BOAT WINS TRUE VALUE 500 FOR FIRST CAREER PEP BOYS IRL VICTORY FORT WORTH, Texas, June 6, 1998 - Billy Boat held off Greg Ray in a wild shootout over the last 10 laps, winning the True Value 500 on Saturday night at Texas Motor Speedway...
BOAT WINS TRUE VALUE 500 FOR FIRST CAREER PEP BOYS IRL VICTORY
FORT WORTH, Texas, June 6, 1998 - Billy Boat held off Greg Ray in a wild shootout over the last 10 laps, winning the True Value 500 on Saturday night at Texas Motor Speedway for his first career Pep Boys Indy Racing League victory.
Boat, from Phoenix, earned $130,250 for the victory in the Conseco Dallara/Aurora/Goodyear owned by four-time Indianapolis 500 winner A.J. Foyt. The victory came one year after Boat apparently crossed the finish line first at this race before an all-night scoring audit revealed that Arie Luyendyk was the winner. "We really wanted to win this one bad," Boat said. "I won this race last year and woke up 12 hours later in second. I wasn't going to let that happen again. We had a great racecar and ran straight out. I had a tough time in traffic, and I just had to time it right to get through."
Boat ensured his victory by passing Ray on Lap 202 of the 208-lap race. Ray desperately tried to pass Boat on Lap 203, driving into the infield grass three times. In one attempted pass, the nose of Ray's AT&T Wireless Services Dallara/Aurora/Firestone nearly touched the rear of Boat's car. But Boat pulled away over the last five laps, hanging on to win by .928 of second.
"We just ran out of gear," Ray said. "The bottom line: He had more gear. We had the better-handling car."
Ray took the lead with a stirring pass on Lap 201. He and Boat approached the lapped car of Buzz Calkins on the backstretch. Ray moved below Calkins' car and Boat above, with Ray seizing the lead just before entering Turn 3.
That lead change was one of 22 among six drivers. Boat led nine times for 108 laps.
Defending Pep Boys IRL champion Tony Stewart led seven times for 57 laps. Stewart appeared to be ready to mount another challenge to Boat and Ray for the lead when his Glidden-Menards Special Dallara/Aurora/Firestone sprung a water leak on Lap 177, triggering the last of six caution periods. Stewart ended up 14th.
Stewart and Scott Sharp, who finished fifth, are tied for the lead in the Pep Boys IRL standings with 115 points. Boat is third at 110.
1998 Indianapolis 500 champion Eddie Cheever Jr. had a short day in the Rachel's Potato Chips Dallara/Aurora/Goodyear, finishing 26th in the 28-car field. Cheever was one of five drivers eliminated from the race in an accident on Lap 5.
Mark Dismore was transported to Parkland Hospital in Dallas in good condition with a minor concussion after hitting the wall in Turn 1 on Lap 72. Dismore was awake and alert.
The next Pep Boys Indy Racing League event is the New Hampshire 200 on June 28 at New Hampshire International Speedway in Loudon, N.H.
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