#51 Team Cheever Riley & Scott/Firestone/Infiniti The Northern Light Indy Racing Series heads west for two Open Tests next week. The tests are schedule at Las Vegas Motor Speedway from February 21st -22nd and at Phoenix International Raceway February 25th-26th. Eddie Cheever, Jr. sees the upcoming Northern Light Indy Racing Series "Test In The West" as the perfect opportunity to get his hands around his new equipment. Still feeling a bit behind the eight ball on testing his new engine-chassis-tire package, Cheever plans to make the most of next week's tests in Las Vegas and Phoenix.
Goals for the Test Week
"Every lap you run is a lead up to Indy, but I think that Vegas will be more indicative of Indy than Phoenix. We are on such a steep learning curve right now on all issues of our Package that we have not had an opportunity to optimize any particular area sufficiently. Our focus for the 'Test In The West", we will be to continue accumulating information at a faster rate than we can process it."
On the Riley & Scott Chassis
"With as little information we had on the Riley & Scott going into Disney, I would have been very happy with a fifth place finish. Finishing third was a bonus. Riley & Scott is continuing to develop the car and we should have some new pieces to try out for the test. Our biggest problem so far has been with the front of the car. I am also looking forward to having a lighter car than we had in Orlando. The IRL is fiercely competitive. We cannot afford to handicap ourselves with sixty pounds of useless weight."
On the Firestone Tires
"The Firestones are proving to be a totally different tire than what we had been used to running for the past four years. I have seen an enormous amount of potential with the tires that so far we haven't been able to utilize."
On the Infiniti Engine
"Even though we will not be testing the new 3.5A, we are continuously changing the internal spec of our current engine. All of these changes will then be moved over to the 35A once they have proved their reliability. We will come into our own when we have done about 2000 trouble free miles with the 35A. Hopefully, we will achieve this goal a week before the Vegas race."