#51 Team Cheever Riley & Scott/Firestone/Infiniti
Orlando resident (Lake Nona), Eddie Cheever, Jr. was recognized in 1999 by both the City of Orlando and The State of Florida. On April 26th and April 27th of 1999, the City of Orlando and the State of Florida respectively recognized Eddie Cheever, Jr. and his racing accomplishments from Formula One to his 1998 Indy 500 victory by proclaiming officially that those days would be known as "Eddie Cheever, Jr. Day".
Two-time Indy 200 winner, Eddie Cheever, Jr., will proudly display a decal recognizing the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children & Women this weekend. Earlier this week, Cheever teamed up with several other well-known sports celebrities to host the "Eddie Cheever & Friends Drive For the Children" golf tournament at Isleworth Country Club. The tournament raised over $70,000 to benefit the expansion of Children's Heart Center at Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children & Women. Cheever was joined several other celebrity guests including preeminent Golf Guru, David Leadbetter, San Diego Charger and Pennzoil-Panther Racing co-owner, Jim Harbaugh, Indy Racing League's Ross Cheever (also Cheever's younger brother), LPGA star, Pearl Sinn, K92FM's Morning Show Host, Ron Bisson (Orlando station) and The Golf Channel's own, Brian Hammons.
At age 13, Eddie Cheever, Jr. and his father sat down at their kitchen table in Rome, Italy to discuss the colors of his helmet. Though just starting in go-karts and not knowing what the future would hold, Cheever wanted something special. As Americans living abroad, father and son felt that they wanted to emphasize their love of their homeland. Red, white and blue would be the theme. Additionally, since Eddie was born in Phoenix, Arizona, they incorporated the star from the Arizona state flag. Twenty-nine years later, Cheever's helmet still stands out with its red, white and blue star of Arizona. This weekend, Cheever's car will also reflect that heritage matching Cheever's helmet. (Cheever also ran this paint scheme in 1997).
Some teams in the paddock have new cars, all have new engines, but Eddie Cheever's #51 Team Cheever Riley & Scott/Firestone/Infiniti is a whole new package in 2000. Cheever is the only entrant running the Infiniti 3.5-liter engine; he is new to the Firestone Tires and just received delivery of his Riley & Scott chassis ten days before the race weekend start. Due to late delivery of the car, Cheever arrives with only three days behind the wheel of the new Riley& Scott race car and ten days of testing overall before the race.