1998 Indy Racing League

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1998 Indy Racing League season
Pep Boys Indy Racing League
Pep Boys Indy Racing League logo.png
1998 Indy Racing League
Season
Races 11
Start date January 24
End date October 11
Awards
Drivers' champion Sweden Kenny Bräck
Indianapolis 500 winner United States Eddie Cheever
1999 →
Kenny Bräck (left) won his first Drivers' Championship (second straight title) while Davey Hamilton (right) finished second in the championship.

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.

Teams and drivers[edit]

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

Race summaries[edit]

Indy 200[edit]

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 200[edit]

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 500[edit]

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 500[edit]

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 200[edit]

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 400K[edit]

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 500K[edit]

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 200[edit]

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 Classic[edit]

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 500[edit]

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 500K[edit]

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.

Schedule[edit]

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 venues scheduled for the summer. 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. The newly-constructed Pikes Peak International Raceway completed the calendar.

Season summary[edit]

Race results[edit]

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

Driver standings[edit]

Pos Driver WDW
PHX
INDY
TXS
NHS
DOV
CLT
PPIR
ATL
TXS
LSV
Pts
1 Sweden Kenny Bräck 13 14 6 3 18 10 1* 1 1 5 10 332
2 United States Davey Hamilton 3 26 4 7 4 4 7 5 2 9 19 292
3 United States Tony Stewart 1* 2* 33 14 1* 8 21 3 5 20* 14 289
4 United States Scott Sharp 6 1 16 5 3 1* 18 11 18 23 12 272
5 United States Buddy Lazier 15 28 2 11 7 2 13 7 17 6 3 262
6 United States Jeff Ward 2 5 13 17 22 19 2 20* 6 3 21 252
7 Canada Scott Goodyear 17 6 24 4 2 6 3 18 4* 22 22 244
8 Netherlands Arie Luyendyk 8 24 20 13 5 9 4 22 8 28 1* 227
9 United States Eddie Cheever 24 10 1* 26 9 16 20 8 3 25 5 222
10 Brazil Marco Greco 27 20 14 8 13 3 5 6 13 16 8 219
11 United States John Paul, Jr. 10 19 7 16 26 21 6 15 23 1 4 216
12 France Stéphan Grégoire 4 4 17 25 24 5 8 4 20 26 17 201
13 United States Billy Boat 21 3 23 1* 21 9 12 14 26 194
14 United States Sam Schmidt 9 7 26 18 12 17 14 13 15 27 2 186
15 United States Mark Dismore 5 16 27 21 8 18 15 19 7 10 15 180
16 United States Robby Unser  RY  5 9 11 11 12 16 2 16 176
17 United States Robbie Buhl 20 12 31 6 10 2 11 7 7 174
18 United States Brian Tyler  R  19 17 14 12 16 16 21 13 6 140
19 United States Buzz Calkins 14 9 10 15 15 Wth 24 28 11 11 134
20 Brazil Raul Boesel 18 8 19 28 19 14 24 25 10 17 18 132
21 United States Greg Ray 25 11 18 2 15 17 24 21 25 128
22 United States Steve Knapp  R  3 13 14 14 18 9 118
23 United States Dr. Jack Miller 23 DNQ 21 22 16 20 9 23 27 12 28 100
24 United States Andy Michner  R  8 12 17 9 15 92
25 United States Stan Wattles 22 DNQ 28 10 17 Wth 26 8 13 88
26 Colombia Roberto Guerrero 26 27 22 24 21 19 4 20 83
27 United States Tyce Carlson 11 13 DNQ 12 11 73
28 United States Donnie Beechler  R  32 27 20 19 10 22 19 23 71
29 Chile Eliseo Salazar 12 23 DNQ 23 6 Wth 60
30 United States Mike Groff 7 15 15 56
31 United States Jimmy Kite 16 18 11 23 52
32 United States J. J. Yeley  R  25 9 19 23 25 50
33 United States Jim Guthrie DNQ DNQ 29 7 22 24 41
34 United States Jack Hewitt  R  12 25 23
35 United States Stevie Reeves  R  10 20
36 United States Dave Steele  R  22 24 27 17
37 United States Billy Roe DNQ 30 20 11
38 United States Paul Durant 21 DNQ 9
39 United States Scott Harrington  R  DNQ 22 8
40 United States Johnny Unser 25 5
41 United States Robbie Groff 28 DNQ 2
- Brazil Affonso Giaffone DNQ 0
- Canada Claude Bourbonnais DNQ 0
- United States Dan Drinan  R  DNQ 0
- United States Joe Gosek  R  DNQ 0
- Japan Hideshi Matsuda DNQ 0
- United States Lyn St. James DNQ 0
- United States 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 also[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  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.