Race: Radisson 200

Track: Pikes Peak International Raceway

Date: Sunday, August 16, 1998

Start time: 2:00 PM MDT

Weather: Pleasant, sunny

Serial: #8 of 11 in 1998 season, #21 overall

History: IRL race #2, Indycar race #2 at this track

Config: 1 mile D-oval, flat track

Wing package: Short track


Kenny Brack became only the second driver to win two IRL consecutive races, but he had to survive a bizarre final five laps to do it. Billy Boat, returning from injuries he suffered at New Hampshire, won the pole, but at the start of the race he missed a shift and Jeff Ward, starting on the outside of the front row for the second consecutive race, jumped into the lead followed by Tony Stewart and Mark Dismore, who had been fastest in practice. Stewart soon ran down Ward and passed for the lead while Dismore dueled with Stewart's teammate Robbie Buhl, driving the blue #3 car again after John Menard's two-race protest. By lap 20, Stewart had a one-second lead, but he got caught in traffic and Ward re-passed him on lap 24 just as Buzz Calkins and Raul Boesel simultaneously blew engines, bringing out the yellow -- the first of only three on the day. After the green, Ward and Stewart set sail as Scott Goodyear pitted with a fuel pressure problem, a lengthy stop that would put an end to his four-race top-5 streak.

On lap 50 Ward and Stewart had a big duel with Stewart first moving under Ward in turn 4, losing grip, but then getting back under and taking the lead in turn 1, only to slip up and come under attack again in turn 3. Ward continued to assault Stewart in traffic and both he and Buhl slipped by on lap 60. The action continued with Stewart re-passing Buhl under power on the backstretch on lap 65, but then a round of green-flag pit stops began. During this, Arie Luyendyk (who had been miserably running with a run-out engine because his team's supplier had been unable to deliver another one) stalled and brought out the yellow. Several drivers had not stopped at that point and the running order was Ward followed by Stephan Gregoire, Robby Unser, and Roberto Guerrero, all of whom had not stopped yet. Guerrero was making his first start for Price Cobb's team (which had released Jim Guthrie) and the team was making its first start with the Infiniti engine, and Guerrero had given the Nissan fans something to cheer about by qualifying 10th, staying on the lead lap, and running as high as second during the pit stops. After the green Ward continued to lead as Goodyear and Dismore both made unplanned pit entrances with engines shut off. Ward drove away from the field and by lap 89 he had a five-second lead on Buddy Lazier and had lapped Boat. John Paul Jr. was moving up but his bad luck which had begun at Charlotte continued when he had to pit under green for a flat tire on lap 100. Shortly another cut tire played a much bigger role in the race as a flat right rear denied Ward yet another shot at his first IRL win; the flat on lap 118 put him into the wall in turn 1. He was to be the only car to retire due to contact on this day. About this time Guerrero's run ended with a failed fuel pump. The timing of this caution would be a determining factor at the end of the race; it left most teams just outside of their fuel windows for completing the race. Paul, Andy Michner, Lazier, Stewart, and Buhl all made late stops anticipating a fuel economy run.

After the yellow Davey Hamilton found himself with the lead, followed by the Foyt cars (Boat had unlapped himself just before the caution) and the IRL's resident short-track expert Marco Greco. Buhl was well back due to having to re-pit for a wheel not not tightened properly. Hamilton drove away quickly for only a few laps before his right front tire started to go flat. He continued at a slower pace as Brack went to work on him, finally taking the lead on lap 165. By this time everyone was in fuel conservation mode, running in high gear and keeping their RPM down. Many teams who needed another caution for fuel were about to be disappointed. There were still eight cars on the lead lap, but on lap 184 the first shoe dropped as Eddie Cheever concluded that he coouldn't go the distance and stopped for fuel and tires. Meanwhile, Buhl was flying and back up to third; he took second after a daring contact pass on Boat on lap 187. The second contender dropped off next lap as Hamilton, unable to go any further on his failing front tire, pitted. On lap 189 Buhl passed Brack for the lead. By this time everyone that had not stopped was running well off pace, and lap times had dropped to around 150 MPH vs. 164 for the cars that had stopped. The final act was under way. On lap 192 Lazier began to slow with an engine problem. On lap 196 the leader Buhl ran out of fuel; he made it back to the pits without losing too much time but handed the lead to Brack. On lap 197 Stewart decided that he couldn't risk his standing in the IRL points and pitted for a splash-and-go. That left Brack and Boat, alone in the lead lap but running extremely slowly, while Stewart, Buhl, and Hamilton set a furious pace trying to make up positions, and Gregoire and Greco attempting to hang on to theirs. On lap 198 Boat ran out of fuel in turn 2. He was unable to make it back to the pits before the race ended. Would Brack make it? Buhl and Stewart had unlapped themselves and were making up four seconds a lap. Brack continued to run at below 145 MPH. On the last lap, his engine soured going down the back stretch and finally stopped altogether in turn 4. He pushed in the clutch, crossed his fingers, and coasted. Fortunately for him, he had gotten to the clutch in time to preserve his momentum, and his silent car coasted under the checkered flag a quarter of a lap ahead of Buhl. Stewart was third and the only other car on the lead lap. Gregore and Greco also finished without stopping for fuel, with Gregoire posting his third 4th-place finish of the year. Hamilton passed three cars in the final five laps to take fifth. Michner ran out of fuel on lap 199 and finished 17th. Donnie Beechler, after weeks of bad luck, posted his second IRL finish and placed 10th. At the end of the race, Goodyear was the fastest car on the track but had lost so many laps he placed 18th. A truck had to be sent out to push Brack back to Victory Lane.

Fin St  Qual  Car  C/E/T    Driver            Entrant  Laps     Status  Laps Pts
        Spd    #                                                         Led
 1  5 176.974  14  D/A/G Kenny Brack         Foyt       200     Running   28  50
 2  6 176.419   3  D/A/G Robby Buhl          Menard     200     Running    8  40
 3  3 177.874   1  D/A/F Tony Stewart        Menard     200     Running   21  36
 4 18 172.803  77  G/A/G Stephan Gregoire    Chastain   199     Running       32
 5  7 176.099   6  G/A/G Davey Hamilton      Nienhouse  199     Running   38  30
 6  9 175.859  16  G/A/F Marco Greco         Phoenix    199     Running       28
 7 17 173.327  91  D/A/G Buddy Lazier        Hemelgarn  199     Running    8  26
 8 16 173.402  51  D/A/G Eddie Cheever       Cheever    199     Running       24
 9  1 178.571  11  D/A/G Billy Boat          Foyt       199 Out of Fuel       25
10 21 172.035  98  D/A/F Donnie Beechler     Cahill     197     Running       20
11  8 175.927   8  D/A/G Scott Sharp         Kelley     196     Running       19
12 23 168.028  52  G/A/G Robby Unser         Cheever    196     Running       18
13 19 172.736  99  D/A/F Sam Schmidt         LP         195     Running       17
14 14 173.661  18  G/A/G Steve Knapp         PDM        195     Running       16
15 13 174.452  10  G/A/F John Paul Jr.       Byrd-C'Ham 195     Running       15
16 24 167.520  81  D/A/F Brian Tyler         Pelphrey   186     Running       14
17 15 172.043  15  R/A/G Andy Michner        R&S        180 Out of Fuel       13
18 11 174.936   4  G/A/G Scott Goodyear      Panther    174     Running       12
19  4 176.991  28  D/A/G Mark Dismore        Kelley     133      Brakes       11
20  2 178.218  35  G/A/G Jeff Ward           ISM        117    Crash T1   97  14
21 10 175.038  23  G/I/F Roberto Guerrero    Cobb       106   Fuel Pump        9
22 22 171.518   5  G/A/F Arie Luyendyk       Treadway    73    Ignition        8
23 25 No Spd.  40  D/I/F Jack Miller         Sinden      35      Clutch        7
24 15 173.544  12  G/A/G Buzz Calkins        Bradley     23      Engine        6
25 12 174.842  30  G/A/G Raul Boesel         McCormack   23      Engine        5

Time of race: 01:29:53
Average speed: 133.455 MPH
Margin of victory: 7.542 sec

Laps under green: 172 of 200 laps (86.0%)
Caution flags: 3 for 28 laps (14.0%)
#1: lap 25, blown engine (Calkins), FS, 11 laps
#3: lap 75, stalled car (Luyendyk), T2, 5 laps
#4: lap 118, crash (Ward), T1, 12 laps

Red flags: 0 for 0 minutes

Lead changes: 10; number of race leaders: 6
St: Ward 1-11
#1: Stewart 12-22
#2: Ward 23-50
#3: Stewart 51-59
#4: Ward 60-117
#5: Lazier 118-125
#6: Stewart 126
#7: Hamilton 127-164
#8: Brack 165-188
#9: Buhl 189-196
#10: Brack 197-200

C/E/T finish averages (# started / avg finish):
Dallara: 12 / 10.2
G-Force: 12 / 15.5
Riley & Scott: 1 / 17.0
Aurora: 23 / 12.2
Infiniti: 2 / 22.0
Firestone: 9 / 14.3
Goodyear: 16 / 12.25