IRL: Pep Boys Indy Racing Weekly Notes 1999-09-23

Goodyear, Pennzoil Panther Racing going for broke at Vegas INDIANAPOLIS, Sept. 23, 1999 - Scott Goodyear and the rest of the Pennzoil Panther Racing team know that it's now or never if they want to win the Pep Boys Indy Racing League ...

Goodyear, Pennzoil Panther Racing going for broke at Vegas

INDIANAPOLIS, Sept. 23, 1999 - Scott Goodyear and the rest of the Pennzoil Panther Racing team know that it's now or never if they want to win the Pep Boys Indy Racing League championship this season. Goodyear lost the points lead to Greg Ray on Aug. 29 after Ray won the Colorado Indy 200 presented by Deloitte & Touche at Pikes Peak International Raceway. It was Ray's third victory in the last four races and catapulted him to a 246-202 lead over second-place Goodyear in the standings. During the same period, Goodyear has four consecutive finishes outside of the top 10 in the Pennzoil Panther G Force/Aurora/Goodyear. So the team knows that it's best, and possibly only, chance to catch Ray will come this weekend during the Vegas.com 500 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. "Second place is not good enough," said Andy Brown, the team's chief engineer. "We are back to the 'Win or put it in the trash bin' mentality. Goodyear Tire is pulling out all the stops for this race, and we're going to capitalize on that fact." More engine tests: Treadway Racing and driver Sam Schmidt tested a 3.5-liter Oldsmobile Aurora engine last weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway as the team and the engine manufacturer continue to hone the new-formula engine for the 2000 season and beyond. Schmidt and the team completed approximately 250 trouble-free miles with the engine, built by Comptech. Oldsmobile continues to perform dyno tests in its continuing development of the engine, which will make its competitive debut at the start of the 2000 season. Making the dream a reality: Adam Gardner, 15, always has dreamed about driving in the Indianapolis 500. But his father, Frank, opposed the idea until a visit from Scott Goodyear on the nationally syndicated "Jenny Jones Show" helped to change his mind. Goodyear talked with Adam and his father last week during a taping of the show that featured teen-agers whose parents don't support their dreams. The Gardners then accepted Goodyear's invitation to be his guest during the Vegas.com 500 this weekend. The Gardners will watch PPG Pole qualifying Saturday, visit the garages, meet the drivers and take a lap in the Oldsmobile Pace Car, courtesy of Panther Racing sponsor Nortel. Then Adam and his father will watch the race from the Indy Racing League suite. The show featuring Goodyear and the Gardners is scheduled to be televised Oct. 1. Tough times on the road: Indianapolis 500 veterans Lyn St. James and Jeret Schroeder had a shorter day than planned in the Petit Le Mans last weekend at Road Atlanta. The Supreme Exhaust System Products-Purity Farms-Racer Parts Wholesale-Goodyear Riley & Scott car retired after about one-third of the 10-hour sports-car race due to problems with the engine management system. St. James, Schroeder and Tom Volk combined to complete 65 laps in the car fielded by TRV Motorsport, finishing 48th overall. Pep Boys Indy Racing League team owner Dick Simon substituted for regular team engineer Scott Greene during this event. Simon also will help the team at the American Le Mans Series event Oct. 10 at Laguna Seca Raceway in Monterey, Calif. Hot laps: Mel Harder, Indianapolis Motor Speedway director of facility operations, was among more than 300 riders who participated Sept. 14-18 in the annual Colorado 500 charity motorcycle ride. The ride, organized by retiring CART chief steward Wally Dallenbach, aims to benefit charities and schools throughout Colorado. Riders stopped to make charity and safety presentations at schools throughout Colorado. TeamXtreme chief engineer Mark Weida also participated in the ride ? Pep Boys Indy Racing League standout Billy Boat will participate in a chat session at 8:30 p.m. (EDT) Sept. 24 to talk about his season in the Harrah's A.J. Foyt Racing Dallara/Aurora/Goodyear and his chances in the Vegas.com 500 this weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway ? Pennzoil Panther Racing crew chief Kevin Blanch finished 26th overall in the Big Bucks Bass Regional fishing tournament Sept. 10-12 at Shelbyville, Ill. Blanch will fish again in the Javelin Stratus Team Owners tournament Oct. 8-9.

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Wally Dallenbach Sr. , Greg Ray , Billy Boat , Scott Goodyear , Jeret Schroeder , Sam Schmidt , Lyn St. James , Dick Simon , A.J. Foyt
Teams Panther Racing