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1998 True Value 500

The 1998 True Value 500 was the fourth round of the 1998 Indy Racing League season. The race was held on June 6, 1998 at the 1.500 mi (2.414 km) Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas.

United States 1998 Texas I
Race details
4th round of the 1998 Indy Racing League season
TexasMotorSpeedway.svg
DateJune 6, 1998
Official nameTrue Value 500
LocationTexas Motor Speedway
CoursePermanent racing facility
1.500 mi / 2.414 km
Distance208 laps
312.000 mi / 502.115 km
Pole position
DriverTony Stewart (Team Menard)
Time24.059
Fastest lap
DriverTony Stewart (Team Menard)
Time23.683 (on lap 86 of 208)
Podium
FirstBilly Boat (A. J. Foyt Enterprises)
SecondGreg Ray (Knapp Motorsports)
ThirdKenny Bräck (A. J. Foyt Enterprises)

ReportEdit

Key Meaning
R Rookie
W Past winner

QualifyingEdit

Two laps qualifying. The worst lap from any of the drivers were not published, and therefore are unknown. Rain delayed qualifying from Thursday to Friday.

Pos No. Name Lap Best (in mph)
1 1   Tony Stewart 24.059 224.448
2 11   Billy Boat 24.156 223.547
3 3   Robbie Buhl 24.204 223.104
4 5   Arie Luyendyk W 24.416 221.166
5 16   Marco Greco 24.575 219.736
6 28   Mark Dismore 24.590 219.601
7 4   Scott Goodyear 24.605 219.468
8 21   Roberto Guerrero 24.625 219.289
9 8   Scott Sharp 24.684 218.765
10 12   Buzz Calkins 24.713 218.508
11 14   Kenny Bräck 24.731 218.349
12 10   John Paul, Jr. 24.735 218.314
13 35   Jeff Ward 24.823 217.540
14 97   Greg Ray 24.853 217.278
15 6   Davey Hamilton 24.886 216.989
16 77   Stéphan Grégoire 24.929 216.615
17 98   Donnie Beechler R 24.944 216.485
18 15   Eliseo Salazar 24.952 216.416
19 30   Raul Boesel 25.087 215.251
20 51   Eddie Cheever 25.118 214.985
21 40   Jack Miller 25.136 214.831
22 44   J. J. Yeley R 25.138 214.814
23 91   Buddy Lazier 25.181 214.447
24 99   Sam Schmidt 25.211 214.192
25 27   Billy Roe 25.222 214.099
26 19   Stan Wattles 25.325 213.228
27 52   Robby Unser R 25.363 212.909
28 81   Tyce Carlson 25.473 211.989

Failed to qualify or withdrewEdit

RaceEdit

The race was the first IRL event run on the newly reconfigured Texas track, which had undergone changes to the corner banking (eliminating the 8-degree portions, originally intended for Indy events) and the transitions out of the corners, plus a complete repaving and drainage work. The new configuration proved to be extremely fast; Tony Stewart broke the IRL new car qualifying record, and ran laps as fast as 228 MPH during the race, believed to be the fastest laps ever turned on a closed course by a car with a normally aspirated engine.

The start was confusing, as Sam Schmidt did not come up to speed due to an electronics problem and Billy Roe spun through the quad-oval grass at the green flag. This was cleaned up, but only a few green flag laps were registered until Roberto Guerrero spun in front of the pack coming out of turn 2. Rookie Donnie Beechler ran hard into the back of Stéphan Grégoire's car, causing a six-car accident that eliminated Eddie Cheever (fresh off of his Indy 500 victory). Beechler ended sliding upside down the length of the back stretch. No one was hurt. Stewart had to pit for a cut tire after running through debris, handing the lead to Arie Luyendyk. The Dutch lead briefly after the green before being overhauled by Boat on lap 22, while Stewart worked his way up from the rear.

By lap 34, when a caution flew for Eliseo Salazar's blown engine, Luyendyk took a gamble by not pitting, but backfired when he had to pit under green on lap 59 and lost two laps. Mark Dismore had something in the rear of the car break on lap 72 which put him hard into the turn 1 wall, suffering a concussion. Under the subsequent caution, Stewart had to make an extra pit stop for a suspected tire problem and went to the rear again. On the restart, Scott Goodyear got the jump on Boat and took the lead; the two then battled until Boat retook the lead five laps later. By halfway, Boat, Stewart, and Greg Ray were running nose-to-tail and attempting slingshots.

As a caution flew on lap 144, Boat banged wheels with J. J. Yeley. The contact left a large "doughnut" on Boat's left sidepod, but he continued with no apparent problems. Stewart jumped Boat on the restart, while Ray, Goodyear, Jeff Ward and Kenny Bräck diced for third. Unfortunately for Ward, his race ended four laps later with engine failure. Stewart had his left sidepod radiator rupture streaked down the front stretch on lap 177, spewing water all over it. His crew tried to replace the faulty radiator in the pits but they ran out of time.

Boat then begin to stretch out his lead over Ray, but on lap 196 he got caught in traffic and Ray begin to close the gap. On lap 200, the Texas native caught Boat and then made a move through the grass in the quad-oval (reminiscent of Buddy Lazier at Charlotte the previous year); as they went down the back stretch Ray split the lapped car of Buzz Calkins and swept into the lead. But on the next lap, Boat used the slingshot to retake it; Ray tried for the next six laps but could not overcome Boat's superior engine, and Billy Boat took his first IRL win. For the top three (Boat, Ray, and Bräck), it was their best IRL career finishes up to that point. Scott Sharp ran a quiet race to finish fifth and move into a tie with Stewart in the points standings. One year after apparently winning at Texas, only to have the win taken away after a scoring recount, Billy Boat won it again, and this time he got to keep the trophy.

Pos No. Driver Team Laps Time/Retired Grid Laps Led Points
1 11   Billy Boat A. J. Foyt Enterprises 208 2:08:45.543 2 108 54
2 97   Greg Ray Knapp Motorsports 208 + 0.928 sec 14 1 40
3 14   Kenny Bräck A. J. Foyt Enterprises 208 Running 11 0 35
4 4   Scott Goodyear Panther Racing 208 Running 7 11 32
5 8   Scott Sharp Kelley Racing 208 Running 9 0 30
6 3   Robbie Buhl Team Menard 207 + 1 lap 3 0 29
7 6   Davey Hamilton Nienhouse Motorsports 207 + 1 lap 15 0 26
8 16   Marco Greco Phoenix Racing 205 + 3 laps 5 0 24
9 52   Robby Unser R Team Cheever 204 + 4 laps 27 0 22
10 19   Stan Wattles Metro Racing Systems 198 + 10 laps 26 0 20
11 91   Buddy Lazier Hemelgarn Racing 194 Wheel bearing 23 0 19
12 81   Tyce Carlson Team Pelfrey 191 + 17 laps 28 0 18
13 5   Arie Luyendyk W Treadway Racing 178 + 30 laps 4 29 17
14 1   Tony Stewart Team Menard 176 Radiator tank 1 57 19
15 12   Buzz Calkins Bradley Motorsports 172 + 36 laps 10 0 15
16 10   John Paul, Jr. Byrd-Cunningham Racing 169 + 39 laps 12 0 14
17 35   Jeff Ward ISM Racing 165 Engine 13 2 13
18 99   Sam Schmidt LP Racing 163 + 45 laps 24 0 12
19 44   J. J. Yeley R Sinden Racing 162 + 46 laps 22 0 11
20 27   Billy Roe Blueprint Racing 108 + 100 laps 25 0 10
21 28   Mark Dismore Kelley Racing 70 Accident 6 0 9
22 40   Jack Miller Crest Racing-SRS 38 Engine 21 0 8
23 15   Eliseo Salazar Riley & Scott Cars 32 Engine 18 0 7
24 21   Roberto Guerrero Pagan Racing 4 Accident 8 0 6
25 77   Stéphan Grégoire Chastain Motorsports 4 Accident 16 0 5
26 51   Eddie Cheever Team Cheever 4 Accident 20 0 4
27 98   Donnie Beechler R    Cahill Auto Racing 4 Accident 17 0 3
28 30   Raul Boesel McCormack Motorsports 4 Accident 19 0 2

Race StatisticsEdit

  • Lead changes: 21 among 6 drivers

Standings after the raceEdit