IRL: Phoenix: Cheever Racing race report

Red Bull Cheever Racing Scores Ninth at Phoenix Avondale, Ariz. (March 19, 2005) -- For the second race in a row the Red Bull Cheever Racing crew heads home with smiles on their faces, having earned another top-ten finish in the IRL IndyCar ...

Red Bull Cheever Racing Scores Ninth at Phoenix

Avondale, Ariz. (March 19, 2005) -- For the second race in a row the Red Bull Cheever Racing crew heads home with smiles on their faces, having earned another top-ten finish in the IRL IndyCar Series. Both Red Bull Toyotas drove to the checkered flag at Phoenix International Raceway; Patrick Carpentier in ninth and Alex Barron in 13th place.

Even better news--Red Bull Cheever Racing's consistent runs in the first two events of the 2005 season places them seventh (Carpentier) and 11th in the championship standings.

Driving the No. 83 Red Bull Cheever Racing Dallara/Toyota/Firestone, Carpentier bounced back from an accident in yesterday's practice session to bring the car home in ninth place. On the cool down lap he said to the crew over the radio, "Good job guys. After yesterday, all I wanted to do today was finish the race."

Forced to start from 20th position, due to missing qualifying after the accident on Saturday, Carpentier drove a clean race and with the help of a smart fuel strategy moved into ninth place in the final ten laps of the race.

"Today we had a good day," Carpentier said. "We passed some people and moved up. Iain Watt, my engineer, had a fantastic strategy. We saved a lot of fuel and stayed out of the pits longer. Two races in the top ten. We learned so much this weekend. We are going to move forward and we will get it."

Team owner Eddie Cheever Jr. watched the race from the No. 83 car pit stand.

"Patrick recovered very well from a bad accident yesterday," Cheever said. "He has two races under his belt now. One on a mile-and-a-half oval and a difficult short oval. He did well on both of them . Our cars are still not quick enough, but we improved over Homestead. I am happy to see Toyota win today. We are working hard to be a part of that party very soon."

Alex Barron led the Red Bull Cheever Racing duo for most of the race in the No. 51 car, but was caught out on the same yellow flag that gave Carpentier an advantage on lap 193 of the 200-lap race. Barron came into the pits just seconds before the yellow caution flag waved, while Carpentier was able pit during the caution period.

"The team gave me great pit stops today, but we just had super bad luck when the last yellow came out," Barron said. "We lost several positions on that last stop. I think we would have finished eighth if that yellow came out just a few seconds later. The weekend went really smooth. It just seems we worked extremely hard for a 13th place finish."

"The 51 team did a great job and gained a lap back towards the middle of the race with an excellent pit stop," said Managing Director Max Jones, who handled strategy for Alex Barron. "Everyone worked together really well. We learned a lot this race and we are going to keep getting better."

Round three of the 17-race 2005 IRL IndyCar Series championship is Sunday, April 3 with the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

-www.redbullcheeverracing.com

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Eddie Cheever , Patrick Carpentier , Alex Barron , Max Jones