IRL: Texas Saturday report

David Reininger - motorspot.com Fort Worth, Tex. (June 9, 2000) - Qualifying for the Casino Magic 500 at Texas Motor Speedway was washed out by heavy rain this afternoon placing Buddy Lazier on the pole position for Saturday night's race. The...

David Reininger - motorspot.com

Fort Worth, Tex. (June 9, 2000) - Qualifying for the Casino Magic 500 at Texas Motor Speedway was washed out by heavy rain this afternoon placing Buddy Lazier on the pole position for Saturday night's race. The starting lineup was determined using the Indy Racing Northern Light Championship point standings.

Lazier leads the championship standings by 26 points over Robbie Buhl and Scott Goodyear, who are tied for second. Lazier scored a win at Phoenix this season and a second place finish in the Indianapolis 500 two weeks ago.

After using a tie-breaker to set the second starting position, Robbie Buhl, who switched to an Infiniti engine after the last race, found himself on the outside of the front row. This marks the first time in Indy Racing history that an Infiniti-powered car will start on the front row. Buhl, tied in the point standings with Scott Goodyear, assumes his front row starting position due to the team's win in the season opener at Orlando in January. Scott Goodyear, defending champion of this race, has yet to score a win this season.

"It's never the way you want to do it," commented Buhl after being moved to the front row. "Things come full circle. I've had things happen the other way, where I've gone to Orlando and had no points. But if you have a good team and follow your strategy, it doesn't matter where you start."

Eliseo Salazar will start fourth, followed by Eddie Cheever, with Mark Dismore starting sixth.

With only five cars remaining in the qualifying line, the skies opened, leaving Dismore stranded atop the speed chart with a lap in the books at 212.065 mph. "There's nothing I can do about what happened," said Dismore. "They just did what they had to do, I guess. It's their decision, I'm not going to question it."

"Starting sixth isn't that bad. That's a good place to be at the beginning of this race. We've got a good race car. We're in good shape for the race and that's what we need to look at now. We need to forget this and move forward." Last year's Indy Racing champion, Greg Ray wasn't looking forward to Saturday's grid being determined by points. Ray will start 17th after setting the second fastest lap of the session. For Ray it's the first time this season he won't start on the front row.

"Well, there is really nothing we can do about it," said Ray. "It looks like we start in the ninth row. This is the first time we've started this far back in 2 ½ years. Our year hasn't gone the way we wanted it to, though we had some good runs. We're kind of disappointed, but there's nothing you can do about it."

A final practice session, normally used for determining full fuel load setups, will be held Saturday afternoon. The half-hour practice session is scheduled to begin at 3:45 p.m. The Casino Magic 500 is scheduled to take the green flag at 7:00 p.m.

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Greg Ray , Eddie Cheever , Robbie Buhl , Eliseo Salazar , Buddy Lazier , Scott Goodyear