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For Immediate Release Entry List & Schedule Follow TONY STEWART LEADS IRL POINTS BATTLE GOING INTO PENNZOIL 200 RACE INDIANAPOLIS, August 7, 1997 -- Tony Stewart leads the pack of contenders in a close...

For Immediate Release Entry List & Schedule Follow

TONY STEWART LEADS IRL POINTS BATTLE GOING INTO PENNZOIL 200 RACE

INDIANAPOLIS, August 7, 1997 -- Tony Stewart leads the pack of contenders in a close battle for the Indy Racing League driver points lead heading to the $1 million-plus Pennzoil 200 at New Hampshire International Speedway on Aug. 15 - 17.

After his seventh place finish at the VisionAire 500, Stewart, who won his first IRL race at Pikes Peak, Colo. in June, took over the IRL driver points lead from Davey Hamilton, who now trails Stewart by just seven points.

VisionAire race winner Buddy Lazier is listed on an entry for the Pennzoil 200, as is 1997 Indianapolis 500 and True Value 500 winner Arie Luyendyk. The two veteran "500" champions are currently in sixth and seventh positions in IRL driver points standings with Lazier leading Luyendyk by only one point.

The drivers in third to tenth positions are separated only by a total of 20 points, with Indy 200 at Walt Disney World 1997 race winner Eddie Cheever, Jr., currently in third place.

Marco Greco, in fourth place in the standings, is listed on an entry, as is his teammate Kenny Brack. Stewart's teammate Robbie Buhl is also entered for the Pennzoil 200, as is Luyendyk's partner Scott Goodyear, just seven points behind in eighth place.

Buzz Calkins, the IRL's 1996 IRL co-champion, in fifth place in the driver standings, is also bidding for his second IRL win, and the first of the 96-97 season.

Veteran driver Roberto Guerrero is currently in ninth position heading into the Pennzoil 200, while Mike Groff rounds out the top 10, just two points behind.

Stephan Gregoire, who had his best IRL finish of second place at the Samsonite 200 in Pikes Peak, Colo. is 11th in points, followed by Jim Guthrie in 12th, the top IRL rookie so far points-wise. Eliseo Salazar, in 13th place, trails Guthrie by only three points.

John Paul, Jr., who finished 11th at the VisionAire 500, is in 16th place in driver points, with rookie Billy Boat, who finished second at the Charlotte race, trailing by two points. Mark Dismore is pursuing Boat, behind by only six points.

Rookie Affonso Giaffone is listed on an entry for the Pennzoil 200, as are Robbie Groff, Vincenzo Sospiri, Greg Ray, Jimmy Kite, Dr. Jack Miller and Sam Schmidt.

The Pennzoil 200 race weekend begins with IRL practice on Friday, August 15, followed by PPG Pole qualifying on August 16 from 12:15 - 1:15 p.m. (EDT), live on Speedvision. The Pennzoil 200 will be aired on ABC on Sunday, August 17 at 4 p.m.(EDT), and on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network at 3 p.m. (EDT). Race tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling the NHIS ticket office at 603/783-4931.

..IRL97-28..

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Tony Stewart , Buzz Calkins , Greg Ray , Eddie Cheever , Robbie Buhl , Eliseo Salazar , Buddy Lazier , Stephan Gregoire , Davey Hamilton , Arie Luyendyk , Billy Boat , Mark Dismore , Scott Goodyear , Roberto Guerrero , Jimmy Kite , Kenny Brack , Sam Schmidt , John Paul , Vincenzo Sospiri , Jack Miller