IRL: Richmond: Cheever Racing race report

Red Bull Cheever Racing's Scheckter scores season-best fourth at Richmond. After a half season of fast runs, but disappointing finishes, Richmond may be the turning point for Red Bull Cheever Racing rookie Tomas Scheckter who earned a...

Red Bull Cheever Racing's Scheckter scores season-best fourth at Richmond.

After a half season of fast runs, but disappointing finishes, Richmond may be the turning point for Red Bull Cheever Racing rookie Tomas Scheckter who earned a season-best finish of fourth in the SunTrust Indy Challenge.

Scheckter immediately charged to the top ten in the opening laps of the race after a dismal qualifying effort that placed him 18th on the starting lineup. By the halfway point of the 250-lap race he was sixth and on lap 197 the No. 52 Red Bull Infiniti was closely tailing the race leader in second place. Lapped traffic caught Scheckter out in the final laps of the race, but he finished fourth only seconds behind race winner Sam Hornish Jr.

Eddie Cheever Jr. ran as high as eighth in the No. 51 Red Bull Infiniti but was out of contention on lap 181 when Laurent Redon hit his car from behind, sending both cars into the wall. Both drivers walked away from the accident with no major injuries.

General Manager Richard Caron said: "Tomas showed tonight that he has matured as an oval racing driver. We always knew he had talent, and tonight we finally saw the results of that talent. It was our best finish of the season, but it was yet again shadowed by another crash. The team did a great job of recovering from our qualifying yesterday, and pulled off a good race tonight."

Tomas Scheckter said: "I really have to thank the guys on the Red Bull Cheever team. It feels great to finish fourth. When you start 18th you just got to get through the field. In the beginning I used a high line and passed a lot of people. I just have to thank my crew again. They gave me a setup on the Red Bull Infiniti that was unbelievable. We were behind in practice and qualifying this weekend, but we got it ready for the race. I was in second when I came up on a lapped car. He (Alex Barron) went to the inside and I tried the outside two times and I got blocked both times. Sometimes it happens. At the end I think I had a good race."

Eddie Cheever Jr. said: "Tomas had a great drive tonight. It is the first strong race he has had all the way through, and he did it on a tough track. We had two different setups for the race. Obviously, mine wasn't the one for the race. The car was difficult tonight. It was a tight race. My spotter told me clear and (Laurent) Redon ran into the back of me. We rode to the medical center together and he said he was sorry. As far as I am concerned that's the end of the story. Despite my problems, I still think this is a great track. I love racing here at Richmond."

Eddie Cheever Jr. on Next Weekend's Race at Kansas: Eddie Cheever Jr. dominated the race weekend last year at Kansas Speedway. In the IRL's inaugural race in Kansas City, Cheever not only won after leading 104 laps, he also topped the speed charts in every practice session, and qualified second. Cheever captured the victory after an exciting late-race duel with Sam Hornish Jr. It was his fifth career Indy Racing victory.

"At Kansas we will have the challenge of holding on to our title that we earned last year. Kansas is a phenomenal track, one of the many in the ISC family. It's a joy to race there because it is not only the heart of the Midwest, but also the heart of open-wheel racing country."

Tomas Scheckter on Kansas: "Kansas is another new track for me but I am not worried because the Red Bull Cheever crew has given me a great car at every race this year. I suspect that we will go well at Kansas, since the team won that race last year. I have been watching my race tapes and talking with the engineers to get prepared."

Race Information The Indy Racing League visits Kansas Speedway next weekend for the Ameristar Casino Indy 200 on July 7. Practice kicks off on July 5, while qualifying is scheduled for July 6. Live timing and scoring of all on-track activity can be found on www.indyracing.com.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Tomas Scheckter , Eddie Cheever , Laurent Redon , Sam Hornish Jr.