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IRL 1997 Finale Goes to Wire at Vegas . . . Who Will Be Champion?

6 October 1997

The IRL's final race of the 1997 season--this coming weekend at Las Vegas Speedway on the 1.5 mile high bank/high speed oval--will see two drivers separated by only 10 points attempting to stay out of trouble and go racing towards the end of the contest. Tony Stewart of Team Menard enters the fray with 254 points, but AJ Foyt's driver Davey Hamilton is only 10 points behind the golden boy.

Hamilton says he's going for broke, as he has nothing to lose at this point. Seeing that both of these guys come from the rock em-sock 'em Sprint and midget car ranks, they should put on a good 200 mph show at Vegas.

All the other regulars will be at Vegas: Eddie Cheever, Indy 500 winner Arie Luyendyck, Buzz Calkins, Jim "I'm racing on a shoe string" Guthrie, and Robbie Buhl.

Thirty one cars are listed. Also finalizing their eight race season will be: Roberto Guerrero, Billy Boat, Kenny Brack, Dr. Jack Miller, Paul Durant, Tyce Carlson and others.

A new Riley and Scott chassis will debut at Vegas in the hands of Mark Dismore, and there is a chance that an Infiniti motor may make the Olds Aurora dominated field.

The 500 Kilometer event will run under the lights Saturday and start at 7pm, PDT. The promoters hope a few people will take some time off from gambling to attend the race. Not likely.

Bill Maloney -- The Auto Channel