LEBANON, Tenn., Saturday, July 21, 2001 - Buddy Lazier pulled closer to Indy Racing Northern Light Series points leader Sam Hornish Jr. after winning the Harrah's Indy 200 on July 21 before a sellout crowd at Nashville Superspeedway. Lazier ...
LEBANON, Tenn., Saturday, July 21, 2001 - Buddy Lazier pulled closer to Indy Racing Northern Light Series points leader Sam Hornish Jr. after winning the Harrah's Indy 200 on July 21 before a sellout crowd at Nashville Superspeedway.
Lazier remains in second in the Northern Light Cup standings after the victory but pulled to within 40 points of Hornish, who finished sixth. Hornish led by 60 points entering this event.
"We're going to do everything we can," Lazier said of his effort to repeat as series champion. "The Pennzoil Panther team, Sam Hornish, they've had a great season. But there are still five races left, and we're going to give it everything we've got. This team is starting to pick up a lot of momentum."
It was the third victory of the season for 1996 Indianapolis 500 winner Lazier in the No. 91 Tae-Bo/Coors Light/Delta Faucet Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone and his third in the last four races. He averaged 144.809 mph in the 266-mile event.
Lazier also earned his seventh career victory, an Indy Racing League record.
Billy Boat finished a season-best second on the 1.33-mile concrete oval in the No. 98 CURB Records Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone.
Jaques Lazier - Buddy Lazier's younger brother - finished a career-best third in the No. 99 Sam Schmidt Motorsports Racing Special Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone. Jaques Lazier crashed in Turn 2 on the final lap but was unhurt and was credited with third place.
Buddy Lazier took the lead for good on Lap 177 when leader Robby McGehee made his final pit stop. He then cruised to victory by 10.6293 seconds over Boat.
Lazier led five times for 71 of the 200 laps. He passed Boat for the lead in Turn 4 on Lap 148. Lazier lost the lead only once more when he made his final pit stop on Lap 174, taking the top spot for good three laps later.
Hornish dominated the first half of the race in his No. 4 Pennzoil Panther Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone, leading 86 of the first 110 laps. But he was slowed by engine injector problems in the second half of the race.
Nineteen of the 21 starters were still running at Lap 103 when six drivers were involved in an accident in Turn 2 and the back straightaway. The accident started when MBNA Pole Winner Greg Ray and Eddie Cheever Jr. touched in Turn 2, and then Mark Dismore, Al Unser Jr., Airton Dare and Donnie Beechler became tangled in the mishap. None of the drivers was hurt.
The next Indy Racing Northern Light Series event is the Belterra Casino Resort Indy 300 on Aug. 12 at Kentucky Speedway.