IRL: Nissan qualifying report from Homestead

Infiniti Grand Prix of Miami Pole Set at Over 200 MPH -Cheever Qualifies Excite@Home Infiniti on Eighth Row- Homestead, Fla. (April 7, 2001) -- Jeff Ward will pace the field in Sunday's Infiniti Grand Prix of Miami, earning the pole position...

Infiniti Grand Prix of Miami Pole Set at Over 200 MPH
-Cheever Qualifies Excite@Home Infiniti on Eighth Row-

Homestead, Fla. (April 7, 2001) -- Jeff Ward will pace the field in Sunday's Infiniti Grand Prix of Miami, earning the pole position today with a 201.551 mph lap. The pole qualifying event was ultra-competitive with only two seconds separating the 26-car field. Infiniti Indy drivers Eddie Cheever Jr. and Robbie Buhl qualified 16th and 23rd, respectively.

Circling the 1.5-mile oval in 27.66 seconds (an average speed of 195.234 mph,) Eddie Cheever was 16th fastest in the No. 51 Excite@Home Dallara-Infiniti-Firestone car. He will start tomorrow's 200-lap race from the outside of the eighth row. In the final practice session, when Indy Racing teams tend to focus on their full-tank race setups, Cheever ranked 9th.

Dreyer & Reinbold Racing experienced a setback in the morning practice session, which required the team to make a quick engine change prior to qualifying. In qualifying, Robbie Buhl's fast lap of 28.01 seconds (an average speed of 192.802 mph) was 23rd fastest of the session, placing him on the 12th row of the starting grid for the Infiniti Grand Prix of Miami.

The Infiniti Grand Prix of Miami will be televised live on ABC at 2 p.m. (EDT) April 8. The "Indy Racing 2Day" pre-race show will air on ESPN2 at 10:30 a.m. A live timing and scoring report for the race will be available on the Internet at www.indyracing.com.

QUOTES

Eddie Cheever Jr., No. 51 Excite@Home Dallara-Infiniti: "I think fuel efficiency is going to be very important in the race tomorrow, and we've made big gains on fuel efficiency with the new Infiniti engine since Phoenix. This is only the second race for the 35A and we've only done about 1000 miles of testing, so we're learning as we go. I'm confident that it's going to be a very good year for us."

Robbie Buhl, No. 24 Team Purex Dreyer & Reinbold Racing GForce-Infiniti: "We only had five laps in the car and had to make an engine change, so we never even got to run on new tires. We gave it the best shot we could under the circumstances. This is only our fourth day running the new Infiniti engine, so we're on a steep learning curve. We're making big strides, however today it was hard to assess gains in the motor specifically, due to our limited time out here."

-Nissan USA-

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