PEP BOYS INDY RACING LEAGUE WEEKLY NOTEBOOK INDIANAPOLIS, Sept. 28, 1998 - Notes and quotes from the Pep Boys Indy Racing League: Pit bosses to compete in Vegas: Pit bosses roam the floors of every Las Vegas casino, monitoring the ...
PEP BOYS INDY RACING LEAGUE WEEKLY NOTEBOOK
INDIANAPOLIS, Sept. 28, 1998 - Notes and quotes from the Pep Boys Indy Racing League:
Pit bosses to compete in Vegas: Pit bosses roam the floors of every Las Vegas casino, monitoring the action at a group of gaming tables for the casino management.
But the true pit boss of the Pep Boys Indy Racing League will be determined Oct. 8 in Las Vegas on a strip of asphalt a few yards from the tables.
Six of the Pep Boys Indy Racing League's top teams will compete for their share of a $25,000 purse in the Las Vegas Fremont Street Experience Pit Stop Contest at 5:30 p.m. (PDT) Oct. 8. The competition will take place on Fourth Street, adjacent to the popular Fremont Street Experience in downtown Las Vegas.
The competing teams, with drivers in parentheses: Hemelgarn Racing (1996 Indianapolis 500 champion Buddy Lazier), ISM Racing (1997 Indianapolis 500 rookie of the year Jeff Ward), Nienhouse Motorsports (Las Vegas resident Davey Hamilton), Panther Racing (Scott Goodyear), Team Cheever (1998 Indianapolis 500 champion Eddie Cheever Jr.) and Team Menard (1996-97 Pep Boys Indy Racing League champion Tony Stewart).
Pep Boys Indy Racing League drivers and teams will be in Las Vegas that week for the season-ending Las Vegas 500K on Oct. 11 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Teams participating in the contest will change four tires and perform a simulated fill-up of fuel. The cars will drive in and out of their pit stalls and will be electronically timed by Indy Racing League officials.
There will be three qualifying rounds, with two teams in each round. The two teams with the best times will compete in the final, with the winning team receiving $8,000. The runner-up will earn $5,000 and the four other teams $3,000 each.
Many Pep Boys Indy Racing League drivers will sign autographs after the contest. The autograph session will continue until 8 p.m. Fans can register for prizes. ***
Steele back at Vegas: Pep Boys Indy Racing League rookie Dave Steele will return to the Pennzoil Panther Racing team for the season-ending Las Vegas 500K after making an impressive debut with the team Sept. 20 during the Lone Star 500 at Texas Motor Speedway.
Steele, 24, from Tampa, Fla., will drive the Pennzoil Panther G Force/Aurora/Goodyear as a teammate to league star Scott Goodyear, team manager John Barnes said.
"I really hit it off with Scott and the Panther Pack," Steele said. "The equipment was top-notch, and I knew from the moment I sat in the car that this was the best opportunity for me to learn and to show my skills." Steele finished 24th at Texas, but that result is a bit misleading. He started a strong 11th and was running a smooth, consistent race when a tire problem caused him to crash on Lap 40, ending his race. Steele was the fourth-fastest driver overall during the final day of practice for the Lone Star 500.
"I'm sorry Texas didn't last any longer than it did," Steele said. "But we showed that this team is capable, and I am capable of running in this series. I can't wait to get back into the Pennzoil car."
The Las Vegas 500K will be the third race of Steele's Pep Boys Indy Racing League career. Besides driving for Pennzoil Panther at Texas, he made his league debut with the rsm Marko team on March 22 at the Dura-Lube 200 in Phoenix, finishing 22nd. ***
Tyler's excellent adventure: Pep Boys Indy Racing League rookie standout Brian Tyler will face a brisk weekend Oct. 10-11.
Tyler will attempt to qualify the Team Pelfrey Dallara/Aurora/Firestone during PPG Pole qualifying at noon, Oct. 10 in the season-ending Las Vegas 500K Pep Boys Indy Racing League event at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Then he'll jump on a plane headed for Sacramento, Calif., where he will try to keep his points lead in the USAC Silver Crown standings. Tyler took the lead from Pep Boys Indy Racing League test driver Jason Leffler with a seventh-place finish Sept. 26 at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio. Tyler leads by 11 points over Leffler, who finished 16th at Eldora.
Tyler then will fly back to Las Vegas in time for the 1 p.m. start of the Las Vegas 500K on Oct. 11. ***
Historical Hewitt: Jack Hewitt, who made his Indianapolis 500 debut this year, became the first driver in the 18-year history of the 4-Crown Nationals to sweep all four feature events Sept. 26 at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio.
Hewitt won the 50-lap USAC Silver Crown race, the 30-lap USAC sprint feature, the 25-lap USAC midget race and the 20-lap UMP modified race.
"This has been a fairy tale night," the colorful Hewitt said. "Snow White and Cinderella have nothing on me."
Hewitt, 47, finished 12th this year in the Indianapolis 500. *** Next event: Las Vegas 500K, Oct. 11, Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Tickets are available by calling LVMS at (702) 644-4443.