IRL: Phoenix Team Cheever; staking their claim

CHEEVER CLAIMS TOP TEN FINISH FOR ALL-NEW EXCITE@HOME INDY RACE TEAM Phoenix, AZ - Hometown favorite Eddie Cheever Jr. drove his all-new ...

CHEEVER CLAIMS TOP TEN FINISH FOR ALL-NEW EXCITE@HOME INDY RACE TEAM

Phoenix, AZ - Hometown favorite Eddie Cheever Jr. drove his all-new #51 Excite@Home Indy Race Car to a hard-fought tenth place finish in today's MCI WorldCom Indy 200 at Phoenix International Raceway. Cheever's RaceDay performance matched his best ever Phoenix result (tenth in 1998) and earned him 20 points towards the 2000 Indy Racing Northern Light Championship title. The charismatic Cheever, an undisputed favorite among Indy Racing fans, is currently sixth overall in the series point standings with 55 points.

Following an extremely productive weekend of practice and qualifying for the #51 Excite@Home Indy Race Team, Cheever appeared poised for another impressive result after finishing third and leading eight laps at the Orlando season opener. The veteran racer did not disappoint. After starting eighth, Cheever moved into the lead on lap 33 of the 200-lap event. He paced the field for 13 laps until he took advantage of a full course yellow to pit for routine service on lap 45.

Cheever returned to the track in seventeenth position, but by lap 160 had charged to fourth place. Unfortunately, his hopes for victory at Phoenix were dashed when he was struck from behind by rookie Jeret Schroeder on lap 161. Although Cheever's masterful save kept the #51 Excite@Home Indy Car off the wall, the contact deflated his left rear tire. The damage forced him to pit for a replacement tire and dropped him to tenth place.

"I wanted to be in the top three because I thought we could make a good run for the win until I was hit from behind," recounted Cheever. "My left rear tire went down halfway through the corner and I couldn't believe it. It was a miracle that I kept it off the wall - I missed it by about a millimeter."

"It certainly would have been nice to get the first win in the newly-liveried Excite@Home Indy Race Car," continued Cheever. "The Infiniti engine was very strong today, and this is the second race in which we've run really well. If not for the incident with Schroeder, I'm sure we would have been there at the end. We were running as fast as the leaders in the last thirty laps, and the Excite@Home Indy Race Team did a great job today."

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.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Eddie Cheever , Jeret Schroeder