FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 14 STRAIGHT FOR IRL AURORA V8 Oldsmobile Streaks to 14th Consecutive IRL Pole Dover, Del.; July 18, 1998 - Oldsmobile continued its domination of the Pep Boys Indy Racing League series in...
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
14 STRAIGHT FOR IRL AURORA V8 Oldsmobile Streaks to 14th Consecutive IRL Pole
Dover, Del.; July 18, 1998 - Oldsmobile continued its domination of the Pep Boys Indy Racing League series in qualifying today for the Pep Boys 400K as the IRL Aurora V8 won its fourteenth straight pole in the open-wheel series' debut at Dover Downs International Speedway. Oldsmobile has now won the pole at every IRL race since the series introduced its 4.0-liter engine formula in January 1997.
Tony Stewart extended Oldsmobile's perfect qualifying record with a 185.204 mph lap on the 1.0-mile speedway, setting the track record for the IRL's new-generation naturally aspirated race cars and establishing DDIS as the fastest one-mile track on the IRL tour. It was Stewart's eighth career IRL pole and his third of the season; he put Team Menard's Olds-powered Glidden Indy car on the pole in Orlando and Fort Worth earlier this year. Davey Hamilton qualified Nienhouse Motorsport's Oldsmobile-powered G-Force on the outside front row at 182.482 mph.
THE AURORA ADVANTAGE. Oldsmobile dominated qualifying for the Pep Boys 400K, with 20 of the 21 qualifiers (95% of the field) using IRL Aurora V8 engines. The 14 fastest drivers relied on Oldsmobile power.
OLDSMOBILE QUOTES: Tony Stewart, polewinner: "We've got a good race track to run on tomorrow. As far as our lap today, Larry Curry and the guys who work on the car are responsible. I wish I could say that I was worth two or three tenths, but all I had to do was drive the car around. There's an advantage to being on the pole here; while everyone is waiting for the pack to string out, I'm going to try to string it out. We tested here twice and worked on getting up to speed quickly. It normally takes five or six laps to get up to speed, and we could do it in two or three. I'm convinced it's going to be one of the best one-mile oval races of the year."
Larry Curry, Team Menard crew chief: "On a lap with a 185 mph average speed, you're running 187 mph on the straights, so the engines don't get a rest at all. The engine works as hard here as it does at Indy - it turns 10,500 rpm on the straights and 10,200 rpm in the corners. It's going to be a tough deal."
ENGINE BUILDER UPDATE. The three fastest qualifiers represent three different Oldsmobile engine builders: Team Menard (polewinner Tony Stewart); Speedway Engine Development (Davey Hamilton, outside front row); Brayton Engineering (Mark Dismore, inside second row).
AURORA POWER. A typical IRL Aurora V8 engine produces over 700 horsepower - about the same power as a Winston Cup engine - but does it with 32 percent less displacement. An IRL engine displaces 244 cubic inches, while a Winston Cup engine displaces 358 cubic inches. IRL engines rev higher (10,500 rpm vs. 8,800 rpm) and burn methanol fuel instead of gasoline.
TV TIME. The Pep Boys 400K will be televised live on CBS on Sunday, July 19, at 12:00 noon EDT.
FAST ACTION. Things happen fast inside an engine running at 10,500 rpm. At maximum speed, the crankshaft in an IRL Aurora V8 rotates 175 times per second and its spark plugs fire 700 times per second. In a 20-second lap around Dover Downs, each piston will travel one mile around the track and more than one-third of a mile up and down its cylinder.