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The 1998 Pep Boys Indy Racing League was one of relative stability compared to the previous two seasons. For the first time the season consisted of a single and complete spring, summer, and fall like all other forms of motorsport. 15 drivers completed the entire 11 race schedule, twice as many as the previous season. It was also the first complete season for the new Riley & Scott chassis, though it proved unpopular due to its late introduction. A. J. Foyt Enterprises drivers captured 4 wins, the Indy 500 pole, and the championship, arguably the most successful year in the team's history.

1998 Indy Racing League season
Pep Boys Indy Racing League
Pep Boys Indy Racing League logo.png
1998 Indy Racing League
Season
Races11
Start dateJanuary 24
End dateOctober 11
Awards
Drivers' championSweden Kenny Bräck
Indianapolis 500 winnerUnited States Eddie Cheever
1999 →
Kenny Bräck (left) won his first and only Drivers' Championship while Davey Hamilton (right) finished second in the championship.

Teams and driversEdit

Team Chassis Engine Tires No. Driver(s) Round(s)
  A. J. Foyt Enterprises Dallara IR8 Oldsmobile G 11   Billy Boat[N 1] 1–5, 8–11
  Greg Ray 6–7
14   Kenny Bräck All
  Beck Motorsports Dallara IR8 Infiniti F 54   Hideshi Matsuda 3
  Blueprint Racing Dallara IR8 Oldsmobile F 27   Robbie Groff 1–2
  Claude Bourbonnais 3
  Billy Roe 4
  Bradley Motorsports G-Force GF01B
Dallara IR8[N 2]
Oldsmobile G 12   Buzz Calkins 1–6, 8–11
  Byrd-Cunningham Racing G-Force GF01B Oldsmobile F 10   Mike Groff[N 3][N 4] 1–3
  John Paul Jr. 4–11
  Cahill Auto Racing G-Force GF01B
Dallara IR8[N 5]
Oldsmobile F 98   Donnie Beechler (R) 3–5, 7–11
  CBR Cobb Racing G-Force GF01B Oldsmobile [N 6]'G'F 23   Paul Durant 2–3
  Jim Guthrie[N 7] 6–7
Infiniti   Roberto Guerrero 8–11
  Chastain Motorsports G-Force GF01B
Dallara IR8[N 8]
Oldsmobile G 77   Stéphan Grégoire All
  Chitwood Motorsports Dallara IR8 Oldsmobile G 17   Brian Tyler (R) 1–2
  Andy Michner (R) 3
  D. B. Mann Motorsports Dallara IR8 Oldsmobile G 24   Billy Roe 1
  Dan Drinan (R) 3
  Hemelgarn Racing Dallara IR8 Oldsmobile G 9   Johnny Unser 3
91   Buddy Lazier All
  Immke Racing Dallara IR8 Oldsmobile G 20   Tyce Carlson 1–3
  ISM Racing G-Force GF01B Oldsmobile G 35   Jeff Ward All
53   Jim Guthrie 1–3
55   Steve Knapp (R) 3
  Kelley Racing Dallara IR8 Oldsmobile G 8   Scott Sharp All
28   Mark Dismore All
  Knapp Motorsports Dallara IR8 Oldsmobile F 97   Greg Ray 1–4, 9–11
  Liberty Racing G-Force GF01B Oldsmobile F 29   Joe Gosek (R)[N 9] 3
  LP Racing Dallara IR8 Oldsmobile F 66   Scott Harrington (R)[N 9] 3
99   Sam Schmidt All
  Lyn St. James Racing G-Force GF01B Infiniti G 90   Lyn St. James 3
  McCormack Motorsports G-Force GF01B Oldsmobile G 30   Raul Boesel All
  Metro Racing Systems Riley & Scott Mk V Oldsmobile G 19   Stan Wattles[N 10] 1–5, 8–11
  Nienhouse Motorsports G-Force GF01B
Dallara IR8[N 11]
Oldsmobile G 6   Davey Hamilton All
  Pagan Racing Dallara IR8 Oldsmobile G 21   Roberto Guerrero 1–4
  Stevie Reeves (R) 7
  Panther Racing G-Force GF01B Oldsmobile G 4   Scott Goodyear All
43   Dave Steele (R) 10–11
  PDM Racing G-Force GF01B Oldsmobile G 18   John Paul Jr. 1–2
  Jack Hewitt (R) 3, 5
  Steve Knapp (R)[N 12] 6, 8–11
  Tyce Carlson 7
  Phoenix Racing G-Force GF01B Oldsmobile F 16   Marco Greco All
  Riley & Scott Cars Riley & Scott Mk V Oldsmobile G 15   Eliseo Salazar[N 13] 1–5
  Scott Harrington (R) 6
  Andy Michner (R)[N 14] 7–10
  Jim Guthrie 11
  RSM Marko Dallara IR8 Oldsmobile F 22   Dave Steele (R) 2
  Sinden Racing Services Dallara IR8 Infiniti
Oldsmobile[N 15]
F 40   Jack Miller All
44   J. J. Yeley (R) 2–5, 9
  Jimmy Kite 7
  Team Cheever Dallara IR8[N 16]
G-Force GF01B
Oldsmobile G 51   Eddie Cheever All
52   Robby Unser (R)[N 12] 3–6, 8–11
  Team Coulson Racing G-Force GF01B Oldsmobile F 41   Affonso Giaffone 1
  Team Menard Dallara IR8
G-Force GF01B[N 17]
Oldsmobile F 1   Tony Stewart All
3   Robbie Buhl 1–5, 8–11
  Team Pelfrey Dallara IR8 Oldsmobile G 81   John Paul Jr.[N 18] 3
  Tyce Carlson 4
  Brian Tyler (R) 5–11
  Team Scandia Dallara IR8 Oldsmobile G 7   Jimmy Kite[N 10] 1–3
33   Billy Roe 3
  Treadway Racing G-Force GF01B Oldsmobile F
[N 19]G
5   Arie Luyendyk All

Race summariesEdit

Indy 200Edit

The Indy 200 was held on January 24 at Walt Disney World Speedway. Qualifying was rained out, so Tony Stewart won the pole position due the race being lined up by 1996-97 entrant standings for the first 20 positions and the remaining eight came from the best practice speeds of the remaining cars.

Top 10 results

  1. 1- Tony Stewart
  2. 35- Jeff Ward
  3. 6- Davey Hamilton
  4. 77- Stéphan Grégoire
  5. 28- Mark Dismore
  6. 8- Scott Sharp
  7. 10- Mike Groff
  8. 5- Arie Luyendyk
  9. 99- Sam Schmidt
  10. 18- John Paul, Jr.

Dura-Lube 200Edit

The Dura-Lube 200 was held on March 22 at Phoenix International Raceway. Jeff Ward qualified on the pole position.

Top 10 results

  1. 8- Scott Sharp
  2. 1- Tony Stewart
  3. 11- Billy Boat
  4. 77- Stéphan Grégoire
  5. 35- Jeff Ward
  6. 4- Scott Goodyear
  7. 99- Sam Schmidt
  8. 30- Raul Boesel
  9. 12- Buzz Calkins
  10. 51- Eddie Cheever

Indianapolis 500Edit

The Indianapolis 500 was held on May 24 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Billy Boat qualified on the pole position.

Top ten results

  1. 51- Eddie Cheever
  2. 91- Buddy Lazier
  3. 55- Steve Knapp
  4. 6- Davey Hamilton
  5. 52- Robby Unser
  6. 14- Kenny Bräck
  7. 81- John Paul, Jr.
  8. 17- Andy Michner
  9. 44- J. J. Yeley
  10. 12- Buzz Calkins

True Value 500Edit

The True Value 500 was held June 6 at Texas Motor Speedway. Tony Stewart qualified on the pole posotion.

Top 10 results

  1. 11- Billy Boat
  2. 97- Greg Ray
  3. 14- Kenny Bräck
  4. 4- Scott Goodyear
  5. 8- Scott Sharp
  6. 3- Robbie Buhl
  7. 6- Davey Hamilton
  8. 16- Marco Greco
  9. 52- Robby Unser
  10. 19- Stan Wattles

New England 200Edit

The New England 200 was held on June 28 at New Hampshire International Speedway. Billy Boat qualified on the pole position.

Top ten results

  1. 1- Tony Stewart
  2. 4- Scott Goodyear
  3. 8- Scott Sharp
  4. 6- Davey Hamilton
  5. 5- Arie Luyendyk
  6. 15- Eliseo Salazar
  7. 91- Buddy Lazier
  8. 28- Mark Dismore
  9. 51- Eddie Cheever
  10. 3- Robbie Buhl
  • Stewart's final IndyCar win.
  • Boat was involved in a large crash lap 95 and missed the next two races.
  • Team owner John Menard, Jr. believed that A. J. Foyt Enterprises was cheating and withdrew his car driven by Robbie Buhl from the next two races. His other car, driven by Stewart, was not withdrawn as it was leading the point standings.

Pep Boys 400KEdit

The Pep Boys 400K was held on July 19 at Dover Downs International Speedway. Tony Stewart qualified on the pole position.

Top 10 results

  1. 8- Scott Sharp
  2. 91- Buddy Lazier
  3. 16- Marco Greco
  4. 6- Davey Hamilton
  5. 77- Stephan Gregoire
  6. 4- Scott Goodyear
  7. 23- Jim Guthrie
  8. 1- Tony Stewart
  9. 5- Arie Luyendyk
  10. 14- Kenny Bräck

VisionAire 500KEdit

The VisionAire 500K was held on July 25 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Tony Stewart qualified on the pole position.

Top 10 results

  1. 14- Kenny Bräck
  2. 35- Jeff Ward
  3. 4- Scott Goodyear
  4. 5- Arie Luyendyk
  5. 16- Marco Greco
  6. 10- John Paul, Jr.
  7. 6- Davey Hamilton
  8. 77- Stéphan Grégoire
  9. 40- Jack Miller
  10. 21- Stevie Reeves
  • Bräck's first IndyCar win.

Radisson 200Edit

The Radisson 200 was held August 16 at Pikes Peak International Raceway. Billy Boat qualified on the pole position.

Top 10 results

  1. 14- Kenny Bräck
  2. 3- Robbie Buhl
  3. 1- Tony Stewart
  4. 77- Stéphan Grégoire
  5. 6- Davey Hamilton
  6. 16- Marco Greco
  7. 91- Buddy Lazier
  8. 51- Eddie Cheever
  9. 11- Billy Boat
  10. 98- Donnie Beechler
  • Boat returned in this race. He qualified on the pole position and finished 9th, one lap down.
  • Buhl also returned in this race, finishing 2nd after starting 6th.

Atlanta 500 ClassicEdit

The Atlanta 500 Classic was held on August 29 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Billy Boat qualified on the pole position.

Top 10 results

  1. 14- Kenny Bräck
  2. 6- Davey Hamilton
  3. 51- Eddie Cheever
  4. 4- Scott Goodyear
  5. 1- Tony Stewart
  6. 35- Jeff Ward
  7. 28- Mark Dismore
  8. 5- Arie Luyendyk
  9. 15- Andy Michner
  10. 30- Raul Boesel

Lone Star 500Edit

The Lone Star 500 was held on September 20 at Texas Motor Speedway. Billy Boat qualified on the pole position.

Top 10 results

  1. 10- John Paul, Jr.
  2. 52- Robby Unser
  3. 35- Jeff Ward
  4. 23- Roberto Guerrero
  5. 14- Kenny Bräck
  6. 91- Buddy Lazier
  7. 3- Robbie Buhl
  8. 19- Stan Wattles
  9. 6- Davey Hamilton
  10. 28- Mark Dismore

Las Vegas 500KEdit

The Las Vegas 500K was held on October 11 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Billy Boat qualified on the pole position.

Top 10 results

  1. 5- Arie Luyendyk
  2. 99- Sam Schmidt
  3. 91- Buddy Lazier
  4. 10- John Paul, Jr.
  5. 51- Eddie Cheever
  6. 81- Brian Tyler
  7. 3- Robbie Buhl
  8. 16- Marco Greco
  9. 18- Steve Knapp
  10. 14- Kenny Bräck
  • Luyendyk's final IndyCar win. It would also be his final season as a full-time driver, as he would choose to go into semi-retirmement in 1999.
  • Of the championship contenders, Tony Stewart started 2nd, but spun on lap seven and finished 14th (30 laps down), Davey Hamilton was involved in a crash with Roberto Guerrero on lap 130, finishing 19th. Bräck cruised the rest of the way to finish 10th, six laps down, enough to win the championship.

ScheduleEdit

Rnd Date Race Name Track City
1 January 24 Indy 200 at Walt Disney World Walt Disney World Speedway Bay Lake, Florida
2 March 22 Dura Lube 200 Phoenix International Raceway Avondale, Arizona
3 May 24 82nd Indianapolis 500 Indianapolis Motor Speedway Speedway, Indiana
4 June 6 True Value 500 Texas Motor Speedway Fort Worth, Texas
5 June 28 New England 200 New Hampshire International Speedway Loudon, New Hampshire
6 July 19 Pep Boys 400K Dover International Speedway Dover, Delaware
7 July 25 VisionAire 500K Charlotte Motor Speedway Concord, North Carolina
8 August 16 Radisson 200 Pikes Peak International Raceway Fountain, Colorado
9 August 29 Atlanta 500 Classic Atlanta Motor Speedway Hampton, Georgia
10 September 20 Lone Star 500 Texas Motor Speedway Fort Worth, Texas
11 October 11 Las Vegas 500K Las Vegas Motor Speedway Las Vegas, Nevada

All races running on Oval/Speedway

The eight races that were held in calendar year 1997 returned in 1998, with the addition of three new races. As part of their effort to venture in traditional stock-car markets, the IRL held the second Indy-car race ever, the first since 1969, at Dover International Speedway, and also competed at the reconfigured Atlanta Motor Speedway, which had been raced eight times by Indy-cars in its former shape between 1965 and 1983. A second race at Texas Motor Speedway in the fall completed the calendar.

Season summaryEdit

Race resultsEdit

Round Race Pole position Fastest lap Most laps led Race Winner Report
Driver Team
1 Walt Disney World   Tony Stewart   Kenny Bräck   Tony Stewart   Tony Stewart Team Menard Report
2 Phoenix   Jeff Ward   Tony Stewart   Tony Stewart   Scott Sharp Kelley Racing Report
3 Indianapolis   Billy Boat   Tony Stewart   Eddie Cheever   Eddie Cheever Team Cheever Report
4 Texas 1   Tony Stewart   Tony Stewart   Billy Boat   Billy Boat A. J. Foyt Enterprises Report
5 New Hampshire   Billy Boat   Davey Hamilton   Tony Stewart   Tony Stewart Team Menard Report
6 Dover   Tony Stewart   Greg Ray   Scott Sharp   Scott Sharp Kelley Racing Report
7 Charlotte   Tony Stewart   Kenny Bräck   Kenny Bräck   Kenny Bräck A. J. Foyt Enterprises Report
8 Pikes Peak   Billy Boat   Jeff Ward   Jeff Ward   Kenny Bräck A. J. Foyt Enterprises Report
9 Atlanta   Billy Boat   Billy Boat   Scott Goodyear   Kenny Bräck A. J. Foyt Enterprises Report
10 Texas 2   Billy Boat   Jeff Ward   Tony Stewart   John Paul, Jr. Byrd-Cunningham Racing Report
11 Las Vegas   Billy Boat   Arie Luyendyk   Arie Luyendyk   Arie Luyendyk Treadway Racing Report

Driver standingsEdit

Pos Driver WDW
PHX
INDY
TXS
NHS
DOV
CLT
PPIR
ATL
TXS
LSV
Pts
1   Kenny Bräck 13 14 6 3 18 10 1* 1 1 5 10 332
2   Davey Hamilton 3 26 4 7 4 4 7 5 2 9 19 292
3   Tony Stewart 1* 2* 33 14 1* 8 21 3 5 20* 14 289
4   Scott Sharp 6 1 16 5 3 1* 18 11 18 23 12 272
5   Buddy Lazier 15 28 2 11 7 2 13 7 17 6 3 262
6   Jeff Ward 2 5 13 17 22 19 2 20* 6 3 21 252
7   Scott Goodyear 17 6 24 4 2 6 3 18 4* 22 22 244
8   Arie Luyendyk 8 24 20 13 5 9 4 22 8 28 1* 227
9   Eddie Cheever 24 10 1* 26 9 16 20 8 3 25 5 222
10   Marco Greco 27 20 14 8 13 3 5 6 13 16 8 219
11   John Paul, Jr. 10 19 7 16 26 21 6 15 23 1 4 216
12   Stéphan Grégoire 4 4 17 25 24 5 8 4 20 26 17 201
13   Billy Boat 21 3 23 1* 21 9 12 14 26 194
14   Sam Schmidt 9 7 26 18 12 17 14 13 15 27 2 186
15   Mark Dismore 5 16 27 21 8 18 15 19 7 10 15 180
16   Robby Unser  RY  5 9 11 11 12 16 2 16 176
17   Robbie Buhl 20 12 31 6 10 2 11 7 7 174
18   Brian Tyler  R  19 17 14 12 16 16 21 13 6 140
19   Buzz Calkins 14 9 10 15 15 Wth 24 28 11 11 134
20   Raul Boesel 18 8 19 28 19 14 24 25 10 17 18 132
21   Greg Ray 25 11 18 2 15 17 24 21 25 128
22   Steve Knapp  R  3 13 14 14 18 9 118
23   Dr. Jack Miller 23 DNQ 21 22 16 20 9 23 27 12 28 100
24   Andy Michner  R  8 12 17 9 15 92
25   Stan Wattles 22 DNQ 28 10 17 Wth 26 8 13 88
26   Roberto Guerrero 26 27 22 24 21 19 4 20 83
27   Tyce Carlson 11 13 DNQ 12 11 73
28   Donnie Beechler  R  32 27 20 19 10 22 19 23 71
29   Eliseo Salazar 12 23 DNQ 23 6 Wth 60
30   Mike Groff 7 15 15 56
31   Jimmy Kite 16 18 11 23 52
32   J. J. Yeley  R  25 9 19 23 25 50
33   Jim Guthrie DNQ DNQ 29 7 22 24 41
34   Jack Hewitt  R  12 25 23
35   Stevie Reeves  R  10 20
36   Dave Steele  R  22 24 27 17
37   Billy Roe DNQ 30 20 11
38   Paul Durant 21 DNQ 9
39   Scott Harrington  R  DNQ 22 8
40   Johnny Unser 25 5
41   Robbie Groff 28 DNQ 2
-   Affonso Giaffone DNQ 0
-   Claude Bourbonnais DNQ 0
-   Dan Drinan  R  DNQ 0
-   Joe Gosek  R  DNQ 0
-   Hideshi Matsuda DNQ 0
-   Lyn St. James DNQ 0
-   Danny Ongais Wth 0
Pos Driver WDW
PHX
INDY
TXS
NHS
DOV
CLT
PPIR
ATL
TXS
LSV
Pts
Color Result
Gold Winner
Silver 2nd place
Bronze 3rd place
Green 4th & 5th place
Light Blue 6th-10th place
Dark Blue Finished
(Outside Top 10)
Purple Did not finish
(Ret)
Red Did not qualify
(DNQ)
Brown Withdrawn
(Wth)
Black Disqualified
(DSQ)
White Did not start
(DNS)
Blank Did not
participate
(DNP)
Not competing
In-line notation
Bold Pole position
(2 points)
Italics Ran fastest race lap
* Led most race laps
(1 point)
DNS Any driver who qualifies
but does not start (DNS),
earns all the points
had they taken part.
 RY  Rookie of the Year
 R  Rookie
  • Ties in points broken by number of wins, followed by number of 2nds, 3rds, etc., and then by number of pole positions, followed by number of times qualified 2nd, etc.

Additional points were awarded to the pole winner (3 points), the second best qualifier (2 points), the third best qualifier (1 point) and to the driver leading the most laps (2 point).

Note:
Orlando: No additional points for the qualifying were awarded due to rain, starting grid were determined by 1996-97 entrant points for the first 20 positions and the remaining eight went to top practice times from Thursday.
Phoenix: Scott Sharp had 7 points deduction, because his car failed the post race fuel capacity inspection.
Pikes Peak: Tony Stewart and Robbie Buhl had 15 points deduction each, because the rear wings of both Team Menard cars were found to be in violation of technical specifications.

See alsoEdit

FootnotesEdit

  1. ^ Injured at New Hampshire.
  2. ^ Used from Atlanta onwards.
  3. ^ Initially replaced by Brian Tyler on Bump Day for the Indy 500, before Tyler relinquished the seat after practising.
  4. ^ Joe Gosek passed his Indianapolis rookie test in the car.
  5. ^ Used from Charlotte onwards.
  6. ^ Used at Phoenix, Indianapolis and Pikes Peak.
  7. ^ Signed after being injured at the Indy 500 while driving for ISM Racing.
  8. ^ Used at New Hampshire, Charlotte, Atlanta and Texas 2.
  9. ^ a b Not considered rookie for the Indy 500
  10. ^ a b Considered rookie only for the Indy 500.
  11. ^ Used at Charlotte, and from Atlanta onwards.
  12. ^ a b Injured at Dover.
  13. ^ Injured in a practice crash at Dover.
  14. ^ Injured in a NASCAR Busch Series test at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
  15. ^ Used by J. J. Yeley at Phoenix and Indianapolis.
  16. ^ Used by Eddie Cheever. Robby Unser used it at Indianapolis and New Hampshire.
  17. ^ Used at Walt Disney World. Tony Stewart used it at Phoenix and Dover.
  18. ^ He replaced Danny Ongais, who got injured in a practice crash.
  19. ^ Used at Las Vegas.