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Gateway Indy Race Day Comments - unofficial thread :)

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  • Gateway Indy Race Day Comments - unofficial thread :)

    From www.IndyRacing.com :

    It hasn't been an easy two weeks entering the Gateway Indy 250 for Eddie Cheever Jr., but he maintained his focus this morning to post the fastest lap during the final practice for today's Indy Racing League event at Gateway International Raceway.

    Cheever turned his top lap, 26.3055 seconds, 171.067 mph, on the last of his 39 trips around the 1.25-mile oval in the No. 51 Red Bull Cheever Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone. The fast lap gave a lift to Cheever, whose father died Aug. 15 and whose rookie teammate Tomas Scheckter decided not to race with the team at this event as their sometimes-strained relationship apparently is on the rocks again.

    Alex Barron was second at 26.3917, 170.508, in the No. 44 Rayovac Blair Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone, with points leader and defending series champion Sam Hornish Jr. third at 26.4907, 169.871 in the No. 4 Pennzoil Panther Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone.

    MBNA Pole winner Gil de Ferran was 13th at 26.7451, 168.255 in the No. 6 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone.

    The session ended two minutes early when Anthony Lazzaro made contact with the outside retaining wall exiting Turn 4. Lazzaro climbed from the No. 20 Casino Queen/BG Products/Sam Schmidt Motorsports Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone without assistance and was evaluated and cleared to drive, but the rear of the car suffered heavy damage.

    Team owner Sam Schmidt said Lazzaro will not drive in the race, which starts at 3 p.m. (EDT), because the team does not have a backup car.

    Defending event champion Al Unser Jr. hit Lazzaro's car with the front of his No. 7 Corteco/Bryant Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone. Unser was unhurt and cleared to drive, and the left front of his car suffered minor damage.

    Up Next, Indy Racing League: Race, 3 p.m. (EDT), live on ESPN

    That's 2 pm Hoosier Universal / TrackForum time

  • #2
    Chevy Takes Top Five in IRL Qualifying

    MADISON, Ill., Aug. 24, 2002 -- Chevrolet engines swept the top five spots in qualifying for Sunday's Gateway Indy 250 at Gateway International Raceway across the Mississippi River from St. Louis. Gil de Ferran put Penske Racing's Chevrolet Dallara on the pole for the fourth time this season with a fast lap of 175.120 mph. Points leader Sam Hornish Jr. will start alongside de Ferran with a 174.959 mph qualifying speed in Panther Racing's Chevrolet Dallara. Chevrolet drivers Helio Castroneves, Vitor Meira and Jeff Ward completed the Chevy Indy V8 sweep.

    A Chevrolet engine won the pole for the seventh time this season. De Ferran set the track record for IRL cars as qualifying was rained out last year in the series' inaugural event at GIR. He has earned all of his IRL poles on short tracks: Gateway's 1.25-mile oval, the 1-mile Nazareth and Pikes Peak speedways, and the .75-mile Richmond bullring.

    "We're back to what I call a handling track, and getting the car sorted out on both ends is not an easy thing," said de Ferran. "It's a big challenge at this track. My car was very good through turns 1 and 2, and that helped to put the boot down and get some good speed in the back straight. It's really hard to get it just right.

    "We were fighting understeer this morning," he reported. "We kept massaging it and massaging it. We just made a final change for qualifying and the car was very good. I was happy for about 30 seconds, and then I was already thinking about tomorrow."

    Hornish will make his third front-row start of the season in the 200-lap race, but he was aiming higher.

    "I'm a little disappointed with the qualifying run -- we had more," said Hornish. "We set up for the wrong number of laps, and actually I slowed down the first lap to save the tires. Chevy gave us great horsepower and everything is coming together. It's a tough racetrack because you can't set up for one end or the other and get away with it. You've got to be on it at both ends."

    Helio Castroneves trails Hornish by four points in the championship race, and he will start behind Hornish from the third spot on the grid in Penske Racing's Chevrolet Dallara. Like Hornish, Castroneves believed he had a shot at the pole.

    "It's tough when you work really hard and some little thing happens," he said. "The car is not bad, but you always want to be first.

    "We had a fantastic Turn 1 and Turn 2, a tenth and a half quicker than this morning," Castroneves noted. "I was surprised losing so much speed coming through Turn 3 and 4, that was so disappointing. We just have to be smart tomorrow."

    Rookie Vitor Meira is the third Brazilian in the top four on the starting grid. He qualified Team Menard's Chevrolet Dallara alongside Castroneves in the second row in only his second IRL race.

    "The amount of work this team puts in is tremendous," said Meira. "This only reflects work. Everyone has the same capability, and Team Menard has done a great job for me to be here. The first corner you have to lift, so it's different from my first race at Kentucky. So far it's good.

    Fresh from a victory at the preceding race at Kentucky Speedway, Felipe Giaffone will start Mo Nunn Racing's Chevrolet G Force from the seventh spot.

    "We didn't have a lot of time to practice our qualifying setup and I think we should be better for the race," Giaffone said. "The time that I did was what I was expecting; we never ran quicker than that. It's not the best place to start, but it's going to be better tomorrow."

    The Gateway Indy 250 will start at 3 p.m. EDT (2 p.m. local time) on Sunday, Aug. 25. The 250-mile, 200-lap race will be televised live on ESPN and broadcast live on the IMS Radio Network.

    1. Gil de Ferran, Chevrolet, 175.120 mph
    2. Sam Hornish Jr., Chevrolet, 174.959
    3. Helio Castroneves, Chevrolet, 174.939
    4. Vitor Meira, Chevrolet, 173.863
    5. Jeff Ward, Chevrolet, 173.844
    6. Laurent Redon, Infiniti, 173.828
    7. Felipe Giaffone, Chevrolet, 173.684
    8. Robbie Buhl, Infiniti, 173.229
    9. Sarah Fisher, Infiniti, 172.814
    10. Scott Sharp, Chevrolet, 172.565


    • #3
      Here's a tip for those going or for those who haven't but would like to.

      Go to the turn 1 entrance, you can get right up against the wall where they've poured some sloping concrete(for drainage?) and watch the cars coming at you at 190+ mph. They're just 2 feet away from you on the other side of the wall as they turn into 1.
      Even for experienced fans it's quite a rush and good for the soul.

      Also, watch the "newbies" stand there and watch there reaction. Most jump back or duck. It's a lot of fun.


      • #4


        • #5
          Alex Barron has just earned himself a big fan!
          Quit whining. Enjoy the racing.


          • #6
            These en-masse pit stops are cool. This is a really close race.


            • #7
              I'm pretty cheesed at Greg Ray for bringing out the yellow. Might have cost Alex the race. Solid pit work by Penske, as usual.
              Quit whining. Enjoy the racing.


              • #8
                What's the dealio with the commercial on the re-start!??

                Barron had just taken the lead!

                Now Helio is??


                • #9
                  Good Show!


                  • #10
                    Congratulations Gil!


                    • #11
                      Ho, hum. Another IRL barnburner.
                      "Is that my *** that I smell burning?" ... Helmet Stogie from "Death spasms of the Mabuchi"


                      • #12
                        Quite a good race! I will tolerate no further disparaging of the Gateway track!
                        Quit whining. Enjoy the racing.


                        • #13
                          The race itself was much better than I
                          expected. Thank goodness for that.
                          "Freedom, just around the corner from you,
                          With truth so far off what good would it do?"

                          Bob Dylan- "Jokerman"


                          • #14
                            pretty impressive. best track since WDW.

                            fast but lot's of traffic. tough setup no one could break away.

                            good stuff.
                            It's a brand new day.


                            • #15
                              Kudos to Buddy Rice on another good race.This kid runs fast and up front an also brings the car home with the wheels on it.If Cheever would have put Buddy in the 52 from the start he would be in the points battle.He also would have saved Team Cheever about $2,000,000!


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