Rice fought back to finish 12th in the No. 53 Red Bull Infiniti.

After a black flag penalty on lap four for jumping the start, Scheckter raced the No. 52 Red Bull Infiniti to ninth place, setting the fastest lap of the race (221.109 mph) in the process. On lap 89 he spun, collecting Airton Dare, and crashed into the turn two wall after the team failed to call him in quickly enough for a blistered tire.

"I didn't realize my right rear tire went," Scheckter said. "It just felt a little bit laggy, and I called in thinking it was an engine problem. (Airton) Dare called it in before the accident, but unfortunately I didn't get the message in time."

Red Bull Cheever Racing will try again in the next Indy Racing League event Aug. 25 at Gateway International Raceway at Madison, Ill.

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 , Airton Daré , Buddy Rice