IROC: Cheever Intent On Talladega Results
22 April 1999Talladega, Alabama - Eddie Cheever, Jr. has his sights set on the checkered flag for this Saturday's True Value International Race of Champions (IROC) race at Talladega Super Speedway. His first time driving on the 2.66-mile high banked oval, Cheever will start the 101-mile race from the outside pole position.
"The first IROC race in Daytona was quite a shock. I had been told so many horror stories about how difficult the NASCAR drivers might make this for an open wheel guy like myself, that I think I lost sight of the objective," said Cheever of his Daytona debut. "As it turned out, those guys were so intent on beating each other that I don't think they cared who was in what car. This time, I'll go back to the racing basics and the motto "you have to first finish to finish first!"
As the IROC rules state, the starting grid for Round Two of the four race invitational series, will be in reverse of the Daytona finishing order. Therefore, Cheever's 11th-place Daytona finish, due to an entanglement on Lap Eight with NASCAR veterans Jeff Burton and Rusty Wallace as well as Busch Grand National Superstar, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., will have him starting on the front row, running beside Burton, for Talladega's race.
"I'm really looking forward to making use of the lessons I learnt in Daytona," explained Cheever, who will make his first run on the Alabama super speedway today. "If drafting at Talladega is anything like Daytona where you start isn't going to mean much. I went from the front to the back and to the front again in no time flat in Daytona. This time, however, I won't have so much coffee for breakfast and see if I can't have a respectable finish!"
Eddie Cheever, Jr., a twenty-five year racing veteran and 1998 Indy 500 Champion, is currently ranked third in the 1999 Pep Boys Indy Racing League (IRL) Drivers Standing. His team, Team Cheever, who won the first race of the season at Walt Disney World Speedway, is ranked second in the 1999 Team Standings. In addition to Saturday's IROC race, Cheever is also preparing for the next stop on the 11-race Pep Boys IRL series scheduled for Saturday evening, May 1st, at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
"The IROC is really something special as it pits all the best oval racing drivers against one another using similarly prepared cars. There isn't one driver in this series who isn't willing to sacrifice a win for second place," summarized Cheever. "Even though I crashed early on in Daytona, I must admit it was the most fun I have had in a long time. I'm really looking forward to Saturday's race."