IRL: Phoenix: Cheever Racing preview

Bombardier ATV Copper World Indy 200 Race 2 of 15, Indy Racing League Championship Phoenix International Raceway, Avondale, Ariz. March 11, 2002 Red Bull Cheever Racing Makes Organizational Changes Red Bull Cheever Racing General Manager...

Bombardier ATV Copper World Indy 200
Race 2 of 15, Indy Racing League Championship
Phoenix International Raceway, Avondale, Ariz.

March 11, 2002 Red Bull Cheever Racing Makes Organizational Changes

Red Bull Cheever Racing General Manager Richard Caron recently made the following organizational changes in effect for the Phoenix race and the remainder of the season:

* Owen Snyder III will be the chief mechanic for the No. 52 Red Bull Cheever Racing Infiniti driven by Tomas Scheckter. Snyder, who joined the team in 1997, was formerly the chief mechanic for Eddie Cheever Jr.

* Paul Burgess will be the race engineer for the No. 52 car driven by Tomas Scheckter. Burgess was the race engineer for Cheever at Miami. He joined the team this year as Technical Director.

* Dave Meehan will be the chief mechanic for the No. 51 Red Bull Cheever Racing Infiniti driven by Eddie Cheever Jr. Meehan was the chief mechanic of the No. 52 car at Miami. He joined the team in 2001.

* Len Paskus will be the race engineer for the No. 51 car driven by Eddie Cheever Jr. Paskus was the race engineer for the No. 52 car at Miami. He joined the team this year.

Caron said, "After reviewing our performance at Homestead-Miami Speedway we decided that we needed to mix things up a little in the team. Owen (Snyder III) has done a phenomenal job working with Eddie (Cheever Jr.), but we feel his Indy Racing experience would be more valuable in training our young, rookie driver Tomas (Scheckter). Paul Burgess, as the race engineer, works well with Owen, so they will both move to the No. 52 Red Bull Cheever Racing Infiniti. Len Paskus and Dave Meehan, who both joined Cheever Racing in the past year, have proven to be remarkable new talent. Eddie has the experience in this group, but some fresh ideas from this pair will help revitalize the crew of the No. 51 Red Bull Cheever Racing Infiniti."

Eddie Cheever Jr. on Phoenix

Cheever heads to Phoenix 25th in the point standings, after an accident with teammate, Tomas Scheckter, took him out of the Miami race on lap three. Cheever qualified fourth at Miami, and looks forward to a strong run at Phoenix.

"We have gone west to Phoenix two times since the end of last season. We have improved with each test. There are two tracks that Hornish performed impeccably on last year, Homestead and Phoenix. The No. 4 car is going to be tough to beat. Penske has proven to be well prepared and consistent, but the car and the team to beat now is the one with the Pennzoil colors. If we execute better than we did in Miami, I see both of our cars being a threat for a podium finish."

Cheever was born in Phoenix. In 1989, his final year of Formula One competition, he finished third in the Phoenix Grand Prix with the Arrows-Ford team. Cheever ended his F1 career with 132 starts, the most of any American Grand Prix driver.

Tomas Scheckter on Phoenix

Scheckter, of Cape Town, South Africa, currently leads the IRL Rookie of the Year standings after finishing sixth at Homestead-Miami Speedway. During the Test in the West at Phoenix International Raceway he was among the top-five quickest drivers both days.

"We tested at Phoenix and I feel that we have a good car there. The weather will be a bit different than our test, so we will have to be prepared. I think we will spend more time on the race setup and less on qualifying, in order to have a stronger car for the Phoenix race than we did in Miami. We will look for a good, strong finish for Red Bull Cheever Racing. I want to leave Phoenix higher in the championship than my current sixth place."

Air Force to Assist with Cheever's Race Day Pit Stops

Air Force Senior Airman Mike Nelson, of Rockwell, NC, will join the Red Bull Cheever Racing crew on Sunday to assist with Eddie Cheever Jr.'s pit stops during the IRL race at Phoenix International Raceway. Nelson was invited as part of a promotion by the team to thank the men and women serving in the armed forces.

Red Bull Cheever Racing will invite members of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines to be a part of the crew at each Indy Racing League event leading up to the Indianapolis 500. Cheever was the last American driver to win the Indianapolis 500, and hopes to bring the title back to an American champion in 2002.

Flashback: Cheever's History at Phoenix International Raceway

This will be Eddie Cheever Jr.'s sixth Indy Racing League race at Phoenix International Raceway. He led three of five IRL races at Phoenix, with a best result of 10th in 2000 and 1998.

"After the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Phoenix International Raceway is the circuit with the longest open-wheel racing history. It is always a great race track for battles. A real bullring. It's a lot of fun if your car is handling well, and an absolute nightmare if it's not. I have come very close to winning here many times. I would very much like a winner's trophy from Phoenix before I quit racing."

Cheever, Scheckter to Sign Autographs at SpeedFest Party at Arizona Center

Eddie Cheever Jr. and Tomas Scheckter will join other IRL drivers in an autograph session in downtown Phoenix at the Arizona Center. The event takes place from 7 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, March 14.

Race Information

The Bombardier ATV Copper World Indy 200 starts at 2 p.m. (MST) March 17. The race will be televised live on ABC and by the Indy Racing Radio Network. Practice takes place on March 15, and practice and qualifying is scheduled for March 16. Live timing and scoring of all on-track activity can be found on www.indyracing.com.

-cr-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Tomas Scheckter , Eddie Cheever