IRL: New Infiniti 35A in top ten at Phoenix qualifying

Phoenix, Ariz. (March 17, 2001) -- Robbie Buhl's Dreyer & Reinbold Racing crew pulled an "all-nighter" to qualify the No. 24 Team Purex GForce, with the new Infiniti Indy 35A engine, eighth for the Pennzoil Copper World Indy 200 at Phoenix ...

Phoenix, Ariz. (March 17, 2001) -- Robbie Buhl's Dreyer & Reinbold Racing crew pulled an "all-nighter" to qualify the No. 24 Team Purex GForce, with the new Infiniti Indy 35A engine, eighth for the Pennzoil Copper World Indy 200 at Phoenix International Raceway on March 18.

Buhl's team, which received their new Infiniti engine early Friday evening after a shipping delay, spent the entire night installing the engine into their car. After running 60 trouble-free laps in the morning practice session on the one-mile Phoenix oval, Buhl took the new Infiniti engine out for qualifying. With an average speed of 173.114 mph, Buhl landed eighth on the 27-car starting grid for Sunday's race.

Eddie Cheever Jr., who was fourth fastest overall in practice on Friday, qualified 12th in the No. 51 Excite@Home Infiniti with a 172.661 mph lap.

The Pennzoil Copper World Indy 200 will be televised live on ABC at 4 p.m. (EST) March 18. The Indy Racing 2Day pre-race show will air live at 11:30 a.m. (EST).

Robbie Buhl, No. 24 Team Purex Dreyer & Reinbold Racing GForce-Infiniti: "The guys worked all night last night. We got our new motor from Infiniti last night and they literally worked through the night. It's great to have things work like they did. The new motor didn't miss a beat when we ran this morning, and we knew there was more in it for qualifying. We like what we have for a race car. Considering all the circumstances, a top-ten (in qualifying) says a lot for the Dreyer & Reinbold/Purex crew."

Eddie Cheever Jr., No. 51 Excite@Home Dallara-Infiniti: "We've been working a lot on our race set-up - this is a very difficult place - so our qualifying is not a big issue. This new Infiniti is going to be a good engine. The 35A has run well with no reliability problems. It's hard to get a good balance on empty tanks but I think the #51 Excite@Home car will be fine in the race. We just needed a few more laps to get the tire temperatures up. The wind was a bit goofy out there today, but it was the same for everyone.""

Steve Kight, Director of Marketing, Infiniti Division: "We had two good, clean qualifying runs. Given the limited experience we had with the new engine it is thrilling to see the position we are on the grid, especially with Robbie Buhl. Everyone worked all night last night to get the motor in the car, and then they went out today, with very little experience, and qualified eighth. That's outstanding for both the new Infiniti engine, and for what that says about the Dreyer & Reinbold Racing team. We are really excited about the race tomorrow."

Eagle-eyed fans--and fellow Indy Racing competitors--will notice a unique "bumper sticker" on Eddie Cheever Jr.'s race car on Sunday. Cheever declares "My other car is a Q45" on the rear-wing of his Infiniti-powered entry. The DOHC 32-valve V8 Infiniti Indy 35A - built with the same passion for performance as the Infiniti Q45 performance luxury sedan - will make its race debut at the Phoenix season opener.

-Nissan USA

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Eddie Cheever , Robbie Buhl
Teams Dreyer & Reinbold Racing