IRL: Texas True Value 500 Fast Facts

True Value 500 FAST FACTS WHAT: Second annual TRUE VALUE 500 Fourth of 11 races in the 1998 Pep Boys Indy Racing League WHERE: Texas Motor Speedway, Fort Worth, Texas ...

True Value 500 FAST FACTS

WHAT: Second annual TRUE VALUE 500 Fourth of 11 races in the 1998 Pep Boys Indy Racing League

WHERE: Texas Motor Speedway, Fort Worth, Texas 1.5-mile paved quad-oval superspeedway

WHEN: 8 p.m. (CDT) Saturday, June 6, 1998

DISTANCE: 312 miles (500 kilometers)/208 laps

POSTED AWARDS: More than $1 million

CARS: Dallara, G Force and Riley & Scott chassis; Oldsmobile Aurora V8 and Nissan Infiniti Indy V8 engines; Firestone and Goodyear tires

FIELD: 32 cars. Fastest 30 cars through time trials, plus two provisional starting positions

1997 RACE WINNER: Arie Luyendyk

1996-97 IRL CHAMPION: Tony Stewart

CURRENT POINTS LEADER: Tony Stewart

TV: (Race) TNN (live), 9 p.m. (EDT) June 6. Announcers: Mike Joy, Tom Sneva Pit reporters: Ralph Sheheen, Vince Welch

(Qualifying) SpeedVision (live), 9:15 p.m. (EDT) June 4. Announcers: Gary Lee, Derek Daly Pit reporters: Calvin Fish

RADIO: (Race) IMS Radio Network (live), 9 p.m. (EDT) June 6. Pre-race show starts at 8:30 p.m. (EDT). Fort Worth-area affiliate is WBAP, 820 AM. Announcer: Gary Lee Pit reporters: Mark Jaynes, Gary Rice. Turn reporter: Dave Wilson

SCHEDULE (all times local): (June 4) 8 a.m.: Pep Boys IRL garage opens 8 a.m.: NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series haulers enter 11 a.m.-12:45 p.m.: Legends Car races Noon: Gates open to public 12:45-1:45 p.m.: NCTS practice 2-3:30 p.m.: Pep Boys IRL practice (Two 45-minute split sessions) 3:45-4:45 p.m.: NCTS practice 5-6:30 p.m.: Pep Boys IRL practice (Two 45-minute split sessions) 6:45-8 p.m.: NCTS qualifying (All positions, two laps) 8:15-9:45 p.m.: Pep Boys IRL qualifying (All positions, best of two laps) 9:45 p.m.: Final NCTS practice 10:15 p.m.: Pep Boys IRL/NCTS Budweiser Autograph Session on lower pit road 11 p.m.: Garage closes

(June 5) Noon: Pep Boys IRL garage opens Noon-2 p.m.: Legends Car races 2:30-4 p.m.: Pep Boys IRL practice (Two 45-minute split sessions) 6-6:45 p.m.: Final Pep Boys IRL practice 7-8 p.m.: Pre-race ceremonies 8 p.m.: Pronto Auto Parts 400 NCTS race (250.5 miles/167 laps) 11 p.m.: Garage closes

(June 6) Noon: Pep Boys IRL garage opens 2:30-5:30 p.m.: Legends Car races 5:30 p.m.: Pre-race ceremonies (Chitwood Thrill Show) 7 p.m.: Grid Pep Boys IRL cars 8 p.m.: True Value 500 Pep Boys IRL race (312 miles/208 laps)

TRACK RECORDS: (Qualifying, one lap) Tony Stewart, 24.943 seconds, 216.494 mph, June 4, 1997

(Race, one lap) Tony Stewart, 218.094 mph, Lap 97, June 7, 1997

(Race, average) Arie Luyendyk, 2 hours, 19 minutes, 48.116 seconds, June 7, 1997 Average speed: 133.903 mph

THE TRACK: 1.5-mile paved quad-oval Front straightaway: 2,250 feet Back straightaway: 1,330 feet Four turns: 750 feet each Width: 58 feet (minimum) Banking: 24 degrees in all four turns, 5 degrees on front and back straightaways Facility opened in 1997. Texas Motor Speedway has 150,061 permanent seats and a total capacity of 203,061. It's the second-largest sports facility in the United States. The facility also includes 208 luxury skyboxes and the Lone Star Tower condominium and office complex. Texas Motor Speedway covers 950 acres, including a 23-acre lake. A state-of-the-art, permanent Musco Lighting system is used to illuminate night events, including the True Value 500, at the track. The system uses mirrors to simulate daylight without glare and shadows.

THE RACE: This is the second consecutive year that this Pep Boys IRL event has taken place at Texas Motor Speedway. The inaugural True Value 500 was the first Indy-style race ever conducted at night. Arie Luyendyk won the race; Tony Stewart won the pole.

RACE NOTES: *Eddie Cheever Jr. will try to become only the second driver in Pep Boys IRL history to win two consecutive races in one season. Cheever won the 82nd Indianapolis 500 on May 24. Arie Luyendyk won the Indianapolis 500 and this event last year.

*Three Indianapolis 500 winners are entered in this event: 1998 champion Eddie Cheever Jr., 1990 and 1997 champion Arie Luyendyk and 1996 champion Buddy Lazier.

*This race has a strong Texas connection. Second-year driver Greg Ray lives in Plano. Ray started on the middle of the front row this year at Indianapolis. The two-car team fielded by four-time Indianapolis 500 champion A.J. Foyt is based in Houston. Billy Boat and Kenny Brack drive for Foyt. The shop of Blueprint Racing is located in Rockwall.

*This will be the first event on the newly reconfigured oval at Texas Motor Speedway. The turns were widened 8 feet to 58 feet, creating more space for passing. The lower, 8-degree banking was removed. All sections of all four turns now are banked at 24 degrees.

*Four Pep Boys IRL rookies are entered in this event: Donnie Beechler, Jack Hewitt, Robby Unser and J.J. Yeley. Unser is the son of three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Bobby Unser. He finished fifth in his series debut May 24 at the Indianapolis 500. Yeley is the youngest driver entered in the race at 21, USAC legend Hewitt the oldest at 46. Beechler, like Yeley and Hewitt, is a veteran of USAC short-track oval events.

*Pep Boys IRL points leader Tony Stewart holds a unique distinction in the world of motorsports: He's the only driver to have competed in a stock car and an open-wheel, Indy-style car at Texas Motor Speedway. Stewart finished fifth in the True Value 500 in June 1997 and 15th this year in the Coca-Cola 300 NASCAR Busch Grand National Series race on April 4.

*This is the first race of the "Texas Two-Step" Championship, a unique bonus program providing extra incentive for strong performances by drivers in both Pep Boys IRL races this year at Texas Motor Speedway. The Pep Boys IRL driver who scores the most combined points in this race and the Lone Star 500 on Sept. 20 will earn a $100,000 bonus as the Texas Two-Step champion. The driver with the second-highest total will earn $50,000.

*Second-year Pep Boys IRL driver Jim Guthrie will miss this event due to injuries suffered in a crash during the Indianapolis 500. Guthrie was released May 27 from Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis with a broken right elbow and left fibula, cracked right ribs and a slight laceration of his right leg. He could return June 28 at New Hampshire International Speedway. Guthrie, 1996-97 Pep Boys IRL rookie of the year, will drive for Cobb Racing. He started the first three races of this season with ISM Racing.

SERIES NOTES:

*Balance prevails in the Pep Boys Indy Racing League. No driver has recorded a top-10 finish in all three races this season, and only 25 points separate leader Tony Stewart from sixth-place Davey Hamilton.

*Race teams will be allowed to tow their cars to the garage from the pits for service during the race under an IRL rule instituted last October at the Las Vegas 500K. Teams are allowed to repair their cars in the garage and return to the race. Teams can't change their engines or chassis. Two IRL technicians must approve any repairs before the car returns to the track, with IRL Technical Director Phil Casey overseeing the process. "Since the very beginning, the Pep Boys Indy Racing League has worked hard to provide value for both the fans and our sponsors," said Leo Mehl, Pep Boys IRL executive director. "For that reason, we want as many cars on the racetrack as we can get throughout the race. If a car can be safely repaired and returned to the race, we are all for it. The fans and the sponsors appreciate it."

STATISTICS: 1998 Pep Boys IRL point standings 1998 MBNA lap leaders 1. Tony Stewart 96 1. Tony Stewart 260 2. Jeff Ward 90 2. Eddie Cheever Jr. 82 3. Scott Sharp 85 3. Buddy Lazier 54 4. Eddie Cheever Jr. 78 4. John Paul Jr. 39 5. Stephan Gregoire 77 5. Scott Sharp 30 6. Davey Hamilton 71 7. Kenny Brack 62 1998 Pep Boys IRL winners 8. Buzz Calkins 58 1. Eddie Cheever Jr. 1 9. Buddy Lazier 57 Tony Stewart 1 John Paul Jr. 57 Scott Sharp 1 11. Billy Boat 56 Mike Groff 56 1998 PPG poles 13. Sam Schmidt 52 1. Billy Boat 1 14. Mark Dismore 47 Tony Stewart 1 Scott Goodyear 47 Jeff Ward 1

1998 Pep Boys IRL money leaders 1998 wins by chassis 1. Eddie Cheever Jr. $1,463,100 1. Dallara 2 2. Buddy Lazier $552,100 2. G Force 1 3. Billy Boat $444,100 4. Tony Stewart $437,800 1998 wins by engine 5. Davey Hamilton $410,800 1. Aurora 3

1998 wins by tire 1. Goodyear 2 2. Firestone 1

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World Wide Web: http://www.indyracingleague.com

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Tony Stewart , Buzz Calkins , Eddie Cheever , Buddy Lazier , Stephan Gregoire , Jeff Ward , Davey Hamilton , Scott Sharp , Arie Luyendyk , Billy Boat , Mark Dismore , Jim Guthrie , Scott Goodyear , Kenny Brack , Calvin Fish , Sam Schmidt , Bobby Unser , Tom Sneva , J.J. Yeley , Jack Hewitt , Derek Daly , Robby Unser , John Paul , Dave Wilson , A.J. Foyt