IRL: Phoenix results

For Immediate Release GUTHRIE HOLDS BACK STEWART TO CELEBRATE PHOENIX 200 WIN PHOENIX, Sunday, March 23 -- Jim Guthrie, in only his sixth event in Indy Racing League competition, held off a furious charge by Tony Stewart ...

For Immediate Release

GUTHRIE HOLDS BACK STEWART TO CELEBRATE PHOENIX 200 WIN

PHOENIX, Sunday, March 23 -- Jim Guthrie, in only his sixth event in Indy Racing League competition, held off a furious charge by Tony Stewart to capture the Phoenix 200 Sunday at Phoenix International Raceway. Guthrie, a series rookie but an Indianapolis 500 veteran, drove Blueprint Racing's Dallara/Oldsmobile Aurora to a .854 of a second victory over Stewart, who has led six of the IRL's first seven races in history but has yet to visit Victory Lane. Guthrie ran the final 82 laps after his last pit stop and took the lead for good on Lap 154 and staved off all challenges by Stewart and Davey Hamilton, who finished third. "I plan to pay off some bills and give the team a little bonus," Guthrie said of his biggest racing payday. "I'd love to buy a new engine if I could find someone to build one. Luck just came my way today. The engine we were running has 860 miles on it." Unofficially, Guthrie's team pocketed $170,100 for the win. Stewart got $145,500 for second and Hamilton got $83,900 for third place out of the total payoff of $1,135,000. Stewart, driving the Glidden/Menard Special G Force/Aurora, made two pit stops under the last caution, one for a wing adjustment and one for a new set of tires, in an effort to catch Guthrie. Although he whittled away at Guthrie's lead, he came up just short at the finish. On Saturday, after qualifying for the front row outside Stewart, Guthrie likened his run to a "David and Goliath" mission. "It's nice to win one but Indy's the big one," Guthrie said. "If we win that one, I guess we slayed Goliath. I knew after that last yellow that Stewart put some optionals (tires) on his car. Five or 10 more laps and he may have caught me." Stewart led 85 laps, more than any other driver, and got his second runner-up IRL finish. "When I had the lead, every time I looked in the mirror, all I saw was that yellow car," he said. "I kept hoping it would go away, but it never did. If we gotta get beat, then I guess it's all right to get beat by a low-buck guy. Nobody's worked harder. He did his homework and was fast all day." In all, the race had nine leaders. In addition to Guthrie and Stewart, rookies Kenny Brack and Affonso Giaffone led their first laps of IRL competition. Brack led 24 laps in his first IRL start. Scott Sharp, who started 20th, also went to the front for four laps. Mike Groff, who finished sixth as the highest-placing driver powered by the Nissan Infiniti Indy engine, takes the 1996-97 IRL points lead to the May 25 Indianapolis 500 with 125. Hamilton is second with 114, followed by Buzz Calkins with 113, Marco Greco with 112 and Roberto Guerrero with 106. The race had nine caution flags for 96 laps. Rookies Jeret Schroeder and Sam Schmidt were transported to St. Joseph's Hospital here for evaluation of injuries in separate accidents. Schroeder had evidence of a concussion and Schmidt had a spinal fracture. Both were listed in good condition and were admitted for overnight observation and evaluation.

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INDY RACING LEAGUE Phoenix 200 at Phoenix International Raceway March 23, 1997 OFFICAL BOX SCORE

Qual. Laps Running/ IRL IRL IRL Design. FP SP Car Driver C/E/T Speed Comp Reason Out Pts. Pts.Awards Awards Total Awards

1 2 27 R Jim Guthrie D/A/F 169.484 200 Running 35 98 115,600 54,500 $170,100 2 1 2 Tony Stewart G/A/F 170.012 200 Running 36xy 102 94,000 51,500 145,500 3 14 14 Davey Hamilton G/A/G 162.448 200 Running 32 114 78,400 5,500 83,900 4 8 22 Marco Greco D/A/G 163.495 199 Running 31 112 64,000 500 64,500 5 19 77 Stephan Gregoire G/A/G 154.939 199 Running 30 82 36,000 4,000 40,000 6 16 10 Mike Groff G/I/F 159.858 195 Running 29 125 52,000 7,250 59,250 7 10 21 W Roberto Guerrero D/I/G 163.080 194 Running 28 106 50,800 3,250 54,050 8 22 12 Buzz Calkins G/A/G 164.032 187 Running 27 113 49,600 2,500 52,100 9 11 18 John Paul, Jr. D/A/G 162.896 179 Running 26 88 48,400 2,250 50,650 10 6 16 R Sam Schmidt D/A/F 163.837 176 Accident T4 25 25 25,200 250 25,450 11 9 4 R Kenny Brack G/A/G 163.436 145 Accident T4 24 24 24,000 3,250 27,250 12 7 51 Eddie Cheever, Jr. G/A/G 163.510 120 OverHeating 23 88 44,800 250 45,050 13 21 17 R Affonso Giafone D/A/G NS 114 Half Shaft 22 47 21,600 0 21,600 14 15 33 R Fermin Velez D/A/G 161.907 94 Electrical 21 47 42,400 0 42,400 15 17 50 R Billy Roe D/A/F 158.940 82 Accident T3 20 20 19,200 0 19,200 16 20 1 Scott Sharp G/A/G NS 65 Engine 19 104 40,000 0 40,000 17 3 6 Scott Goodyear G/A/F 166.044 52 Engine 18 50 38,800 0 38,800 18 5 3 Robbie Buhl G/A/F 163.964 51 Accident T1 17 57 15,600 0 15,600 19 12 30 R Jeret Schroeder G/A/G 162.631 51 Accident T1 16 37 36,400 0 36,400 20 18 40 R Jack Miller D/A/F 158.040 33 Fuel Pickup 15 35 35,200 0 35,200 21 13 91 Buddy Lazier D/I/F 162.543 31 Engine 14 71 34,000 0 34,000 22 4 5 W Arie Luyendyk G/A/F 165.784 11 Mechanical 13 75 34,000 0 34,000 TOTAL - $1,000,000$135,000 $1,135,000

Time of Race: 2:14:32 Average Speed: 89.190 Margin of Victory: .854 Fastest Lap/Leading Lap: #2 Tony Stewart, Lap 11 of 22.135 seconds, 162.638 mph MBNA Motorsports Lap Leader: Tony Stewart Coors Pit Performance Winner: #27 Guthrie 2-78 sec./Blueprint Racing, Inc.

IRL Points Bonus: x-2 points PPG Pole; y-1 point most laps led Legend: W- Former Winner; R- Indy Racing League Series Rookie Chassis Legend: D- Dallara; G- G Force Engine Legend: A- Oldsmobile Aurora; I- Nissan Infiniti Tire Legend: F- Firestone; G- Goodyear

Lap Leaders: Lap-Lap Driver 1-41 #2 Stewart 42 #27 Guthrie 43-55 #17 Giaffone 56-61 #2 Stewart 62-65 #1 Sharp 66-94 #2 Stewart 95-120 #27 Guthrie 121 #2 Stewart 122-145 #4 Brack 146-153 #2 Stewart 154-200 #27 Guthrie

Caution Flags: Laps Incident 2-6 #21 Guerrero Tow In 13-18 #5 Luyendyk Back Straight Away 36-44 #91 Lazier Oiling 52-60 #3 Buhl & #30 Schroeder T1 69-75 Oil on Track 85-98 #50 Roe T3 117-132 Oil on Track 146-154 #4 Brack T4 180-190 #16 Schmidt T4

Lap Leader Summary: Driver Times Total Stewart 5 85 Guthrie 3 74 Brack 1 24 Giaffone 1 13 Sharp 1 4

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Tony Stewart , Buzz Calkins , Eddie Cheever , Robbie Buhl , Buddy Lazier , Stephan Gregoire , Davey Hamilton , Scott Sharp , Arie Luyendyk , Jim Guthrie , Scott Goodyear , Jeret Schroeder , Roberto Guerrero , Kenny Brack , Billy Roe , Sam Schmidt , Fermin Velez , John Paul , Jack Miller