Pole Winner Billy Boatâ€™s Season Ends in Disappointment LAS VEGAS, Nev.: Oct. 11, 1998 - 96 Pole winner Billy Boat led the first 27 laps of the Las Vegas 500K at Las Vegas Motor Speedway today before going out of the race on lap 53 of the...
Pole Winner Billy Boat’s Season Ends in Disappointment
LAS VEGAS, Nev.: Oct. 11, 1998 - 96 Pole winner Billy Boat led the first 27 laps of the Las Vegas 500K at Las Vegas Motor Speedway today before going out of the race on lap 53 of the 208-lap race.
For the sixth time this season, Boat started the race from the pole position in the No. 11 Conseco Dallara/Aurora/Goodyear. His qualifying lap of 214.567 mph earned the Conseco/Foyt team its fourth consecutive pole, a record for the Pep Boys Indy Racing League.
Starting from the front row, Boat immediately took the lead of the 28-car field. He led the first 27 laps, but then dropped back when his car became difficult to handle. He made his first pit stop on lap 46, and the Conseco crew made a few setup changes to the car. Seven laps later, his car spun and backed into the wall between turns three and four.
"We had a great race car at the start of the race and I was very comfortable," Boat said. "After about 30 laps, we started to get loose and I had to slow way down. Then we made a pit stop and changed tires, but the car was still loose. It just jumped out from under me. It looks like I broke my little toe in the accident, but after all I have been through this year that’s a minor injury. I am just glad this year is over."
"I want to thank the crew on the Conseco car," Boat continued. "They have been terrific this season. All the poles we have won and our win at Texas is proof of that. And, I want to congratulate Kenny, A.J. and the Power Team guys for winning the championship. They did a great job this season."
Boat and the Conseco/Foyt team finished 26th in the Las Vegas 500K race. In the Pep Boys Indy Racing League Championship, Boat ended up 13th with 194 points. His A.J. Foyt Enterprises teammate Kenny Brack won the Pep Boys IRL championship with 332 points.