GOODYEAR CLAIMS IRL TIRE TITLE AS DISMORE WINS TEXAS FINALE Mark Dismore scored his first Indy Racing League victory when he took the checkered flag one lap ahead of the entire field in the Mall.com 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. The Kelley...
GOODYEAR CLAIMS IRL TIRE TITLE AS DISMORE WINS TEXAS FINALE
Mark Dismore scored his first Indy Racing League victory when he took the checkered flag one lap ahead of the entire field in the Mall.com 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. The Kelley Racing driver, who had been close to victory several times this season, took the lead on lap 187 when race leader Greg Ray was forced to pit for fuel. Galles Racing's Davey Hamilton posted his best finish of the year by coming in second, while Eddie Cheever finished fourth.
The win was Goodyear's sixth of the season, securing the unofficial tire manufacturer's championship for the Akron, Ohio, company.
Kenny Brack, driving the A.J. Foyt Powerteam entry, secured second place in the IRL driver's championship. The winner of the Indianapolis 500 was in a good position to claim the title throughout the race until a right-rear wheel bearing failed with 34 laps remaining. Dismore's win pushed him to third in the points while Hamilton's runner-up finish moved him into fourth place in the final point standings. Goodyear-equipped drivers Buddy Lazier, Eddie Cheever, Scott Sharp and Scott Goodyear also finished in the top 10.
PAUL LAURITZEN, Goodyear IRL Operations Manager: "Goodyear congratulates Mark Dismore and the Kelley Racing team on their well-deserved victory tonight, giving Goodyear six wins in the Indy Racing League events and another sweep of the nighttime competition, our sixth consecutive night race win in the past two years. The Goodyear Eagle radials were excellent from start to finish and showed remarkable durability throughout the race. Our cars were able to run hard from start to finish and a number of teams ran double stints on one set of tires with no letdown in performance.
"We also thank the drivers and teams that used our tires this year, including race winners Kenny Brack, Scott Goodyear, Eddie Cheever, Scott Sharp and Mark Dismore, and top points finishers like Davey Hamilton, Buddy Lazier, Jeff Ward, Billy Boat and Jaques Lazier. Goodyear engineers are already working on the 2000 Indy Racing League at Indianapolis and have upcoming tests scheduled at Orlando and Phoenix, and we will continue to supply winning tires to the top racers and teams in the IRL."
MARK DISMORE, Kelley Racing: "After a while you start wondering if this day is ever going to come, but I finally killed the monkey. This is great to go into the off season like this. It gives the guys a lot of confidence just knowing we can win races. Actually I knew that, we just hadn't accomplished it yet. On that last restart, I wanted to make sure the car was right and the tires were under me. I was very cautious. I knew Davey was a lap down but I didn't want to let Davey go by, I didn't want to cross the line in second. Goodyear gave us an awesome tire; it was there for us all night."
DAVEY HAMILTON, Galles Racing: "We needed a run like that. We had a great car all weekend and the tires were awesome. We got caught out early on a pit stop; that's the way things happen sometimes and that probably cost us the race. I think I had something for Mark there at the end. This is a great comeback for Goodyear after the first Texas race. I was able to race flat out anywhere on the track."
EDDIE CHEEVER, Team Cheever: "It was a difficult day out there, but a good result for the effort. I had no problem with the tires today; much better than the last time we were here."
KENNY BRACK, A.J. Foyt Powerteam: "When the wheel bearing failed we were lucky not to crash. I give a lot of credit to Jaques Lazier for avoiding me and not creating a big situation. We had a good car all night and everything looked to be in place, but it wasn't. We had a mechanical and that was it. The tires were OK. Goodyear did a lot of work to make this right. They were running good. We had the competition covered.
"I've had a tremendous two years with A.J. and we've proven to be a very successful combination. He's a very hard but honest man to work for. We're friends for life."
A.J. FOYT: "We never had that problem on the new car before but like I said before the race, when it's your day, it's your day. It just wasn't our day. We could run fast, the tires were good and we had the right pit strategy; we thought it was just perfect but you can't account for mechanical problems. That No. 1 jinx caught us, but I'd rather trade that and win Indy. That's racing, it's not the first time I lost a championship. I'm proud that we gave them a good run, especially after we crashed out of the first two races."