IRL: Nashville: Buddy Lazier race report

Accident ends Lazier's night at Nashville. Lebanon, Tenn. - Buddy Lazier, the defending Nashville race winner, was presented with a custom-made Gibson guitar after dominating last year's event at the 1.33-mile, concrete Nashville Superspeedway.

Accident ends Lazier's night at Nashville.

Lebanon, Tenn. - Buddy Lazier, the defending Nashville race winner, was presented with a custom-made Gibson guitar after dominating last year's event at the 1.33-mile, concrete Nashville Superspeedway. At the start of the Firestone Indy 200, team owner Ron Hemelgarn and Lazier had their sights set on starting a band. Unfortunately, Lazier and the Hemelgarn team would have to wait another year after an accident eliminated Lazier on Lap 181.

A top-five finish or possible podium looked to be in the 2000 Indy Racing League champions' future as he attempted to pass the No. 21 driven by Felipe Giaffone. Lazier's No. 91 Coors Light/TaeBo/Life Fitness/Delta Faucet/Dallara/Chevrolet powered chassis drifted into the marbles before making contact, hitting the outside retaining wall with right side of car in Turn 2. When his car came to rest at entrance of Turn 3, a disappointed Lazier climbed from the cockpit. The Colorado native was later released from the trackside medical center without injury.

"I don't like saying anything bad about anyone, but I got cut off several times during the night," Lazier said. I would make a run on two cars, in particular. If I tried to pass them low, they would sweep down low. If I would make a run up high, they would sweep high and block the line. I am very upset. We hit a ton. We've been trying to turn our season around, and tonight we could have very easily had a strong podium (finish). Who knows, in the closing laps maybe we could have dug deep and found more."

After strong practice runs on Friday, it appeared the 1996 Indianapolis 500 winner would be a crowd favorite to win the Indy Racing League's final night race of the 2002 season. But Lazier would finish in 12th, his exact starting position.

Hemelgarn may not have won a guitar with Lazier but his Indy Racing Infiniti Pro Series driver Cory Witherill earned his first Gibson guitar earlier Saturday afternoon while Hemelgarn's second driver, USAC standout Aaron Fike finished third.

"At least we have two guitars to start out band," Hemelgarn said. "We have two more than other teams have."

The Indy Racing League is back in action next weekend at Michigan International Speedway July 28. The 2-mile Superspeedway will host the inaugural Michigan Indy 400.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Felipe Giaffone , Buddy Lazier , Cory Witherill , Aaron Fike