FORT WORTH, Texas, Friday, June 9, 2000 -- The weatherman shuffled the starting lineup Friday for the Casino Magic 500 on Saturday night at Texas Motor Speedway, putting Buddy Lazier on the pole and moving fastest qualifier Mark Dismore to the ...
FORT WORTH, Texas, Friday, June 9, 2000 -- The weatherman shuffled the starting lineup Friday for the Casino Magic 500 on Saturday night at Texas Motor Speedway, putting Buddy Lazier on the pole and moving fastest qualifier Mark Dismore to the sixth starting position. Two-thirds of the way through the Indy Racing Northern Light Series qualifying session, rain began pelting the track, wiping out all of the qualifying speeds already posted. The starting lineup then was decided by the current Northern Light Cup entrant point standings. Hemelgarn Racing and driver Lazier lead the standings with 138 points. This placed 1996 Indianapolis 500 winner Lazier and his Delta Faucet/Coors Light/Tae-Bo/Hemelgarn Racing Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone on the pole and pushed Dismore, who had turned a quick lap of 212.065 mph in his OnStar/GM BuyPower Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone, back to outside of the third row. Lazier had qualified seventh fastest. "We'll take it," Lazier said about inheriting the pole. "I feel bad for Mark Dismore. Really down deep, I feel bad for everyone." Said Dismore: "There's nothing I can do about it. That's the way it goes. It's too bad. The money's great and all that, but I don't care about that. I wanted to get the three points for the championship. I wanted to get that pretty trophy. That trophy's neat. I got one at Vegas. I would have liked to get that one and have two bookends." The Casino Magic 500 starts at 8 p.m. (EDT) on the 1.5-mile oval at Texas Motor Speedway. This is the first time Lazier, who has won three Indy Racing races, has started from the top spot since he captured the first Indy Racing League pole at Walt Disney World Speedway on Jan. 27, 1996. His best starting spot this year was fifth at Walt Disney World Speedway, another rain-canceled qualifying session. His best starting spot in actual qualifying was 16th at Indianapolis. This season no driver has won a race from the pole, but Lazier won at Phoenix International Raceway in March after starting last. After the rainout Friday, Robbie Buhl jumped from 12th to the outside of the front row. His Dreyer & Reinbold team was tied for second in the standings with Panther Racing and driver Scott Goodyear, but Buhl's team got the call for the second starting position because it had a win - at Walt Disney World Speedway in January - to its credit. Buhl will use an Infiniti engine for the first time, switching from an Oldsmobile after the Indianapolis 500. Eddie Cheever Jr., who will start fifth, also uses an Infiniti. Buhl's starting spot is the best in Indy Racing history for an Infiniti-powered car. The second row will consist of Goodyear on the inside and Eliseo Salazar on the outside. The biggest loser in the qualification rainout was hometown driver Greg Ray. He was second fastest in the lineup when the heavens opened up and wound up in 17th starting position. Buzz Calkins, looking for his best start in over three years, was moved from fourth to 19th. Cheever, Dismore and Ray departed Texas late Friday for Michigan. They will drive in the True Value IROC race at Michigan Speedway at noon Saturday and then jet back to Texas in time to start in the Casino Magic 500.
CASINO MAGIC 500 NOTEBOOK
On the air: The Casino Magic 500 will be televised live on ESPN at 8 p.m. (EDT) Saturday. "Indy Racing 2Day" will be televised live at 3:30 p.m. Saturday on ESPN2.
The Indy Racing Radio Network will broadcast a 30-minute prerace show at 7:30 p.m. (EDT) Saturday, followed by the live race broadcast at 8 p.m.
The IRRN race broadcast also will be available live on the Internet at www.indyracing.com as part of a partnership between Indy Racing Online and Yahoo!/broadcast.com, the world's leading Web broadcast site.
Tickets: Tickets for the Casino Magic 500 are available by calling (817) 215-8500, through Ticketmaster outlets in Texas by calling (214) 373-8000 or (972) 647-5700. Tickets also are available online at www.ticketmaster.com .