IRL: Reebok-Nienhouse, Hamilton win Vegas pit stop contest

REEBOK-NIENHOUSE, HAMILTON WIN PIT STOP CONTEST IN VEGAS LAS VEGAS, Oct. 9, 1998 - The Reebok-Nienhouse Motorsports team and driver Davey Hamilton, from Las Vegas, edged Team Cheever and 1998 Indianapolis 500 champion Eddie Cheever ...

REEBOK-NIENHOUSE, HAMILTON WIN PIT STOP CONTEST IN VEGAS

LAS VEGAS, Oct. 9, 1998 - The Reebok-Nienhouse Motorsports team and driver Davey Hamilton, from Las Vegas, edged Team Cheever and 1998 Indianapolis 500 champion Eddie Cheever by six-hundredths of a second Thursday evening to win the Las Vegas Fremont Street Experience Pit Stop Contest.

Reebok-Nienhouse changed four tires on Hamilton's Reebok Dallara/Aurora/Goodyear and performed a simulated fill-up of fuel in 10.66 seconds in the final round of the contest between six Pep Boys Indy Racing League teams, which took place on the corner of Fourth and Fremont streets. Team Cheever finished service of Cheever's Rachel's Gourmet Potato Chips Dallara/Aurora/Goodyear in 10.72 seconds.

The Reebok-Nienhouse team earned $8,000 for the victory. Team Cheever earned $5,000. The other participants, Pennzoil Panther Racing, Team Menard, Hemelgarn Racing and ISM Racing, earned $3,000 each.

"I've said all along that these guys are the best, and they proved it tonight," Hamilton said of his crew. "I told the guys we've got to do it right tonight. This is my home track, and I've got a lot of friends and family here."

The Las Vegas 500K, the final event of the Pep Boys IRL season, starts at 1 p.m. Sunday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Hamilton is second in the point standings, 31 behind leader Kenny Brack.

"For a first-year team, man, we're stoked and ready to go for this championship," Hamilton said. "The gas pedal is going to be on the floor, just like tonight."

Three pairs of cars competed in the opening round, with the two fastest teams overall advancing to the finals. Reebok-Nienhouse edged Team Cheever, 10.11-10.58, in the last opening-round matchup, setting up a rematch in the final.

"We were pretty confident," said Darren Russell, Reebok-Nienhouse chief mechanic. "We did it right in practice and did it well enough under pressure. We screwed up a little under the pressure, but we still did it well enough to win. "It's great to start with a little momentum for the weekend."

Pennzoil Panther Racing and driver Scott Goodyear set the early pace with a 10.87-second stop in an opening-round victory over Hemelgarn Racing and driver Buddy Lazier. Team Menard and driver Tony Stewart won the opening matchup against ISM Racing and driver Steve Knapp with an 11.22-second stop.

Round One Team Menard (Tony Stewart), 11.22 seconds, def. ISM Racing (Steve Knapp), 16.67 Panther Racing (Scott Goodyear), 10.87, def. Hemelgarn Racing (Buddy Lazier), 13.20 Reebok-Nienhouse Motorsports (Davey Hamilton), 10.11, def. Team Cheever (Eddie Cheever Jr.), 10.58

Final Round Reebok-Nienhouse Motorsports, 10.66, def. Team Cheever, 10.72

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Tony Stewart , Eddie Cheever , Buddy Lazier , Davey Hamilton , Scott Goodyear , Kenny Brack , Steve Knapp
Teams Panther Racing