IRL: Olds powers Lazier to second victory

<pre> TOP FIVE FINISHERS: Pos./Driver/Engine Laps 1. Buddy Lazier/Oldsmobile 200 2. Scott Goodyear/Oldsmobile 200 3. Sarah Fisher/Oldsmobile 200 4. Eddie Cheever Jr./Infiniti 200 5. Stephan ...

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TOP FIVE FINISHERS: Pos./Driver/Engine Laps 1. Buddy Lazier/Oldsmobile 200 2. Scott Goodyear/Oldsmobile 200 3. Sarah Fisher/Oldsmobile 200 4. Eddie Cheever Jr./Infiniti 200 5. Stephan Gregoire./Oldsmobile 199

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SPARTA, Ken. - Buddy Lazier took control of his destiny in the race for the Indy Racing Northern Light Series championship with a decisive victory in the inaugural Indy car race at Kentucky Speedway before an announced crowd of 61,214 fans. Lazier became the first two-time winner in eight IRL events this season by a 1.879-second margin over title rival Scott Goodyear. Lazier will take a 38-point lead over Goodyear into the season finale at Texas Motor Speedway on October 15.

Lazier started the 200-lap, 300-mile race seventh on the grid. Twice he was able to rebound after losing positions on pit stops, and he dodged disaster when his gearbox failed as he took the checkered flag.

"It was an incredible day," Lazier declared. "I had to really run the car hard to get back to the front."

GM Racing debuted new high-velocity cylinder heads for the IRL Aurora V8 that played a role in Lazier's victory. "The motor was awesome and the power was perfect," he said. "I've got to thank Oldsmobile for those new pieces."

"We had to win to have a shot at the championship," said a disappointed Goodyear. "Overall it was a good day, a good run, a good show for the fans - we just came up one spot short.

"Buddy runs Speedway engines just like we do, so the reliability is there and the power is there," he continued. "They're an experienced team and they don't make many mistakes."

Sarah Fisher came of age with a career-best third-place finish in her final race as a teenager. Sharp pit strategy by team owner Derrick Walker put the 19-year-old in the lead for nine laps and earned a podium finish.

"I got goose bumps," said Fisher after leading her first laps in an Indy car. "There is a lot to learn, and I'm ready to learn it all."

A 13th place or better finish in Texas will clinch the championship for Lazier. "This is just what we needed," said Lazier, the 1996 Indy 500 winner. "We don't have this championship won, but we do have a good advantage." <pre> RACE SUMMARY:

Track: Kentucky Speedway, 1.5-mile oval Winner: Buddy Lazier, Hemelgarn Racing Delta/Coors Oldsmobile Dallara Margin of Victory: 1.879 seconds Average Speed: 164.601 mph Pole: Scott Goodyear/Oldsmobile, 219.191 mph Fastest Lap: Buddy Lazier/ Oldsmobile, 218.438 mph

Manufacturer Results: Oldsmobile Infiniti Laps Led 200 0 Starters 25 2 Running at Finish 14 2

POINT STANDINGS: (After 8 of 9 events) Driver/Engine Wins Points 1. Buddy Lazier/Olds 2 258 2. Scott Goodyear/Olds 0 220 3. Eddie Cheever/Infiniti 1 217 4. Mark Dismore/Olds 0 186 5. Eliseo Salazar/Olds 0 180

Manufacturer Wins Points 1. Oldsmobile 7 83* 2. Nissan 1 59 *Clinched championship

NEXT RACE:

Excite 500, Texas Motor Speedway, Fort Worth, Texas, October 15

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Sarah Fisher , Eddie Cheever , Eliseo Salazar , Buddy Lazier , Stephan Gregoire , Mark Dismore , Scott Goodyear