Phoenix Race Report by David Reininger - Motorsport News International Phoenix, AZ (March 28, 1999) - Scott Goodyear secured his first Indy Racing League victory this afternoon at Phoenix International Raceway. The Pennzoil Panther Racing driver...
Phoenix Race Report by David Reininger - Motorsport News International
Phoenix, AZ (March 28, 1999) - Scott Goodyear secured his first Indy Racing League victory this afternoon at Phoenix International Raceway. The Pennzoil Panther Racing driver led twice in the race for a total of 134 laps led on route to victory.
"This is our first win in this series after a couple of years, and it feels absolutely great" said Goodyear. It was one for the team. We finished as high as second before, but this is definitely better than that."
A late race caution period bunched the field for a five lap shoot out to the finish but Goodyear had been running consistently all weekend and was not to be denied. "I was feeling good with ten laps to go, and that last yellow came out," said Goodyear. "I was thinking , 'Man, what's this all about?' Ward is a hard charger."
Jeff Ward, in his first race for Pagan Racing, finished second after a brilliant drive from 14th place early in the race. Starting fifth, and running in the top ten until stalling his engine on his first pit stop, Ward drove to the front but was never able to challenge Goodyear for the win. "I got going really good there in the middle of the race," said Ward. "But there at the end, my car changed. I wasn't ready for that. But we still didn't have anything for Scott. He was pretty hooked up."
Ward moves from fourth to second in the IRL driver point standings, just thirteen points behind Goodyear.
Finishing third, after an impressive drive in the SRS Nissan-powered entry, was Robbie Buhl. Late in the race, Buhl ran as high as second place when he moved around Ward on a lap 168 restart. Ward had been blocked by a backmarker separating him from Goodyear on the restart. Buhl took advantage of that to move into second place. Buhl stayed in second for ten laps before Ward chased him down and regained the position with twenty laps to go.
"I think it's a dramatic improvement from Orlando," said Buhl. "I'm just getting to know these guys. I'm really pumped about this finish."
Rounding out the top five were Billy Boat and Scott Harrington. Harrington.
The Indy Racing League returns to action on Saturday night, May 1, when round three takes place on the high banks of the Lowe's Motor Speedway at Charlotte, N.C.