IRL: Pep Boys IRL Weekly Notes 98-02-10

PEP BOYS INDY RACING LEAGUE WEEKLY NOTEBOOK INDIANAPOLIS, Feb. 10, 1998 - Notes and quotes from the Pep Boys Indy Racing League: PDM to field second car at Phoenix: PDM Racing Inc. plans to field a second car for an ...

PEP BOYS INDY RACING LEAGUE WEEKLY NOTEBOOK

INDIANAPOLIS, Feb. 10, 1998 - Notes and quotes from the Pep Boys Indy Racing League:

PDM to field second car at Phoenix: PDM Racing Inc. plans to field a second car for an undetermined IRL rookie at the Phoenix 200 on March 22 at Phoenix International Raceway, team owner Paul Diatlovich said.

Four rookies are being considered for the seat, Diatlovich said. The selected driver will take his IRL rookie test Feb. 19 at Phoenix. One of the veteran observers during the test will be PDM's primary driver, John Paul Jr.

The selected rookie will take his test in a unique fashion that has become the trademark of PDM. The driver will attempt the first three phases of his test in a Lola/Buick before taking the final phase in a G Force/Aurora that the team uses in IRL competition. PDM, with input from Paul, sets up the Lola/Buick to closely resemble a G Force/Aurora, Diatlovich said.

Twenty-eight drivers have passed their IRL rookie test with PDM through this unique program, including IRL veterans Dr. Jack Miller, Robbie Groff and Tyce Carlson. USAC standouts Jack Hewitt, Jim Keeker and Pat Abold also have passed their IRL rookie tests through PDM.

"We don't have an endless supply of engines," Diatlovich said. "This still gets the driver used to the power and handling of a rear-engine race car."

***

Goodyear sets test roster: Five IRL drivers - Buzz Calkins, Eddie Cheever Jr., Scott Goodyear, Scott Sharp and Jeff Ward -- are scheduled to participate in a Goodyear tire test Wednesday and Thursday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

***

El Nino strikes IRL race team: The entire Thomas Knapp Motorsports team, based north of San Francisco in Novato, Calif., received an unexpected holiday Feb. 5-6 due to the torrential rains battering California.

Heavy flooding made it too dangerous to travel to the race shop.

"None of us have Bigfoot to drive to work," team spokesman Marshall Pruett said.

The team returned to work Feb. 9. The shop suffered no damage during the heavy rain, Pruett said.

***

Hamilton wins USAC race: 1996-97 IRL runner-up Davey Hamilton is making the most of the two-month break between IRL events, as he won the 30-lap USAC Western States midget feature Feb. 7 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Hamilton passed Rick Hendrix for the lead on Lap 14 and led the rest of the way on the 3/8-mile paved oval. Hamilton took the lead in the Western States midget points standings with the victory.

***

Next event: Phoenix 200, March 22, Phoenix International Raceway. Tickets are available at (602) 252-2227.

World Wide Web: http://www.indyracingleague.com

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Buzz Calkins , Jeff Ward , Davey Hamilton , Scott Sharp , Scott Goodyear , Tyce Carlson , Jack Hewitt , John Paul , Rick Hendrix , Jack Miller