IRL: Lazier Texas preview

FORT WORTH-DALLAS (June 1, 2001) -- A champion's road is never an easy one. Not in getting to the top, nor staying there. Buddy Lazier's rise to the top of the Indy Racing Northern Light Series was a year-long challenge in 2000, culminated only...

FORT WORTH-DALLAS (June 1, 2001) -- A champion's road is never an easy one. Not in getting to the top, nor staying there. Buddy Lazier's rise to the top of the Indy Racing Northern Light Series was a year-long challenge in 2000, culminated only on the final day of the season at Texas Motor Speedway last October. After a winter of reflecting on his accomplishment, Lazier has been busy each week since March defending his honor as champion during the 2001 campaign.

"It is a huge accomplishment," Lazier says of his 2000 championship season. "It exceeded all my expectations. I had no idea I was going to be so busy in the off-season. Winning the series championship, in a league that is still so young, has really enlightened me as to the significance of what this series is all about. I have put a ton of extra pressure on myself this year, which I don't think is a good thing. When you win a race championship, the level of expectations of the race team, and what a driver expects of himself, go up. It all depends on how well we take advantage of the opportunities presented to us each week." Buddy Lazier has worked a long time in open wheel racing to get to this point. His steady, methodical, determined approach to each season and each race is what has carried him to the top. And, as he is the first to admit, likes it there and would like to be the first driver to repeat as the series champion. Consistency is the key to doing that. And, Lazier is looking for that at the Casino Magic 500 on June 9.

"Texas is a pivotal part of the championship because we race there twice," Lazier says. "How a team and a driver do at Texas will either pave the road to a championship or take it away."

Sharp is hoping for more of that in this year's Casino Magic 500 on Saturday night, June 9.

Tickets for the Casino Magic 500 and the June 8 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series O'Reilly 400 are available by calling the speedway ticket hotline at (817) 215-8500, on line at www.texasmotorspeedway.com, or at participating Ticketmaster locations. Free qualifying night tickets for the trucks and Indy cars on Thursday night, June 7, are available at participating Fort Worth-Dallas Diamond Shamrock and 7-11 stores, and Brookshire Bros. Supermarkets in East Texas.

-TMS

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Buddy Lazier