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Pep Boys IRL: VisionAire 500 Fast Facts

17 July 1998

Pep Boys IRL: VisionAire 500 Fast Facts

                    VisionAire 500 FAST FACTS

WHAT:                 Second annual VISIONAIRE 500
                      Seventh of 11 races in the 1998 Pep Boys
                      Indy Racing League

WHERE:                Charlotte Motor Speedway, Concord, N.C.
                      1.5-mile tri-oval superspeedway

WHEN:                 9 p.m. (EDT) Saturday, July 25, 1998

DISTANCE:             312 miles/208 laps

POSTED AWARDS:        More than $1 million

CARS:                 Dallara, G Force and Riley & Scott
                      chassis; Oldsmobile Aurora V8 and Nissan
                      Infiniti Indy V8 engines; Firestone and
                      Goodyear tires

1997 RACE WINNER:     Buddy Lazier

1996-97 IRL CHAMPION: Tony Stewart

POINTS LEADER:        Tony Stewart
(not including Pep
Boys 400K, July 19)

(Race)                The Nashville Network (live), 9 p.m.
                      (EDT) July 25
                      Announcers: Eli Gold, Tom Sneva
                      Pit reporters: Vince Welch, Bobby

(Qualifying)          SpeedVision (live), 8:30 p.m. (EDT) July
                      Announcers: Gary Lee, Derek Daly
                      Pit reporter: Calvin Fish

(Race)                IMS Radio Network (live), 9 p.m. (EDT)
                      July 25 with a prerace show starting at
                      8:30 p.m. Local affiliates are WBT-AM,
                      1110, Charlotte, N.C., and WBT-FM, 99.3,
                      Charlotte, N.C.
                      Announcers: Bob Jenkins, Gary Lee
                      Pit reporters: Mark Jaynes, Dave Calabro
                      Turn reporters: Doug Rice, Mark Garrow

SCHEDULE (all times
(July 23, Pep Boys    10 a.m.: Pep Boys IRL garage opens
Pole Night)           2:45-4:15 p.m.: Pep Boys IRL practice
                      (Two groups)
                      5:30-7 p.m.: Pep Boys IRL practice (Two
                      8-9:15 p.m.: Pep Boys IRL qualifications
                      (All positions, best of two laps)
                      9:30 p.m.: Pep Boys IRL autograph
                      session in garage area

(July 24)             Noon: Pep Boys IRL garage opens
                      2:15-3:45 p.m.: Pep Boys IRL practice
                      (Two groups)
                      7:30-8 p.m.: Pep Boys IRL final practice

(July 25)             Noon: Pep Boys IRL garage opens
                      8:15 p.m.: Pep Boys IRL driver
                      9 p.m.: VisionAire 500 (312 miles/208

(Qualifying)          Tony Stewart, 24.866 seconds, 217.164
                      mph, July 24, 1997
(Race)                Buddy Lazier, 1 hour, 55 minutes, 29
                      seconds, July 26, 1997
                      Average speed: 162.096 mph

THE TRACK:            1.5-mile paved tri-oval
                      Front straightaway: 1,952.8 feet long
                      Back straightaway: 1,360 feet long
                      Banking in turns: 24 degrees
                      Banking on straightaways: 5 degrees

                      Charlotte Motor Speedway is the largest
                      sports stadium in the Southeast, with
                      144,000 permanent seats. Built by area
                      businessman O. Bruton Smith in 1960, the
                      speedway played host to its first event,
                      the World 600 NASCAR race, on June 19,
                      1960. The track now plays host to three
                      NASCAR Winston Cup races per year and
                      also is the site of many other events,
                      including the VisionAire 500 Pep Boys
                      IRL race. CMS is owned by Speedway
                      Motorsports, Inc., which lists IRL
                      racing venues Texas Motor Speedway and
                      Atlanta Motor Speedway among its
                      holdings. The 2,000-acre speedway
                      complex includes a 1.5-mile tri-oval
                      track, 52 condominiums, 102 VIP suites
                      and a seven-story office tower housing
                      the Speedway Club and the speedway
                      ticket office. CMS facilities also
                      include a $1.7 million track lighting

THE RACE:             This Pep Boys IRL event has taken place
                      annually at Charlotte Motor Speedway
                      since 1997. 1996 Indianapolis 500
                      champion Buddy Lazier won the inaugural
                      VisionAire 500 on July 26, 1997. Tony
                      Stewart won the pole.

RACE NOTES:           Two-time USAC midget national champion
                      Stevie Reeves is scheduled to make his
                      Pep Boys IRL debut at this event with
                      Pagan Racing. Reeves, who lives in the
                      Charlotte area, joins the IRL after
                      competing since 1994 in the NASCAR Busch
                      Grand National Series. Reeves is one of
                      four Pep Boys IRL rookies entered in
                      this event. The others: two-time
                      defending USAC sprint national champion
                      Brian Tyler, USAC standout Donnie
                      Beechler and Robby Unser, son of three-
                      time Indianapolis 500 winner Bobby

                      Greg Ray will drive in this race for the
                      injured Billy Boat in the Conseco
                      Dallara/Aurora/Goodyear owned by racing
                      legend A.J. Foyt. Boat suffered a broken
                      left leg and a broken pelvis in a crash
                      during the New England 200 on June 28 at
                      New Hampshire International Speedway.
                      Ray finished second to Boat in the True
                      Value 500 on June 6 at Texas Motor
                      Speedway, and he earned the No. 2
                      starting spot at this year's
                      Indianapolis 500.

                      Three Indianapolis 500 winners are
                      entered in this event: 1998 champion
                      Eddie Cheever Jr., 1990 and 1997
                      champion Arie Luyendyk and 1996 champion
                      Buddy Lazier.

                      This may be only the second Pep Boys IRL
                      event to take place at Charlotte Motor
                      Speedway, but open-wheel cars raced at
                      the defunct Charlotte Speedway from 1924-
                      27. Winners on the 1.25-mile, high-
                      banked wooden oval included Indianapolis
                      500 winners Tommy Milton and Peter

SERIES NOTES:         Defending Pep Boys IRL champion Tony
                      Stewart has won the PPG pole at three of
                      the four night races in series history,
                      including the VisionAire 500 last year
                      at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Stewart
                      still seeks his first IRL race victory
                      under the lights.

                      Arie Luyendyk and Buddy Lazier are the
                      first drivers to approach the $3 million
                      IRL career-earnings mark in league
                      history. Luyendyk had earned $2,876,853
                      during his IRL career before the Pep
                      Boys 400K on July 19 at Dover, Del.,
                      while Lazier had earned $2,790,404.

                      No Pep Boys IRL driver recorded a top-10
                      finish in each of the first five races
                      of the season.

                      Race teams will be allowed to tow their
                      cars to the garage from the pits for
                      service during the race under an IRL
                      rule instituted last October at the Las
                      Vegas 500K. Teams are allowed to repair
                      their cars in the garage and return to
                      the race. Teams can't change their
                      engines or chassis. Two IRL technicians
                      must approve any repairs before the car
                      returns to the track, with IRL Technical
                      Director Phil Casey overseeing the

                      All teams are aiming for the Pep Boys
                      Million, a $1 million prize from Pep
                      Boys to be split between the
                      championship-winning driver and owner at
                      the end of this season.

STATISTICS:           1998 Pep Boys IRL      1998 MBNA
(not including Pep    point standings        lap leaders
Boys 400K, July 19)   1.   Tony Stewart 167  1.   Tony Stewart
                      2.   Scott Sharp 150     410
                      3.   Davey Hamilton    2.   Billy Boat
                         129                   132
                      4.   Billy Boat 122    3.   Eddie
                      5.   Scott Goodyear      Cheever Jr. 82
                         119                 4.   Jeff Ward 73
                      6.   Jeff Ward 113     5.   Scott
                      7.   Kenny Brack 109     Goodyear 55
                      8.   Eddie Cheever
                         Jr. 104             1998 Pep Boys IRL
                      9.   Buddy Lazier 103  winners
                      10.  Stephan Gregoire  1.   Tony Stewart 2
                         Buzz Calkins 88     2.   Billy Boat 1
                      12. Arie Luyendyk 87        Eddie Cheever Jr. 1
                      13. Sam Schmidt 82          Scott Sharp 1
                      14. Mark Dismore 80
                      15. Greg Ray 78
                          Robbie Buhl 78     1998 PPG Poles
                                             1.   Billy Boat 2
                                                  Tony Stewart 2
                                             3.   Jeff Ward 1

                      1998 Pep Boys IRL      1998 wins by
                      money leaders          chassis
                      1.   Eddie Cheever Jr. 1.   Dallara 4
                         $1,538,300          2.   G Force 1
                      2.   Tony Stewart
                         $655,050            1998 wins  by
                      3.   Buddy Lazier      engine
                         $640,000            1.   Aurora 5
                      4.   Billy Boat
                         Jr. 104             1998 Pep Boys IRL
                      9.   Buddy Lazier 103  winners