SWEET 16th VICTORY FOR IRL AURORA V8 Brack Scores Back-to-Back Wins as Oldsmobile Posts 16th Straight Victory at Mile-High Pikes Peak International Raceway Fountain, Colo.; August 16, 1998 - Oldsmobile climbed to the top ...
SWEET 16th VICTORY FOR IRL AURORA V8
Brack Scores Back-to-Back Wins as Oldsmobile Posts 16th Straight Victory at Mile-High Pikes Peak International Raceway
Fountain, Colo.; August 16, 1998 - Oldsmobile climbed to the top of "The Mountain" today at mile-high Pikes Peak International Raceway as Kenny Brack scored his second straight IRL victory and notched the 16th consecutive win for the IRL Aurora V8 racing engine in the Radisson 200. Brack literally coasted to victory as his car ran out of fuel in the final turn after his A.J. Foyt-led team stretched the IRL Aurora V8's fuel efficiency to the maximum. The 32-year-old Swede gave car owner Foyt back-to-back wins after his breakthrough first victory in Charlotte on July 25.
Brack led an Oldsmobile sweep of the top 20 finishing positions as a weekend crowd of more than 52,000 fans turned out for the IRL's return to PPIR. Brack took the lead for good on lap 196 of the 200-lap contest and beat runner-up Robbie Buhl to the finish line stripe by 7.542 seconds. Buhl's Team Menard teammate Tony Stewart finished on the lead lap in third place and took a nine-point lead over Scott Sharp in the race for the IRL championship.
The race became a fuel economy run as only three caution periods interrupted the action for a total of 28 laps. Brack pitted for the last time on Lap 120 and ran the final 80 circuits on 35 gallons of methanol. Both runner-up Buhl and third-place finisher Stewart dashed into the pits for a splash of fuel in the closing laps.
"I leaned down the fuel mixture, shifted into sixth gear, and ran half-throttle for the last five laps to save fuel," Brack reported. "I didn't run over 9,500 rpm, and usually I run 10,500. I was trying to pace myself, and it wasn't easy. A.J. was there driving the car with me on the radio just like he was in Charlotte!
"We figured it would be close on fuel, and we were hoping for some yellows," Brack revealed. "When we didn't get any, it came down to strategy at the end. I ran out of fuel in Turn 4 and coasted to the finish line."
Buhl posted an impressive runner-up finish after sitting out two races. "The last 25 laps were really fun," he declared. "We were playing the fuel game and tried to stay out as long as we could - we just came up two laps short."
With an eye on the championship, Stewart ran a conservative pace that earned a podium finish. "By no means did we have a dominant car today," he conceded. "At times we had the best car, and at times I had to back off to take care of the tires. We were going for a win, but just missed a little. With ten laps to go, I started running at half-throttle, shifted into sixth gear, and held my breath. I didn't want to risk not finishing; under no circumstances was I going to run out of fuel."
Racers using Oldsmobile engines led all 200 laps on the "Magnificent Mile." Brack led a total of 28 laps and averaged 133.515 mph for the victory. Nineteen cars were running at the finish - all of them powered by IRL Aurora V8 engines. The highest finishing Nissan entry was 21st.
Twenty-three of the 25 starters (92% of the field) for the eighth round of the 11-race IRL series used Oldsmobile engines. Billy Boat's 178.571 mph pole-winning lap in A.J. Foyt's Oldsmobile-powered Indy car set the PPIR track speed record, eclipsing the 176.117 mph mark set by Scott Sharp in one of Foyt's cars at last year's event.
The next event for the IRL Aurora V8 will be the Atlanta Classic 500K at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Ga., on Saturday night, August 29. The Atlanta Classic 500K will be televised live on TNN at 9:00 p.m. EDT.
RADISSON 200 RESULTS
Top Five Finishers: Driver Entrant Engine Laps 1. Kenny Brack A.J. Foyt Ent. Oldsmobile 200 2. Robbie Buhl Team Menard Oldsmobile 200 3. Tony Stewart Team Menard Oldsmobile 200 4. Stephan Gregoire Chastain Mtrspts Oldsmobile 199 5. Davey Hamilton Nienhouse Mtrspts Oldsmobile 199
Pole: Billy Boat/Oldsmobile, 178.571 mph (track record) Fastest Lap: Jeff Ward/Oldsmobile, 170.020 mph