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1998 Indy 200 at Walt Disney World

The 1998 Indy 200 at Walt Disney World was the first round of the 1998 Indy Racing League season. The race was held on January 24, 1998 at the 1.000 mi (1.609 km) Walt Disney World Speedway in Bay Lake, Florida. As in 1997, rain hampered the event, this time forcing to cancel the qualifying session.

United States 1998 Walt Disney World
Race details
1st round of the 1998 Indy Racing League season
Walt Disney World Speedway diagram.svg
DateJanuary 24, 1998
Official nameIndy 200 at Walt Disney World
LocationWalt Disney World Speedway
CoursePermanent racing facility
1.000 mi / 1.609 km
Distance200 laps
200.000 mi / 321.869 km
Pole position
DriverTony Stewart (Team Menard)
TimeGrid set by entrant points
Fastest lap
DriverKenny Bräck (A. J. Foyt Enterprises)
Time21.831 (on lap 57 of 200)
Podium
FirstTony Stewart (Team Menard)
SecondJeff Ward (ISM Racing)
ThirdDavey Hamilton (Nienhouse Motorsports)

ReportEdit

Key Meaning
R Rookie
W Past winner

QualifyingEdit

For the first time in IRL history, torrential rain forced the qualifying session to be cancelled. Thus, the grid was set by 1996-1997 entrant points.[1] The remaining new entries were sorted by practice speeds. The grid was limited to 28 cars due to concerns about safety in the pit area.[2]

Pos No. Name 1996-97 entrant points
1 1   Tony Stewart 2780
2 14   Kenny Bräck 2720
3 11   Billy Boat 2400
4 10   Mike Groff 2390
5 5   Arie Luyendyk 2230
6 21   Roberto Guerrero 2210
7 18   John Paul, Jr. 2160
8 91   Buddy Lazier 2090
9 30   Raul Boesel 2080
10 12   Buzz Calkins W 1836
11 40   Jack Miller 1680
12 27   Robbie Groff 1674
13 17   Brian Tyler R 1248
14 3   Robbie Buhl 1141
15 77   Stéphan Grégoire 1092
16 97   Greg Ray 365
17 99   Sam Schmidt 114
18 19   Stan Wattles 27
19 6   Davey Hamilton New entry
20 8   Scott Sharp New entry
21 4   Scott Goodyear New entry
22 28   Mark Dismore New entry
23 51   Eddie Cheever W New entry
24 35   Jeff Ward New entry
25 16   Marco Greco New entry
26 15   Eliseo Salazar New entry
27 20   Tyce Carlson New entry
28 7   Jimmy Kite1 2360
Didn't qualify
29 53   Jim Guthrie New entry
30 41   Affonso Giaffone New entry
31 24   Billy Roe New entry
  1. ^ Changed to a backup car for the race, following a crash in a practice session after qualifying.

Failed to qualify or withdrewEdit

RaceEdit

Tony Stewart outlasted all challengers to take his second IRL victory. Starting on the pole, he was quickly passed by Roberto Guerrero who pulled away until he got collected in an accident in turn 1. Stewart then led the rest of the first half of the race, which was marked by numerous incidents taking out contenders: Scott Sharp got tangled up with a slower car and had to pit for a new nose, Scott Goodyear slid into the wall in the midstretch and suffered suspension damage, Raul Boesel collided in the pit lane with Robbie Buhl and needed a radiator replaced, and defending champion Eddie Cheever dropped out with engine failure.

Unexpected cold weather caused tire problems for the competitors; Robbie Groff wrecked at the start of the race when his rear tires broke loose under acceleration, and Billy Boat had a grinding crash on the inside wall of the front stretch when the same thing happened to him on a restart. On lap 132, Buddy Lazier took the lead and held it until he got bound up behind a slower car, spun, and hit the back stretch inside wall on lap 166. At that point, all five cars remaining in the lead lap (Stewart, Davey Hamilton, Jeff Ward, Stéphan Grégoire and Mark Dismore) were marginal on fuel mileage. Stewart, Hamilton, and Ward pitted for fuel, while Dismore and Grégoire elected to gamble and assumed the top two places.

After the restart, Dismore held off Stewart (who had moved back up to second) while Grégoire, Hamilton, and Ward all dueled for third. The gamble didn't work for Dismore, and he finally had to pit for fuel on lap 197 after Stewart had passed him two laps earlier when the engine stumbled. On the final lap, Ward passed Hamilton, and then claimed second place as Grégoire ran out of fuel and coasted across the line to a fourth-place finish.

Pos No. Driver Team Laps Time/Retired Grid Laps Led Points
1 1   Tony Stewart Team Menard 200 2:06:07 1 132 52
2 35   Jeff Ward ISM Racing 200 + 8.579 sec 24 0 40
3 6   Davey Hamilton Nienhouse Motorsports 200 Running 19 0 35
4 77   Stéphan Grégoire Chastain Motorsports 200 Running 15 0 32
5 28   Mark Dismore Kelley Racing 199 + 1 lap 22 27 30
6 8   Scott Sharp Kelley Racing 198 + 2 lap 20 0 28
7 10   Mike Groff Byrd-Cunningham Racing 198 + 2 lap 4 0 26
8 5   Arie Luyendyk Treadway Racing 197 + 3 laps 5 0 24
9 99   Sam Schmidt LP Racing 195 + 5 laps 17 0 22
10 18   John Paul, Jr. PDM Racing 194 + 6 laps 7 0 20
11 20   Tyce Carlson Immke Racing 192 + 8 laps 27 0 19
12 15   Eliseo Salazar Riley & Scott Cars 187 + 13 laps 26 0 18
13 14   Kenny Bräck A. J. Foyt Enterprises 174 + 26 laps 2 1 17
14 12   Buzz Calkins W Bradley Motorsports 168 + 32 laps 10 0 16
15 91   Buddy Lazier Hemelgarn Racing 165 Accident 8 34 15
16 7   Jimmy Kite Team Scandia 149 Half shaft 28 0 14
17 4   Scott Goodyear Panther Racing 132 Suspension 21 0 13
18 30   Raul Boesel McCormack Motorsports 128 + 72 laps 9 0 12
19 17   Brian Tyler R Chitwood Motorsports 121 Accident 13 0 11
20 3   Robbie Buhl Team Menard 100 Electrical 14 0 10
21 11   Billy Boat A. J. Foyt Enterprises 72 Accident 3 0 9
22 19   Stan Wattles Metro Racing Systems 64 Accident 18 0 8
23 40   Jack Miller Crest Racing/SRS 59 Handling 11 0 7
24 51   Eddie Cheever W    Team Cheever 48 Engine fire 23 0 6
25 97   Greg Ray Knapp Motorsports 29 Accident 16 0 5
26 21   Roberto Guerrero Pagan Racing 13 Accident 6 6 4
27 16   Marco Greco Phoenix Racing 12 Accident 25 0 3
28 27   Robbie Groff Blueprint Racing 0 Accident 12 0 2

Race StatisticsEdit

  • Lead changes: 8 among 5 drivers

Standings after the raceEdit