Brooklyn, Michigan -- The debut of the Indy Racing League gave the crowd lap after lap of excitement especially the last 25 laps of the 400 mile race when they were standing in the grandstands. Tomas Scheckter was the early leader and led the...
Brooklyn, Michigan -- The debut of the Indy Racing League gave the crowd lap after lap of excitement especially the last 25 laps of the 400 mile race when they were standing in the grandstands.
Tomas Scheckter was the early leader and led the most laps at 122. He got behind when he pitted for his final stop and stalled the engine due to a clutch problem. To complicate matters, his boss and teammate hit the wall in turn two. When Eddie Cheever Jr brought out the caution, everyone felt that was the end of the day for Scheckter as he was now at the tail end of the lead pack. Not in Scheckter's mind who had been determined all weekend to prove a point. With 10 to go, Scheckter moved through the traffic from 12th up second. At the same time, his teammate Buddy Rice whom also had a pit-stop glitch was moving up from eleventh.
The competition was not just within the Cheever Racing camp however. Felipe Giaffone was on the leader board most of the day and held the lead until Scheckter took it back with six laps to go.
"I knew it would be tough to beat those Cheever cars," said Giaffone. "We concentrated on setup for the race. It was a great race. Very pleased with the team today."
Rice stated: "It was good. Had a good start. Was just driving along and being patient -- was waiting for the last fuel stop to start going forward. The pit stop glitch happened and I had to be more aggressive to back up to the front."
"Drafting was great and the cars were two to three abreast. I was set up to run on the bottom and that gave me the clear run I needed."
Winner Scheckter commented on his mood and how that made him become more agressive for today's race. With a new crew and changes that happened before and during the weekend, he had one clear goal -- to win. "I went out very aggresive and pushed ever lap. Was on the floor from the beginning, gave no one any room. And I proved myself."
Other leaders during the day included Sam Hornish Jr., Gil de Ferran, Scott Sharp, Buddy Rice, Helio Castroneves, Tony Renna, and Sarah Fisher
Final top ten: Scheckter, Rice, Giaffone, Renna, de Ferran, Castroneves, Hornish Jr., Fisher, Sharp and Richie Hearn.