IRL: Pep Boys IRL Weekly Notebook

PEP BOYS INDY RACING LEAGUE WEEKLY NOTEBOOK INDIANAPOLIS, April 27, 1998 - Notes and quotes from the Pep Boys Indy Racing League: Raising the ante: The stakes for the pole at the Indianapolis 500 got higher April 20 when...


INDIANAPOLIS, April 27, 1998 - Notes and quotes from the Pep Boys Indy Racing League:

Raising the ante: The stakes for the pole at the Indianapolis 500 got higher April 20 when Tony Stewart turned a lap of 223.104 mph during testing at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the fastest lap ever by a new-formula Indy Racing League car at the Brickyard. Stewart's fast lap in the Team Menard Dallara/Aurora/Firestone broke the record of 222.657 set by Arie Luyendyk on April 17 during the inaugural Open Test. Stewart's best during the Open Test was 220.550 in the Dallara normally driven by his teammate, Robbie Buhl. Six drivers besides Stewart improved upon their Open Test performances during private testing since April 18 at the Speedway. The drivers, with their best speed overall and date:

Buddy Lazier, 221.992 (April 18) Jimmy Kite, 221.233 (April 18) Robbie Buhl, 220.967 (April 18) Billy Boat, 220.594 (April 19) Jeff Ward, 219.877 (April 18) Paul Durant, 217.828 (April 25)

*** Speedway is a busy place: The Indianapolis Motor Speedway was busier than ever from March 25-April 25, as Pep Boys Indy Racing League teams took advantage of good weather to test for the Indianapolis 500 on May 24. Teams completed approximately 7,350 laps around the 2.5-mile oval or 18,375 miles, said Brian Barnhart, IRL director of racing operations. "I believe this was, without a doubt, the most testing that has ever been done at the Speedway during a one-month period leading up to the Indianapolis 500," Barnhart said. Indianapolis Motor Speedway opened in 1909.


PDM making plans for Indy: PDM Racing, Inc., will make an announcement regarding its drivers for the Indianapolis 500 later this week, team owner Paul Diatlovich said April 27. John Paul Jr. is entered in the team's G Force/Aurora/Goodyear for the Indy 500.

*** Six drivers to participate in 'Rock-n-Roll' autograph session: Six Pep Boys IRL drivers - Sam Schmidt, Davey Hamilton, Tyce Carlson, Jimmy Kite, John Paul Jr. and Robbie Groff - will sign autographs during the "500 Rock-n-Roll Benefit Concert" at 6:15 p.m. on May 18 at the bw-3 club, 8440 Castleton Corner Drive in the Castleton area of Indianapolis. Performing at the concert will be songwriter/musician Larry Crane, Dave & Rae and a special appearance by The Speed Tones, featuring Groff. An auction also will take place. Admission is $2. All proceeds benefit the Indiana Children's Wish Fund, which grants wishes to people ages 3 to 18 diagnosed with terminal or life-threatening illnesses.

KECO Motorsports, based in Indianapolis, is presenting the concert. KECO is a Pep Boys IRL contingency sponsor in 1998.


Putting out the fire: Cold Fire, a fire-suppressing agent produced by Firefreeze Worldwide, Inc., has become the "official fire fighting agent" of the Pep Boys Indy Racing League. Firefreeze first demonstrated Cold Fire in 1994 to Indianapolis Motor Speedway safety personnel, who then began using the product. Pep Boys IRL fire and pit crews will be equipped with Cold Fire in 2.5-gallon, water-pressurized units. Several Pep Boys IRL drivers also use Cold Fire in the fire-extinguishing systems in their race cars. "Our relationship with the Pep Boys IRL is a token of our commitment to the racing industry, a commitment which encompasses our belief and dedication to supply this industry with enhanced fire safety and protection," said Jurgen Giessler, Firefreeze Worldwide, Inc. president. "However, it is also an expression of thanks with respect to the credibility that the league's use of the product lends to Firefreeze Worldwide, Inc. and Cold Fire within the fire service."

*** '500' teams to be honored at luncheon: The Indianapolis Athletic Club Sports Foundation, as part of its Downtown Sports Society Lunch Series, is sponsoring a luncheon for Indianapolis 500 drivers, car owners and officials May 7 at the Indianapolis Athletic Club Grand Ballroom, 350 N. Meridian St. in Indianapolis. The media is welcome to attend. Driver interviews will take place from 11:30 a.m.-noon and from 1:30-2 p.m. at the ballroom, located on the fourth floor of the club. Lunch starts at noon. All patrons, including the media, must have a ticket for the luncheon. Call (317) 634-4331 for ticket information.

*** Next event: Indianapolis 500, May 24, Indianapolis Motor Speedway. General admission tickets for practice and qualifications can be purchased in advance by calling (317) 484-6700. Reserved race tickets are sold out, but general admission tickets are available in advance or at the gate.


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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Tony Stewart , Robbie Buhl , Buddy Lazier , Jeff Ward , Davey Hamilton , Arie Luyendyk , Billy Boat , Jimmy Kite , Sam Schmidt , Tyce Carlson , John Paul , Brian Barnhart