IRL notebook: Foyt backs Beechler...

Bump Day Beechler stays

IRL notebook: Foyt backs Beechler...

After qualifying on Bump Day to give team owner A.J. Foyt three cars in last month's Indianapolis 500, Donnie Beechler has been rewarded with another ride for the team in Saturday night's Casino Magic 500 at Texas Motor Speedway.
Beechler made the most of his opportunity by qualifying sixth at 213.003mph in a Dallara/Aurora.

"The car was really nice," Beechler said. "A.J. does his magic, and he gets me a couple miles per hour. I'm ecstatic right now. If I can keep the whole weekend going like this, I'll be very happy."

Although the car is carrying the colours of Harrah's Resorts and Casinos - team mate Eliseo Salazar's sponsor - Foyt is funding Beechler's effort with his own money.

"We did well at Indy and A.J. called me up on Tuesday after the Indianapolis 500 and asked me if I would drive his car this weekend at Texas," Beechler said. "Hopefully, it will be a race-to-race deal and we can do well enough to keep this deal going for the rest of the season."


Eddie Cheever has announced that his eponymous IRL team has lost its sponsorship from internet company Excite, but the team owner/driver is confident the loss will not have an impact on the team's budget for the rest of the season.

"We were very pleased to partner with Excite@Home and we enjoyed a great relationship with them," said Cheever. "With the support of Excite@Home, Cheever Indy Racing earned the first IRL win for Infiniti Motorsports at Pikes Peak last June and made a strong run at the series championship.

"Our goal remains the same: to continue our quest to win the 2001 Indy Racing championship with the new Infiniti engine."

The Internet service provider had been Cheever's sponsor since the Phoenix IRL race at in March 2000.


Greg Ray, who holds the record number of IRL poles at 11, qualified a lowly 20th out of 24 cars in Thursday night's qualifications. Ray was on the rev-limiter down the front stretch as the team used the wrong gear set-up for in the car's Oldsmobile Aurora engine.

"What can I say? We've never missed the set-up by as far as that before," Ray said. "The car was sticking like glue. We hit the rev limiter on the front straight. It wouldn't pull on the back straight."

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