IRL: Orlando Weekend Notes 99-01-24

TransWorld Diversified Services Indy 200 Weekend Notes Walt Disney World Speedway January 22-24, 1999 David Reininger - Motorsport News International Eddie Cheever won the Indy 200 at Walt Disney World Speedway from the 13th starting position.

TransWorld Diversified Services Indy 200 Weekend Notes Walt Disney World Speedway January 22-24, 1999

David Reininger - Motorsport News International

Eddie Cheever won the Indy 200 at Walt Disney World Speedway from the 13th starting position. When asked about his mediocre qualifying run he quipped, "If I'm not mistaken, qualifying pays $10,000. Winning pays about $150,000." Cheever's crew chief, Owen Snyder has always concentrated on a race setup even back to his days working with Al Unser Jr.

Former Indy Racing League driver Robby Gordon attended the Indy 200 spending time in the Team Menard pits. Gordon and Menard will field a car in the CART Championship series in 1999 with Gordon pulling double duty at Gateway International Raceway and the Indy 500 on the same weekend. "That's the plan," Menard said. "We're going to have our work cut out for us. It helps that Robby has an unbelievable amount of energy."

After struggling most of the weekend, Davey Hamilton brought the Galles Racing G Force home in eighth place. The team made the decision to compete in the Indy 200 just two weeks ago. Hamilton is the only driver to have raced in every IRL event since its inception in 1996.

A. J. Foyt announced a new sponsorship agreement with Harrah's casinos. "We had to develop some kind of relationship with Harrah's," A.J. said with a smile, "we've donated too much money over the years." Harrah's will appear as an associate sponsor on the Foyt cars driven by Kenny Brack and Billy Boat.

Buddy Lazier finished tenth in his Hemelgarn Racing Dallara at Orlando. But there will be no rest for the weary as Buddy Lazier and Ron Hemelgarn will attend a convention for Xerox, one of the team's sponsors. A full pit-stop demonstration will take place at 8:00 a.m. at the Orlando Marriott. At 4:00 p.m. Lazier and Hemelgarn will sign autographs for Xerox employees and guests of the hotel. One of Buddy's cars will be part of national tour for the Xerox Corporation highlighting corporate functions in Phoenix and Santa Ana, Calif. soon.

John Paul Jr. wore a custom-designed, carbon-fiber brace over his broken right thumb this weekend. Paul was injured when the motorcycle he was riding hit some loose gravel and he was separated from his mount. Pins which had been inserted in his thumb were removed prior to the start of the IRL season. Paul will be competing in the Rolex 24 at Daytona next weekend behind the wheel of the No. 2 C5-R Corvette

Championship Auto Racing Auxiliary (CARA Charities) made a $2,000 donation to "The Safe Kid's Program" of the Orlando Regional Medical Center on Sunday. This donation is part of CARA Charities "Buckle Up Bay" campaign. CARA Charities has contributed more than $100,000 to children's hospitals and clinics throughout the country.

Gualter Salles had his team co-owner, Tony Stewart, available for consultation all weekend. On race day, Stewart was high atop the grandstands in turn one working as the team's spotter. Scott Harrington had a former open wheel driver spotting for him too. Calvin Fish volunteered to spot for Scott on race day.

Two drivers drove in both the Indy 200 and the USAC Silver Bullet 50. The Silver Bullet race was halted due to rain on Saturday afternoon and was run immediately following the IRL race on Sunday. Brian Tyler finished 14th in the Indy 200, completing 195 of 200 laps. Tyler rushed to his Silver Bullet car where he finished 6th, on the lead lap. Jason Leffler, the 1998 Silver Bullet series champion, was credited with two laps in his IRL debut after spinning in turn one and making contact with the wall. Leffler finished 8th in the USAC race.

Four Pep Boys Indy Racing League drivers will compete in next weekend's Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway. Arie Luyendyk will defend his 1998 Rolex 24 win driving the Doran/Lista Racing Ferrari 333 SP with co-drivers Mauro Baldi, Didier Theys and Fredy Lienhard. John Paul Jr. and Scott Sharp will pilot a pair of Chevrolet Corvette C5-Rs. Jim Guthrie will be behind the wheel of the RaceStar Haulers Chevrolet Spice.

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Tony Stewart , Jason Leffler , Gualter Salles , Didier Theys , Robby Gordon , Eddie Cheever , Al Unser Jr. , Buddy Lazier , Davey Hamilton , Scott Sharp , Arie Luyendyk , Billy Boat , Jim Guthrie , Kenny Brack , Fredy Lienhard , Mauro Baldi , Calvin Fish , Brian Tyler , Scott Harrington , John Paul