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Indy 500: Boat Takes Early Lead in Indy 500; Day Ends With Mechanical Woes

25 May 1998

Billy Boat
Indianapolis, IN: Pole-winner Billy Boat finished 23rd in today's race after leading the first 12 laps of the 82nd running of the Indianapolis 500. Driving the No. 11 Conseco/A.J. Foyt Racing Dallara-Aurora, he went out of the race on lap 131 due to a driveline failure.

"We started out alright in the Conseco car," Boat said. "Then on the restart (on lap 49) I had trouble getting it into gear. I went around at a slow pace and then it locked up completely. We had to push back to the garage area and fix the gearbox. When we went back out we were 20 laps down but kept going to try and get some points. About 50 laps later the gearbox locked up completely.

"It's disappointing for the whole A.J. Foyt team," Boat continued. "That's what happens here at Indy. Sometimes it jumps out and bites you. Now we'll just move forward and focus on Texas."

Billy Boat's name will go down in Indy 500 history as the winner of the 1998 pole position. He also holds the current record for the fastest single lap, 224.573 mph, and the fastest four-lap average, 223.503 mph, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the current configuration of the IRL car.

Earning three points for qualifying on the pole and seven points for finishing 23rd, Boat is now 11th in the championship standings.

The next Pep Boys Indy Racing League event is the True Value 500k night race at Texas Motor Speedway on June 6.