OLDSMOBILE POLE NOTES: 19 Straight for IRL Aurora V8 Las Vegas; October 10, 1998 - Oldsmobile's IRL Aurora V8 won its 19th consecutive pole today as the Pep Boys Indy Racing League prepared to stage its season finale at Las Vegas Motor...
OLDSMOBILE POLE NOTES: 19 Straight for IRL Aurora V8
Las Vegas; October 10, 1998 - Oldsmobile's IRL Aurora V8 won its 19th consecutive pole today as the Pep Boys Indy Racing League prepared to stage its season finale at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Oldsmobile engines have started on the pole in every IRL race since the series introduced its 4.0-liter engine formula in January 1997.
Oldsmobile can extend the IRL Aurora V8's winning streak to 19 consecutive victories tomorrow. Oldsmobile has already clinched its second consecutive IRL Manufacturers Championship.
Billy Boat sailed to his fourth straight pole, his sixth of the season, and the seventh of his career in A.J. Foyt's Oldsmobile-powered Dallara. Boat became the first driver in IRL history to win four consecutive poles. He won poles in Indianapolis, Loudon, Pikes Peak, Atlanta, Fort Worth, and Las Vegas in 1998.
Boat set the LVMS track qualifying record for new-formula IRL cars at 214.567 mph, eclipsing the 207.413 mph qualifying mark he set last October by 7.154 mph.
Oldsmobile's IRL Aurora V8 dominated qualifying for the Las Vegas 500K as the 17 fastest drivers relied on Oldsmobile power. The fastest Nissan driver qualified 18th with a speed 6.3 mph slower than Boat's pole-winning lap.
Twenty-six of the 28 starters (93% of the field) for the Las Vegas 500K are using Oldsmobile engines.
Tony Stewart will start Team Menard's Olds-powered Dallara on the outside of the front row after qualifying at 212.934 mph.
The 20 fastest qualifiers all bettered the previous qualifying record.
Less than one second separated the 21 fastest qualifiers.
The four fastest qualifiers represent four different Oldsmobile engine builders: Katech, Inc. (polewinner Billy Boat); Team Menard (Tony Stewart, outside front row); Roush Technologies (Marco Greco, inside second row), and Brayton Engineering (Greg Ray, outside second row).
OLDSMOBILE QUALIFYING QUOTES:
Billy Boat, polewinner: "Katech is constantly doing development on our Oldsmobile motors, and it seems like they find two or three horsepower every time we come to a race. Over the course of the year, those little gains add up. They've been doing a fantastic job for us. We've had such solid results in the motor department that engines are one thing we don't have to worry about. It's comforting when you can drive the car down into the corner and not have to worry about something breaking."
(Why was your pole lap so much faster this year?) "The increase in speed over last year is a combination of things. With the development in the motor programs, everyone is making more power. We've got better tires and better race cars. They're all incremental gains that you build on. We've been an average of 5 mph faster at every track we've run this year."
(Why were you faster in qualifying than you were in practice?) "We didn't have a race car that was right since we arrived. We made some pretty dramatic changes to our setup this morning, and got close, but not real comfortable. We were loose this morning, so I knew that when the race track heated up, it should come to us. It did, and I was able to run the car as hard as I could run it. That's where the speed came from."
(Does winning four poles compensate a little for what you've gone through this year?) "There are a lot of guys shooting for us every time we roll out to qualify, so it's good that we've been able to repeat. Now we need to back it up with some good race results."
(Will you try to help your teammate Kenny Brack tomorrow?) "My job will be to get out front and go. I want to push anyone who might be in competition for the championship, try to set the fastest pace we can, and make everyone run hard. Kenny's going to run his own race, and he knows what he has to do. I really don't have anything to lose. I can be as aggressive as I want and be the rabbit."
(Have you fully recovered from your injuries earlier this season?) "In the race car, I feel 110 percent. Out of the race car, every time I take a step, it reminds me that it's there. The gains I was seeing in a day or a week I'm now seeing in a month."
TV TIME. The Las Vegas 500K will be televised live on TNN on Sunday, October 11, at 4:00 p.m. EDT.
LAS VEGAS 500K TOP FIVE QUALIFIERS
Driver Entrant Engine Speed 1. Billy Boat A.J. Foyt Ent. Oldsmobile 214.567 mph 2. Tony Stewart Team Menard Oldsmobile 212.934 3. Marco Greco Phoenix Racing Oldsmobile 212.331 4. Greg Ray Thomas Knapp Mtspt Oldsmobile 212.272 5. Robbie Buhl Team Menard Oldsmobile 212.047