IRL: State of Florida Proclaims Eddie Cheever Day

April 27, 1999 CHEEVER HONORED BY THE STATE OF FLORIDA Central Florida resident, Eddie Cheever, recognized for Indy 500 Victory and 25 Years in International Motorsports Tallahassee, Florida - The Florida House of Representatives...

April 27, 1999

CHEEVER HONORED BY THE STATE OF FLORIDA Central Florida resident, Eddie Cheever, recognized for Indy 500 Victory and 25 Years in International Motorsports

Tallahassee, Florida - The Florida House of Representatives and The Florida passed resolutions today proclaiming this day, April 27th, to be known as "Eddie Cheever, Jr. Day".

"...Whereas, the sport of auto racing is one of the world's most popular spectator sports and is the fastest growing spectator sport in the United States, and whereas, Florida is fortunate to be the home of several renowned speedways, such as Daytona, Orlando, Sebring and Homestead, as well as numerous short tracks throughout the state, and whereas, the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race is known as the greatest spectacle in auto racing and, since its inception in 1911, has clearly been recognized as the most prestigious event in the history of the sport, and whereas, the crowd gathered in the world's largest sporting facility at Indianapolis watched the 82nd running of the Indianapolis 500 in 1998, and whereas, the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race was won by Eddie Cheever, Jr., a resident of Lake Nona in Orange County......the State of Florida hereby designates April 27, 1999, as Eddie Cheever, Jr. Day in Florida, in recognition of Eddie Cheever, Jr., winner of the 1998 Indy 500 and two-time winner of the Indy 200, for his many accomplishments in the sport of auto racing..."

Governor Jeb Bush issued a similar proclamation on April 19th in honor of Cheever's accomplishments saying:

"....Whereas, the reigning Indianapolis 500 Champion is being honored for his remarkable auto racing achievements; and whereas, in addition to winning the 1998 Indianapolis 500, he also recorded the fastest race lap in Indy 500 history, logging 236.103 m.p.h. on lap 78 in 1996, whereas, we are proud to highlight the career of Eddie Cheever, Jr., whose love of racing began with driving go-karts in Italy...I Jeb Bush, Governor of the State of Florida, do hereby commend Eddie Cheever, Jr. for his exceptional accomplishments in the sport of auto racing ..."

"It is an incredible honor for me to be recognized by a state I love to call home," stated Orlando resident, Eddie Cheever enthusiastically. "I travel around the country and the world over 70% of the year on business. But, I can't wait to get back to Florida. It's not just the sunshine that makes this a great state; it's the warm people, their deep love of nature, the never-ending list of fun things to do with my children, and, of course, the golf! I deeply appreciate Florida allowing me the opportunity to represent them." State Representative Bill Posey, brought the Indy 500 winner to the State of Florida's attention having met him at the Governors Cup State Championship races at New Smyrna Speedway last November. As a senior member of the House and an avid race fan himself, State Representative was delighted to learn that Cheever selected his Orlando district as his home.

"Eddie speaks three languages, was born in Phoenix, grew up in Italy and, quite honestly, could live anywhere in the world. He chose Florida," said Representative Posey. "I've rooted for Eddie ever since he was the only racer representing America in Formula One in the early 80s and was delighted when he won the Indy 500 last year. I am honored to have him as a constituent."

"Bill and I share more than a love of Florida in common," added Cheever, owner of the #51 Team Cheever/The Children's Beverage Group Pep Boys Indy Racing League team. "The late model stockcars he has been racing in Central Florida since 1982 have all been under the number 51!"

Cheever is one of the most experienced drivers in racing today. He joined the Indy circuit in 1990, winning Rookie of the Year honors in the Indianapolis 500 and qualifying for a front-row starting position in the 1992 event. In addition to winning the 1998 Indianapolis 500, he also has won the 1997 and 1999 Indy 200 at the Walt Disney World Speedway in Orlando. He is one of the few owner/drivers in the Indy circuit.

Although born in the United States, Cheever grew up in Italy. He drove in his first race at 13 and became the Italian and European go-kart champion. At 19 Cheever joined the Ferrari racing team as a test driver. Cheever advanced through the Formula Series driving Formula One from 1978 to 1989. He has driven more Grand Prix races than any other American has (132 starts), including Mario Andretti and Dan Gurney. Eddie Cheever, Jr. is currently ranked third in the Pep Boys Indy Racing League Drivers Standings while his #51 Team Cheever/The Children's Beverage Group race team lies second in the run for the 1999 Championship title. Round 3 of the 1999 Pep Boys Indy Racing League 11-race series is scheduled for Saturday, May 1st at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Eddie Cheever , Dan Gurney , Mario Andretti