Robby McGehee ...
#55 Energizer Advanced Formula Dallara/Aurora/Firestone Mall.com 500 Race Report -- Sunday, Oct. 17, 1999 Round 10 of 10 on the 1999 Pep Boys Indy Racing League
Fuel pick-up problems brought Robby McGehee's bid to win 1999 Pep Boys Indy Racing League Rookie of the Year honors to a disappointing end tonight in the rain-delayed Mall.com 500 IRL season finale at Texas Motor Speedway. The 26-year-old McGehee and his #55 Energizer Advanced Formula Dallara/Aurora/Firestone entry had to settle for a 12th-place finish in the race and second place to Scott Harrington in the final rookie standings. Harrington had a relatively trouble-free night and finished the season with a 165-156 lead over McGehee in the points battle. McGehee's fuel delivery system was able to draw just 20 gallons from his 35-gallon fuel tank, necessitating several extra pit stops and costing him six laps in the 208-lap event. He came into the race with a one-point lead over Harrington.
ROBBY McGEHEE -- "I think we would've finished way up there if we would have had any gas capacity. It's tough when you're limited to 20 gallons per run when everyone else is getting 35. I love this track, but it hasn't been nice to us. We had a great car tonight, and we had a great car here in June before mechanical problems took us out of contention. Not winning Rookie of the Year isn't the end of the world. We've had a great first season. We got Rookie of the Year at the Indy 500, and that's the most important award I've gotten my entire life. I wouldn't trade that for anything. But it would've been nice to get both (the Indy 500 and season-long Rookie of the Year awards). The Energizer Motorsports team certainly worked hard enough to deserve both. We had an awesome car tonight, which makes it frustrating. But that's just the way it goes."
DAVE CONTI (Chief Engineer) -- "It's disappointing, that's for sure. We had the goods to win it. At least finish in the top five. We were fighting fuel delivery problems all weekend long. We might have left a gallon or two in there. But how it got so bad, something is really wrong there. Overall, it's been a pretty satisfying season. I wouldn't say we did better than we thought we would. But we certainly ran as well as we thought we could. Now, we're not rookies anymore. We've got a solid season to build upon. We know we can run competitively with the best cars out here. The key will be to get the rest of the package ironed out -- get the funds so we can go do some serious testing, put together a solid qualifying setup, all of the finer points that can help push us over the top. Looking ahead, we've got to feel encouraged."