Back to front victory for Lazier

Buddy Lazier, the winner of the first Indy 500 organised by the IRL, scored an amazing victory from the back of the grid at Phoenix International Raceway

Back to front victory for Lazier

Lazier was forced to start his Riley and Scott from the rear of the field, 26th spot, after his Hemalgam team elected to start their driver in the backup car.

In truth they had little to lose, for Lazier had inexplicably only managed 24th on the grid with his best qualifying lap. The gamble paid off, however, bringing Lazier his first victory since 1996, and the Riley and Scott marque, their first victory since joining the Indy Racing Northern Light series.

Averaging 111.957mph around the 1-mile oval, Lazier pipped Scott Goodyear by a whisker to take a victory worth $130,000 and top spot in the points standings.

His cause was aided by the high number of incidents. In all, 56 laps of the 200 were run under yellow flags.

Snatching the lead 50 laps from the end, and only surrendering it during pitstops, Lazier nevertheless had to fend off the attentions of Scott Goodyear.

Shortly before Lazier asserted his grip on the race, Al Unser Jr. led his first IRNL event, showing the pace that has landed him two Indy 500 wins.

Unfortunately for Unser, he was forced to stop in a green flag period, and a caution period two laps later robbed him of the chance to take places back.

Speaking of his gamble to start in the backup car, Lazier said "we couldn't do anything with the primary car. I have to tell you I was frightened in the car, and I don't normally frighten easily.

"My guys did a great job. Ron (Hemelgarn, team owner) made the decision to roll out the backup car, and the guys worked through the night. We started last. I can't believe we can come through the field like that from last to first."

The next round of the IRNL will be held at Las Vegas on April 22nd.










































































































































pos


driver


Car/eng


laps


1


B Lazier


Riley & Scott/Oldsmobile


200


2


S Goodyear


Dallara/Oldsmobile


200


3


D Beechler


Dallara/Oldsmobile


200


4


E Salazar


G-Force/Oldsmobile


200


5


S Sharp


Dallara/Oldsmobile


200


6


B Boat


Dallara/Oldsmobile


200


7


R Buhl


G-Force/Oldsmobile


200


8


S Gregoire


G-Force/Oldsmobile


200


9


A Unser Jr.


G-Force/Oldsmobile


200


10


E Cheever Jr.


Dallara/Oldsmobile


199


11


J Ward


G-Force/Oldsmobile


194


12


J Schroeder


Dallara/Oldsmobile


185


13


S Fisher


Riley & Scott/Oldsmobile


183


14


R Johncox


G-Force/Oldsmobile


181


15


T Carlson


Dallara/Oldsmobile


176


16


M Dismore


Dallara/Oldsmobile


157


17


S Hornish Jr.


G-Force/Oldsmobile


151


18


D Hamilton


G-Force/Oldsmobile


139


19


G Ray


Dallara/Oldsmobile


104


20


B Regester


G-Force/Oldsmobile


100


21


N Jonsson


G-Force/Oldsmobile


84


22


A Dare


G-Force/Oldsmobile


74


23


B Calkins


Dallara/Oldsmobile


43


24


R McGehee


G-Force/Oldsmobile


29


25


D Didero


Dallara/Oldsmobile


24


26


J Kite


G-Force/Oldsmobile


14

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