Eddie Cheever, Jr. - ...
Eddie Cheever, Jr. - #51 Excite@Home Indy Race Car
MCI WorldCom Indy 200 at Phoenix International Raceway - March 17-19, 2000
Indy Racing Northern Light Series - Round 2 of 9
Saturday, March 18, 2000 - Post-Qualifying Notes and Quotes
Qualified: 8th 21.055 seconds 170.981 mph
Hometown favorite Eddie Cheever Jr. drove his all-new #51 Excite@Home Indy Race Car to an outstanding eighth place starting position for Sunday's MCI WorldCom Indy 200 at Phoenix International Raceway. Cheever's performance marks not only Infiniti's best qualifying effort since the #51 machine gridded fifth at Texas last year, but also the engine manufacturer's second-best qualifying result to date.
Cheever (on his qualifying run): "We picked up a lot of speed with the changes we made after the morning session, but we were still a bit conservative. We weren't sure how much the track would change in the heat, so we didn't have quite enough load on the front. Although we had a little too much push, I'm not complaining. Now we just have to concentrate on the race. The car is better on full tanks, and we have a very good balance. Nissan is working very hard on the Infiniti engine, and this old guy may have a few wins in him yet. We're looking good."
(On the partnership with Internet giant Excite@Home): "It's nice to start off so well in our new relationship with Excite@Home. It's definitely a new beginning, and I'm very excited about the possibilities that this new partnership affords us. Over the next two to three months, we're going to be rolling out some really cool things that will allow fans to experience racing like never before. For Internet nuts like me, we'll be delivering all kinds of amazing content to people at home. Our partnership with Excite@Home now gives us the tools to interact, one-on-one, with fans via the Internet. It will almost be like being in the car with me."
(On running the Dallara chassis this weekend at Phoenix): "We received our Riley & Scott chassis two months late, and with the departure of Goodyear, basically we were running a completely new package. Going back to the Dallara gives us the opportunity to draw on the data that we have accumulated over the past three years and gives us the luxury of choosing the best chassis for each track. This weekend the #51 Excite@Home Indy Race Team has been working feverishly to sort out the new car. It's like a new baby - you have to figure out what it wants and how to make it stop crying. For a team that just got the car fifteen days ago, we're doing very well."
Primary sponsorship of the #51 Indy Race Car comes from Excite@Home. The company is based in Redwood City, California, at the heart of Silicon Valley. Associate Sponsors of Team Cheever include Indy Promotional Products, netoy.com, Menards, Ceramiche Ragno, Infiniti, Firestone, Bosch and Pennzoil.