RAY CAPTURES FIRST CAREER PPG POLE AT PHOENIX By Beth Agan indyracingleague.com PHOENIX, March 27, 1999 -- Greg Ray earned his first career Pep Boys Indy Racing League PPG Pole on Saturday, taking the top spot for the MCI WorldCom 200 with...
RAY CAPTURES FIRST CAREER PPG POLE AT PHOENIX
By Beth Agan indyracingleague.com
PHOENIX, March 27, 1999 -- Greg Ray earned his first career Pep Boys Indy Racing League PPG Pole on Saturday, taking the top spot for the MCI WorldCom 200 with a record lap of 20.323 seconds, 177.139 mph on the 1-mile oval at Phoenix International Raceway.
Ray, from Plano, Texas, drove the Glidden-Menards Dallara/Aurora/Firestone past the track record by a normally aspirated car of 20.839, 172.753 set by Jeff Ward during qualifying at this event in 1998.
"This is a great accomplishment for Team Menard," Ray said. "We've qualified second a few times and been real close. This is a great personal and team achievement, although it is just the first small step. "Tomorrow will be a shootout. All bets are off. Everyone will be bringing their six-shooters, belts, and hats, and it's going to be a shootout."
The MCI WorldCom 200, the second race of the 1999 Pep Boys Indy Racing League, starts at 2 p.m. (MST). The 200-lap race will be televised live on FOX Sports Net.
Ray was 2.5 mph faster than Mark Dismore, who qualified a career-best second at 20.616, 174.622 in the MCI WorldCom Dallara/Aurora/Goodyear. But the rest of the field was bunched up behind Dismore, with the next four drivers within 1 mph.
Scott Goodyear qualified third at 20.624, 174.554 in the Pennzoil Panther G Force/Aurora/Goodyear. Roberto Moreno, in his first Pep Boys Indy Racing League event, was fourth at 20.650, 174.334 in the Truscelli Team Racing G Force/Aurora/Goodyear. Last year's pole sitter Ward was fifth at 20.682, 174.064 in the Pagan Racing Dallara/Aurora/Goodyear.
Points leader Eddie Cheever qualified 18th at 21.031, 171.176 in the Team Cheever-Children's Beverage Group Dallara/Aurora/Goodyear. Defending series champion Kenny Brack was 21st at 21.082, 170.762 in the A.J. Foyt-Power Team Racing Dallara/Aurora/Goodyear.
Rookie Scott Harrrington qualified eighth at 20.798, 173.094 in the Harrington Motorsports Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone, his best career start and the best starting position for a Nissan Infiniti engine in Pep Boys Indy Racing League competition.
Buddy and Jaques Lazier became the first brothers to start in the same Pep Boys Indy Racing League field since Mike and Robbie Groff started the Indy 200 at Walt Disney World Speedway in January 1998. 1996 Indianapolis 500 champion Buddy Lazier will start 15th in the Delta Faucet-Coors Light-Hemelgarn Racing Dallara/Aurora/Goodyear, while rookie Jaques Lazier will start last in the 28-car field in the Tivoli Lodge G Force/Infiniti/Goodyear.
MCI WORLDCOM 200 NOTEBOOK
Schedule: The MCI WorldCom 200 starts at 2 p.m. (MST) March 28. A practice session starts at 9:15 a.m. March 28. ***
On the air: The MCI WorldCom 200 will be televised live at 4 p.m. (EST) March 28 on FOX Sports Net, the network's debut Pep Boys Indy Racing League telecast.
The Indy Racing Radio Network will broadcast a 30-minute pre-race show at 3:30 p.m. (EST) March 28, followed by the live race broadcast at 4 p.m. The Phoenix-area IRRN affiliate is KGME-AM Sports Radio 1360, Phoenix. ***