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The 1997 Samsonite 200 (also referred to as the Colorado 200 on ABC's TV coverage) was the seventh round of the 1996–1997 Indy Racing League. The race was held on June 29, 1997, at the 1.000 mi (1.609 km) Pikes Peak International Raceway in Fountain, Colorado.

United States 1997 Pikes Peak
Race details
7th round of the 1996–1997 Indy Racing League season
Pikes Peak International Raceway.svg
DateJune 29, 1997
Official nameSamsonite 200
LocationPikes Peak International Raceway
CoursePermanent racing facility
1.000 mi / 1.609 km
Distance200 laps
200.000 mi / 321.869 km
WeatherDry with temperatures reaching up to 84.9 °F (29.4 °C); wind speeds reaching up to 20 miles per hour (32 km/h)[1]
Pole position
DriverScott Sharp (A. J. Foyt Enterprises)
Time20.441
Fastest lap
DriverJimmy Kite (Team Scandia)
Time21.465 (on lap 15 of 200)
Podium
FirstTony Stewart (Team Menard)
SecondStéphan Grégoire (Chastain Motorsports)
ThirdDavey Hamilton (A. J. Foyt Enterprises)

Contents

ReportEdit

Key Meaning
R Rookie
W Past winner

QualifyingEdit

Pos No. Name Lap 1 Lap 2 Best (in mph)
1 1   Scott Sharp 20.441 20.485 176.117
2 2   Tony Stewart 20.584 20.569 175.021
3 6   Scott Goodyear 20.663 20.671 174.224
4 14   Davey Hamilton 20.704 20.783 173.879
5 21   Roberto Guerrero 21.039 20.717 173.770
6 4   Kenny Bräck R 20.743 20.773 173.553
7 12   Buzz Calkins 20.870 20.892 172.496
8 5   Arie Luyendyk 21.006 20.886 172.364
9 33   Jimmy Kite R 20.977 20.963 171.731
10 17   Affonso Giaffone R 20.978 21.115 171.608
11 77   Stéphan Grégoire 21.068 20.978 171.608
12 91   Buddy Lazier 21.009 20.985 171.551
13 51   Eddie Cheever 21.018 21.041 171.282
14 7   Eliseo Salazar 21.018 21.219 171.282
15 18   Billy Boat R 21.057 21.040 171.103
16 30   Robbie Groff R 21.122 21.511 170.438
17 97   Greg Ray R 21.178 21.323 169.988
18 22   Vincenzo Sospiri R 21.592 21.257 169.356
19 10   Johnny Unser 21.754 21.813 165.487
20 40   Jack Miller R 21.785 21.776 165.320
21 28   Mark Dismore 22.140 22.145 162.602
22 70   Marco Greco1 Did not qualify No speed
  1. ^ Couldn't qualify after his chassis had been damaged in a practice crash. He was allowed to start the race at the back of the field.

Failed to qualify or withdrewEdit

RaceEdit

Tony Stewart came into this race having just missed victory in the past three IRL races, but he put the issue beyond doubt by dominating this race, leading all but seven of the 200 laps. The race started off with polesitter Scott Sharp wrecking on the first lap. He suffered a non-contact brain injury, despite relatively minor damage to the car. The accident (following a similar accident 2 weeks before which forced Stewart's teammate Robbie Buhl to miss the race) revived concern about the cars' inability to absorb energy in a rear-end accident, leading to changes in the gearbox case and bellhousing. Sharp would miss the rest of the season as the result of the injury. Turns 2 and 4 were treacherous all day, and several early crashes resulted in lengthy cleanups and many laps under caution.

Eddie Cheever dogged Stewart all day long, and Stéphan Grégoire led his first-ever laps in an IRL race. In the end neither of them had enough for Stewart, but after a late caution Cheever, Davey Hamilton, and Grégoire dueled three-wide for second. Grégoire broke out and attempted to slingshot Stewart at the finish line, missing by about a car length. Cheever and Hamilton finished side-by-side with Hamilton taking third. The win was Stewart's first in his Indy car career, and the first win for team owner John Menard after 18 years of Indy car competition. Seven cars finished the race on the lead lap, an IRL record.

Pos No. Driver Team Laps Time/Retired Grid Laps Led Points
1 2   Tony Stewart Team Menard 200 1:59:50.787 2 193 36
2 77   Stéphan Grégoire Chastain Motorsports 200 + 0.222 sec 11 5 33
3 14   Davey Hamilton A. J. Foyt Enterprises 200 Running 4 0 32
4 51   Eddie Cheever Team Cheever 200 Running 13 0 31
5 12   Buzz Calkins Bradley Motorsports 200 Running 7 0 30
6 22   Vincenzo Sospiri R    Team Scandia 200 Running 18 0 29
7 6   Scott Goodyear Treadway Racing 200 Running 3 1 28
8 91   Buddy Lazier Hemelgarn Racing 198 + 2 laps 12 0 27
9 17   Affonso Giaffone R Chitwood Motorsports 196 + 4 laps 10 0 26
10 30   Robbie Groff R McCormack Motorsports 193 Spin BS 16 0 25
11 28   Mark Dismore Kelley Racing-PDM 192 + 8 laps 21 0 24
12 7   Eliseo Salazar Team Scandia 190 + 10 laps 14 0 23
13 70   Marco Greco Galles Racing 190 + 10 laps 22 0 22
14 4   Kenny Bräck R Galles Racing 179 Accident T4 6 0 21
15 5   Arie Luyendyk Treadway Racing 163 Accident T2 8 1 20
16 40   Jack Miller R Arizona Motorsports 141 Accident T4 20 0 19
17 97   Greg Ray R Knapp Motorsports 108 Accident T4 17 0 18
18 21   Roberto Guerrero Pagan Racing 85 Accident T4 5 0 17
19 18   Billy Boat R PDM Racing 83 Accident T4 15 0 16
20 33   Jimmy Kite R Team Scandia 39 Accident T4 9 0 15
21 10   Johnny Unser Byrd-Cunningham Racing 23 Accident T2 19 0 14
22 1   Scott Sharp A. J. Foyt Enterprises 0 Accident T2 1 0 15

Race StatisticsEdit

  • Lead changes: 5 among 4 drivers

Standings after the raceEdit