TRUE VALUE 500 QUALIFYING POSTPONED UNTIL FRIDAY; STEWART FAST FORT WORTH, Texas, June 4, 1998 - Qualifying for the True Value 500 was postponed until Friday due to damp track conditions Thursday night, affecting the racing area used by Pep Boys...
TRUE VALUE 500 QUALIFYING POSTPONED UNTIL FRIDAY; STEWART FAST
FORT WORTH, Texas, June 4, 1998 - Qualifying for the True Value 500 was postponed until Friday due to damp track conditions Thursday night, affecting the racing area used by Pep Boys Indy Racing League cars at Texas Motor Speedway.
Twenty-eight drivers will attempt to qualify at 3 p.m. (CDT) Friday. The 208-lap, 312-mile (500 kilometers) race is scheduled to start at 8 p.m. Saturday. It's the fourth of 11 events this season in the Pep Boys IRL.
"It's the same game, regardless of the day," Indianapolis 500 champion Eddie Cheever Jr. said. "I'm a little disappointed, but we'll come back tomorrow and do it all over again."
Heavy rain swept through the Fort Worth area at 7:10 p.m. (CDT), about one hour before the scheduled qualifying session. The 1.5-mile quad-oval was dried enough to allow qualifying for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race to start at 10:10 p.m., but the trucks use a different line than the IRL cars. Pep Boys IRL qualifying was postponed at approximately 10:20 p.m.
"There's a dampness out there," said Leo Mehl, Pep Boys IRL executive director. "The humidity is so high. We think we're getting into an area where we're in a safety situation. For the speeds we're going, it's getting so late that we thought it was wise not to squeeze it. We're happy to do it tomorrow. "Our cornering speeds are so high. We always err on the side of caution and safety. There are no puddles. This is as good a racing surface as I've seen."
Defending series champion Tony Stewart was fastest overall during the two practice sessions Thursday. Stewart, from Columbus, Ind., turned a fast lap of 223.224 mph in his Glidden-Menards Special Dallara/Aurora/Firestone on a day in which air temperatures reached 103 degrees and track temperatures approached 140.
Stewart's best lap was more than 5 mph faster than the track record of 218.094 that he set during this race last year.
Indianapolis 500 pole winner Billy Boat was second fastest at 221.067 in the Conseco Dallara/Aurora/Goodyear owned by A.J. Foyt. Defending race champion Arie Luyendyk was third fastest at 219.307 in the Sprint PCS-RadioShack-QUALCOMM G Force/Aurora/Firestone.
Broadcast schedule: The live television and radio broadcast schedule for the True Value 500: TV: 9 p.m. (EDT) Saturday, The Nashville Network, live. Radio: Pre-race, 8:30 p.m. (EDT) Saturday, IMS Radio Network; race, 9 p.m. (EDT) Saturday, IMS Radio Network.