IRL: Richmond Infiniti qualifying notes

RICHMOND, Va. (June 29, 2001) -- Infiniti driver Eddie Cheever Jr. is making third place in qualifying a regular occurrence this season, by scoring his third top-three qualifying effort of the year during time trials for the Indy Racing League's...

RICHMOND, Va. (June 29, 2001) -- Infiniti driver Eddie Cheever Jr. is making third place in qualifying a regular occurrence this season, by scoring his third top-three qualifying effort of the year during time trials for the Indy Racing League's first race at the Richmond International Raceway.

It was a roller-coaster ride for Cheever Indy Racing during the second day of track activity for the SunTrust Indy Challenge, but throughout the day Cheever was always among the quickest on the .75-mile oval with the No. 51 Dallara-Infiniti.

In the afternoon practice, Cheever produced the second fastest lap of the session before a spin in turn two damaged the right rear section of the car. The crew quickly repaired the damage in time for qualifying when Cheever's lap of 159.202 mph placed him on the inside of row two for the start of the 250-lap race on June 30.

Robbie Buhl's effort placed both Infiniti-powered machines in the top ten of the starting grid. He qualified ninth with a quick lap of 156.672 mph in the No. 24 Team Purex Dreyer & Reinbold Racing GForce-Infiniti.

Due to a short rain delay during Friday practice, the final practice session for the Indy Racing Northern Light Series drivers will be held on race day at 3 p.m. The SunTrust Indy Challenge will start at 8 p.m. (EDT) June 30 and will be televised live on ESPN. The "Indy Racing 2Day" pre-race show will air at 7:30 p.m. (EDT) June 30. A live timing and scoring report for the race will be available on the Internet at www.indyracing.com.

Eddie Cheever Jr., No. 51 Cheever Indy Racing Infiniti (qualified 3rd): "I had a little bit of push but my crew did a great job of putting the car back together for qualifying [Cheever spun and damaged the right rear suspension during practice]. The track is a bit slippery but it's a lot of fun. With our cars on this track, it's like flying a fighter plane inside a gymnasium. This place is tough. It's going to be an unbelievable race tomorrow because all the cars are so close together. It's very difficult to get a jump on anybody. I can understand why they call it the 'action track' because you're really busy. It's like playing chess at 160mph. You've got to position your car and make sure you're in the right place. It's going to be a really hard race because we're on the knife's edge the whole way around. It's going to be tricky but it's going to be good."

Robbie Buhl, No. 24 Team Purex Dreyer & Reinbold Racing GForce-Infiniti (qualified 9th): "We were a lot stronger in practice than in qualifying. It's just tough conditions. Our car wasn't the happiest car in the world. It stepped out in turn two during the qualifying run but we'll make do with it. The race is what matters. Qualifying is certainly important. Being a short track you are going to have to fight for every little bit. I am not as happy with things at this point as I'd like to be, but overall I am pleased with the program we've put together and the package we've got, including the Infiniti power, which is doing good. We just have to make it count tomorrow night. It will be an exciting race."

-IM

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Eddie Cheever , Robbie Buhl
Teams Dreyer & Reinbold Racing