For Immediate Release IRL PAYOUT $1,137,500 FOR INDY 200 AT WALT DISNEY WORLD; WINNER EDDIE CHEEVER CAPTURES $170,000 INDIANAPOLIS, Jan. 30, 1997 Eddie Cheever, the Indy Racing League's first driver/owner captured...
For Immediate Release
IRL PAYOUT $1,137,500 FOR INDY 200 AT WALT DISNEY WORLD; WINNER EDDIE CHEEVER CAPTURES $170,000
INDIANAPOLIS, Jan. 30, 1997
Eddie Cheever, the Indy Racing League's first driver/owner captured $170,000 of a $1,137,500 purse forthe Indy 200 at Walt Disney World Presented by Aurora, which kicked off the League's new engines (Oldsmobile Aurora and Nissan Infiniti) and chassis (Dallara and G Force).
Cheever's awards included $128,000 for the victory and $42,000 in additional designated awards. It is the League's largest winning payout to date for any race other than the Indianapolis 500, which paid in excess of $8.1 million last May.
Cheever, 39, of Indianapolis, Ind., notched his first IRL victory last Saturday as the first driver/owner to win since A.J. Foyt at Pocono in 1981. In the FirstPlus Team Cheever G Force/Aurora machine, he started in fifth, then dropped to eighth before battling his way to the front. A sudden rainstorm on Lap 149 ended the race and gave Cheever the win.
The purse for the league's third 1996-97 event was announced today by Leo Mehl, vice president of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and executive director of the Indy Racing League. Cheever's Orlando winner's purse tops Arie Luyendyk's first-place payoff of $132,000 at the Dura-Lube 200 last March at Phoenix.
Mike Groff, the current 1996-97 driver points leader, finished second in the Jonathan Byrd's Cafeteria Bryant Heating & Cooling G Force/Infiniti entry and was awarded $118,850. Third-place prize of $68,900 went to Scott Goodyear in the Treadway Racing/NORTEL G Force/ Aurora. Top-finishing rookie Jim Guthrie drove to sixth in the Blueprint Racing Dallara/Aurora and received $63,250, thanks in part to the $5,000 Highest Finishing Rookie award from Kruse International.
Tony Stewart, in the Glidden/Menard Special G Force/Aurora started from the pole and earned $83,300, which included the $10,000 PPG Pole award, $10,000 True Value Chief Mechanic award, and $10,000 MBNA America Lap Leader for leading 131 laps. The $10,000 Coors Pit Performance went to Marco Greco in the Intl. Sports Ltd/Scandia/Alta/Xcel/Royal Purple Dallara/Aurora entry and was awarded $63,550.
Buzz Calkins, the inaugural Indy 200 winner and 1996 IRL driver co-champion, led for 14 laps before engine problems put him out late in the race. He finished 11th with awards totaling $54,200.
The next IRL race, also carrying posted awards of $1 million-plus, will be the Phoenix 200 at Phoenix International Raceway on Sunday, March 23 and will be aired live by ABC Sports television and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network.