Please note the earlier story had an error. Scott Harrington's finish at Phoenix was fifth place. The result was erroneously listed as eighth. Following is a revised version. ********************* INFINITI INDY ENGINE FINISHES FOURTH AT...
Please note the earlier story had an error. Scott Harrington's finish at Phoenix was fifth place. The result was erroneously listed as eighth. Following is a revised version.
INFINITI INDY ENGINE FINISHES FOURTH AT PIKES PEAK Eddie Cheever Jr. Scores Best Finish Since Switching To Infiniti
FOUNTAIN, Colo. (June 27, 1999) - Infiniti scored a top-five finish in the Radisson 200 today, with Eddie Cheever Jr. taking the checkered flag in fourth place with his No. 51 The Children's Beverage Group Infiniti. Cheever was the only driver competing in the Pikes Peak International Raceway event with Infiniti Indy power.
"We were pleased with the performance of the engine today," said Frank Honsowetz, manager, Infiniti Motorsports. "Working with Ed Pink Racing Engines and Team Cheever we have made a significant amount of improvement over the past two months.
"Today was a good race for us," continued Honsowetz. "Eddie drove hard and he was running with the leaders. We have all the right elements: a talented team and driver, and a strong engine package, we just have to wait until it's our day."
It was the second time this season that Infiniti has finished in the top five, with Robbie Buhl scoring third and Scott Harrington scoring fifth at Phoenix International Raceway earlier this year.
For Team Cheever the finish was the team's best since joining the Infiniti Indy program in early April. Since the announcement to switch to Infiniti power, Eddie Cheever and his crew have worked closely with the members of the Infiniti Indy design team, including engine builder Ed Pink Racing Engines. Their efforts have resulted in leading laps during the Indianapolis 500 and the Longhorn 500 at Texas Motor Speedway, as well as qualifying fifth-the best ever for Infiniti-at the Texas race.
At Pikes Peak International Raceway, Cheever started the race from 11th position and was running in fourth place by lap 26 of the 200-mile race. He ran as high as third for nearly 30 laps, but then went a lap down because of bad luck on the timing of a pit stop. Cheever earned his lap back and eventually finished fourth, only 21.8 seconds behind race winner Greg Ray.
"Infiniti did a suburb job. We had an engine that could have won today," said Eddie Cheever, driver of the No. 51 The Children's Beverage Group/Team Cheever Infiniti. "When that yellow came out after our first stop, it put us out of sync and we spent the rest of the day fighting to stay ahead of the leaders. Infiniti should feel very proud of their engine. We let them down.
"That yellow really cost us the race in my opinion," continued Cheever. "Then, losing radio contact with the crew about midpoint, I could not communicate the small adjustments I needed to make to the car. Making up a lap with no radio is not an easy feat."
The top-five finish places Cheever fourth in the championship standings with 121 points, 43 points behind points leader Scott Goodyear.
The Pep Boys Indy Racing League series continues in three weeks at the Kobalt Mechanics Tools 500k at Atlanta Motor Speedway on July 17. The Saturday night event will be televised live on FOX Sports Net.
Race Results Highlights
1. Greg Ray 2. Sam Schmidt 3. Davey Hamilton 4. Eddie Cheever, Jr. 5. Buddy Lazier 6. Robby Unser 7. Kenny Brack 8. Scott Sharp 9. Jeff Ward 10. Jacques Lazier