IRL: Oldsmobile Texas Race Report

OLDSMOBILE TAKES TRUE VALUE 500 IRL Aurora V8 Stands Tall in Texas with Top 18 Drivers and 12th Straight Victory in IRL Series Fort Worth, Texas; June 6, 1998 -- Oldsmobile scored its second consecutive...


IRL Aurora V8 Stands Tall in Texas with Top 18 Drivers and 12th Straight Victory in IRL Series

Fort Worth, Texas; June 6, 1998 -- Oldsmobile scored its second consecutive True Value 500 victory and its 12th straight win in Pep Boys Indy Racing League competition today as Billy Boat led an Oldsmobile sweep of the top 18 positions in the series' return to the reconfigured Texas Motor Speedway. Twenty-six of the 28 starters (93% of the field) used Oldsmobile's production-based IRL Aurora V8 engine. Boat posted his first career IRL victory in A.J. Foyt's Oldsmobile-powered Dallara, averaging 145.388 mph over the 208-lap contest. He held off runner-up Greg Ray on the final lap by .928 seconds. Boat's teammate Kenny Brack of Sweden was third.

"The whole A.J. Foyt/Conseco team, Oldsmobile, our engine builder Katech, and Goodyear did a great job tonight," said Boat, 32, of Phoenix. "I had a race car that I could drive the wheels off of. I wanted this one bad; we came here with a lot of incentive. Last year I left a winner, and woke up a second place finisher. I didn't want that to happen again."

The frontrunners ran laps at over 228 mph, the fastest speeds ever recorded by the new-generation IRL Indy cars. "We were running in the draft, and we had better weather conditions tonight than we did during qualifying," Boat explained. "You've got to drive so hard on these mile-and-a-half tracks to stay in the lead pack. I ran with throttle wide open for most of the race. My engine did a great job in holding up to that abuse."

After a surprising front-row qualifying performance at the Indy 500, unheralded Greg Ray picked up sponsorship from AT&T Wireless Services and came within a second of scoring his first Indy car victory. "We didn't put this car in the winner's circle, but for our team, this is a victory," said Ray, a resident of nearby Plano. "I ran the entire race flat-out except when I was in traffic. The Aurora engine did great, and I can't say enough about the guys at Brayton Engineering -- I can't believe how well they build our motors. We feel we have a good program and a good package. Our suppliers are giving our small team a little extra help, and I hope we're making them proud."

Oldsmobile's production-based IRL Aurora V8 dominated the 500-kilometer (312-mile) race on the high-banked 1.5-mile Texas oval, leading all 208 laps. Boat led a total of 108 laps, followed by polewinner Tony Stewart who led 57 circuits before dropping out with a split radiator tank. Only two engine problems were reported among the 26 Oldsmobile starters.

Seventeen of the 18 cars running at the finish were powered by IRL Aurora V8 engines. Five independent Oldsmobile engine builders were represented in the top six finishers: Katech (winner Billy Boat and third-place Kenny Brack); Brayton Engineering (runner-up Greg Ray and fifth-place Scott Sharp); Speedway Engine Development (fourth-place Scott Goodyear) and Team Menard (sixth-place Robbie Buhl).

The next event for the IRL Aurora V8 will be the New Hampshire 200 at New Hampshire International Speedway in Loudon, N.H., on June 28.


Top Five Finishers: Driver Entrant Engine Laps 1. Billy Boat A.J. Foyt Ent. Oldsmobile 208 2. Greg Ray Thomas Knapp Mtrspt Oldsmobile 208 3. Kenny Brack A.J. Foyt Ent. Oldsmobile 208 4. Scott Goodyear Panther Racing Oldsmobile 208 5. Scott Sharp Nienhouse Mtrspt Oldsmobile 208

Pole:  Tony Stewart/Oldsmobile/224.448 mph
Fastest Lap:  Billy Boat/Oldsmobile/228.012 mph

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Tony Stewart , Greg Ray , Robbie Buhl , Scott Sharp , Billy Boat , Scott Goodyear , Kenny Brack , A.J. Foyt
Teams Panther Racing