IRL: Pikes Peak Buddy Lazier wins on home track

FOUNTAIN, Colo., Sunday, June 17, 2001 - Buddy Lazier earned his first Indy Racing Northern Light Series victory of the season, winning the Radisson Indy 200 on June 17 at his home track, Pikes Peak International Raceway. Lazier passed Sam...

FOUNTAIN, Colo., Sunday, June 17, 2001 - Buddy Lazier earned his first Indy Racing Northern Light Series victory of the season, winning the Radisson Indy 200 on June 17 at his home track, Pikes Peak International Raceway.

Lazier passed Sam Hornish Jr. for the lead on Lap 157 of the 200-lap race and went on to win in the No. 91 Tae-Bo/Coors Light/Delta Faucet Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone by 10.108 seconds over Hornish in the No. 4 Pennzoil Panther Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone. Robbie Buhl finished third in the No. 24 Team Purex Dreyer & Reinbold Racing G Force/Infiniti/Firestone.

Billy Boat finished fourth in the No. 98 CURB Records Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone, with Airton Dare fifth in the No. 88 1-800-BAR-NONE G Force/Oldsmobile/Firestone.

It was Lazier's first career victory at Pikes Peak, not far from his home of Vail, Colo., and the fifth victory of his Indy Racing League career. His average speed was 142.987 mph. The race was completed in 1 hour, 23 minutes, 55.4261 seconds - the quickest race in Indy Racing League history.

"This is my home track," Lazier said. "This is our backyard. What a great place to do it. I can't believe it. I didn't want to believe it until the end."

Lazier won with his wife, Kara, son, Flinn, and father, Indianapolis 500 veteran Bob Lazier, in his pits.

"I wanted to win so bad in front of my hometown friends and family," Buddy Lazier said. "It's Father's Day. I guess I won it for him (son). You're going to college. And, Dad, thank you."

Lazier passed Hornish on Lap 157 with a low move in Turn 3. It was the first lap he led this season. But for more than half of the race, it appeared that no driver would be able to compete with Hornish.

Hornish took the lead from MBNA Pole winner Greg Ray on Lap 5 and led for the next 152 laps until Lazier made his winning move. At one point, Hornish had lapped every car except for Lazier.

But Hornish slowed after his final pit stop on Lap 118 during a caution period. Lazier pulled to within one-half second of Hornish on Lap 135 and stalked him for the next 21 laps before making a decisive pass.

"The first two stops we had an awesome car," Hornish said. "I think we just got an off set of tires that made the car pretty loose. I was just lucky to bring the car home and keep second place."

The loose handling condition nearly caused Hornish to lose control of his car on Lap 161, but Hornish kept the car away from the outside retaining wall.

"The car just stepped out a bit," Hornish said. "I thought it was over. But I managed to keep it going straight and not knock anything off of it."

Hornish held off the hard-charging Buhl for second late in the race.

MBNA Pole winner Ray finished 18th. He withdrew from the race due to handling problems after completing 132 laps.

The next Indy Racing Northern Light Series event is the SunTrust Indy Challenge on June 30 at Richmond International Raceway.

-IRNLS/IMS-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Greg Ray , Robbie Buhl , Buddy Lazier , Billy Boat , Airton Daré , Sam Hornish Jr. , Sam Hornis
Teams Dreyer & Reinbold Racing