IRL: Pickes Peak fact sheet

1996-97 INDY RACING LEAGUE EVENT NO. 7 WHAT: Samsonite 200 WHERE: Pikes Peak International Raceway, 1-mile oval WHEN: June 27 - 29 POSTED AWARDS: $1,138,400 CARS: ...


WHAT: Samsonite 200

WHERE: Pikes Peak International Raceway, 1-mile oval

WHEN: June 27 - 29

POSTED AWARDS: $1,138,400

CARS: Dallara and G Force Chassis, Oldsmobile Aurora V8 and Nissan Infiniti Indy engines used by the Indy Racing League for the first time this year.

DISTANCE: 200 laps/200 miles


TV: Sunday, June 29 -- Samsonite 200, ABC Sports, Live 3 p.m. (EDT) with Paul Page, Tom Sneva, Jack Arute and Gary Gerould.

Saturday, June 28 -- Speedvision, Live qualifying, 2 p.m. with Gary Lee, Derek Daly, Calvin Fish.

RADIO: Sunday, June 29 -- Samsonite 200, Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network, Live 3 p.m. (EDT) with Bob Jenkins, Gary Lee, Mike King and Mike Jaynes.


SCHEDULE: Friday, June 27 9:00 - 9:40 a.m. -- STAR Formula Mazda practice 9:45 - 10:20 a.m. -- U.S. Formula Ford 2000 practice 10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. -- Indy Racing League practice 12:45 - 1:10 p.m. -- U.S. Formula Ford 2000 practice 1:15 - 1:40 p.m. -- STAR Formula Mazda qualifying 2:30 - 3:25 p.m. -- Indy Racing League practice 4 p.m. -- IRL qualification draw

Saturday, June 28 8:30 - 8:50 a.m. -- STAR Formula Mazda practice 9:00 - 10:25 a.m. -- Indy Racing League practice 10:30 - 11:45 a.m. -- U.S. Formula Ford qualifications (Top 20 positions) Noon - 1:30 p.m. -- Indy Racing League PPG Pole qualifying 2:00 - 2:45 p.m. -- STAR Formula Mazda race (50 laps) 3:00 - 3:30 p.m. -- U.S. Formula Ford 2000 last chance race (positions 21-34) 3:45 - 4:15 p.m. -- Indy Racing League practice 4:30 p.m. -- IRL Autograph session (garage area)

Sunday, June 29 9:15 - 9:30 a.m. -- U.S. Formula Ford 2000 practice 10:30 - 11:30 a.m. -- U.S. Formula Ford 2000 race (50 laps) 1 p.m. -- Samsonite 200 (200 laps)

PIKES PEAK INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY FACTS: The Samsonite 200 weekend is the second race weekend in track history, and the first for Indianapolis-style cars. The first was the Rocky Mountain Classic June 7 - 8.

The Samsonite 200 is the longest race for Indianapolis-style cars ever held in Colorado.

The track has a seating capacity of 42,787 and an additional general admission capacity of 10,000. Dimensions: Front straight 1,510 feet long, 65 feet wide Back straight 1,350 feet long, 60 feet wide Turns 1,209 feet long, 71 feet wide


DATE                SITE                 WINNER                   RACE DISTANCE
7/7/68                Castle Rock         A.J. Foyt           150 Miles
7/6/69                Castle Rock         Gordon Johncock   150 Miles
6/28/70                Castle Rock         Mario Andretti           150 Miles
8/26/90                Denver                 Al Unser, Jr.           152 Miles
8/25/91                Denver                 Al Unser, Jr.           133 Miles

ITEMS OF INTEREST: Three IRL drivers have Colorado connections. Buzz Calkins (Denver) and Buddy Lazier (Vail) are residents and Eddie Cheever, Jr. resided in Aspen before moving to Tampa, Fla., recently.

Jimmy Kite, who won the Silver Crown race at Phoenix International Raceway's Copper World Classic in only his second start in the series, has been named to drive a Team Scandia entry for the Samsonite 200. Kite returns to Colorado after finishing ninth in the Silver Crown portion of Pikes Peak International Raceway's inaugural weekend earlier this month.

An IRL drivers' party has been scheduled for 6 - 9 p.m. Thursday (June 26) at Phantom Canyon Brewing Co., 2 E. Pikes Peak in Colorado Springs, with an auction to benefit the U.S. Association of Blind Athletes, a U.S. Olympic Committee organization.

John Paul Jr., who suffered leg injuries during practice for the Indianapolis 500, is expected to return to the wheel of the Klipsch Overhead Door V-Line Earl's Performance entry of PDM Racing after Tyce Carlson replaced him for two races.

Scott Sharp, the 1996 IRL co-champion, returns to the wheel after suffering a head injury during practice at Indianapolis. Paul Durant replaced Sharp at Indianapolis and Billy Boat had replaced him at Texas while he recovered. Sharp tested at Charlotte Motor Speedway last week and, on team clocks, ran a lap at 215 miles an hour, fastest reported of the session.

Marco Greco has switched from Team Scandia to Galles Racing for the Samsonite 200.

Two Indianapolis 500 winners are entered -- Arie Luyendyk (1990, 1997) and Buddy Lazier (1996).

The winners of eight of the nine IRL races to date are entered -- Buzz Calkins, Luyendyk, Lazier, Eddie Cheever Jr., Sharp and Jim Guthrie.

Three of the participants in Colorado's first race for Indianapolis- style cars will be present at the Samsonite 200. A.J. Foyt won the 150- mile event at Continental Divide Raceway's 2.66-mile road course on July 7, 1968 and is now owner of the cars to be driven in the Samsonite 200 by Scott Sharp and Davey Hamilton. Al Unser, who finished fourth in that race, is now the Indy Racing League's driver coach. Johnny Rutherford, who finished 20th in that race, is the IRL pace car driver and special projects coordinator.

The return of Samsonite to Indianapolis-style racing comes in the 25th anniversary year of Joe Leonard winning his second straight National Championship (as the Indy-style series was known at the time) in the Samsonite Parnelli Offy. Leonard also drove a Samsonite-sponsored car to the 1971 national title. For both championships, Leonard and Samsonite were with the Vel's Parnelli Jones team.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Buzz Calkins , Eddie Cheever , Buddy Lazier , Davey Hamilton , Scott Sharp , Arie Luyendyk , Billy Boat , Jim Guthrie , Jimmy Kite , Calvin Fish , Mario Andretti , Tom Sneva , Joe Leonard , Parnelli Jones , Derek Daly , Gordon Johncock , John Paul , A.J. Foyt , Johnny Rutherford , Al Unser