METRO RACING SYSTEMS 1998 LAS VEGAS 500K NOTES Return to Vegas Indy Racing League (IRL) team owner/driver Stan Wattles is looking forward to the Oct. 11 Las Vegas 500K race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Wattles recorded his first Indy car race...
METRO RACING SYSTEMS 1998 LAS VEGAS 500K NOTES
Return to Vegas
Indy Racing League (IRL) team owner/driver Stan Wattles is looking forward to the Oct. 11 Las Vegas 500K race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Wattles recorded his first Indy car race finish at the speedway in September, 1997. He started 25th and finished eighth. It was the first race for his rookie Metro Racing Systems team, fielding the new Riley & Scott MK V chassis.
Wattles scored two more top-10 finishes this year, both at Texas Motor Speedway. He moved up the most positions during the Sept. 20 Lone Star 500. He started 26th and finished eighth.
"Texas was a good, but tough, race. We followed Goodyear's advice on tires and it worked for us," Wattles said. "I think the Vegas race will be the same -- tough, but good. Returning to a fun track and town to end the season creates a great springboard for the '99 season."
Wattles and Metro Racing will host the students from New Horizons Academy at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Oct. 8. The school visit is part of the Racing to Make a Difference program Wattles initiated in co-operation with the National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD). He is a celebrity spokesman for the NCLD and meets frequently with children who have learning disabilities. He hopes his experience in overcoming the challenges of dyslexia, dysgraphia and perception difficulties will encourage others.
Out of the blue
Metro Racing's jack/vent operator, Bruce Thompson, is a skydiver and kart racer. He started skydiving in 1984 when he convinced his employer, the local drop zone, to pay him in jumps. He has been an instructor for 11 years and has jumped the American flag into town festivals and state and international sports events. He has raced Yamaha sprint karts in enduro races since 1990. "Kart racing is really a 30-minute skydive. It's just as much fun, just as intense and requires the same quick hand-eye co-ordination and instinctive reaction," he said.
Made in the USA
Metro Racing was the first IRL team to field an American driver in an "all-American" car, with the Riley & Scott MK V chassis, IRL Aurora V8 engines and Goodyear Eagle tires. Wattles is the only driver who has competed in the Indianapolis 500 with an all-American chassis, engine and tire combination since 1984.
Las Vegas link
Metro Racing's team manager and spotter, Greg Wattles, recently moved from Las Vegas to the team's homebase in Florida. Stan and Greg are distant cousins who met at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in September, 1996.