Indy Racing League

Phoenix 200

Qualifying

22nd March 1997

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PHOENIX 200 - Qualifying Report

GRID LINE-UP

Row 1

1. Tony Stewart 21.175s

2. Jim Guthrie 21.241

Row 2

3. Scott Goodyear 21.681

4. Arie Luyendyk 21.715

Row 3

5. Buzz Calkins 21.947

6. Robbie Buhl 21.956

Row 4

7. Sam Schmidt 21.973

8. Eddie Cheever 22.017

Row 5

9. Marco Greco 22.019

10. Kenny Brack 22.027

Row 6

11. Roberto Guerrero 22.075

12. John Paul Jnr. 22.100

Row 7

13. Jeret Schroeder 22.136

14. Buddy Lazier 22.148

Row 8

15. Davey Hamilton 22.161

16. Fermin Velez 22.235

Row 9

17. Mike Groff 22.520

18. Billy Roe 22.650

Row 10

19. Jack Miller 22.779

20. Stephan Gregoire 23.235

Row 11

21. Scott Sharp No Time

22. Affonso Giaffone No Time

 

REPORT by James Beckett

Tony Stewart, driving a G-Force Oldsmobile for Team Menard, recorded a timed run of 21.175s, an average speed of 170.012 mph, around the Phoenix International Raceway to claim pole position for the Phoenix 200 - round four of the 1996/97 Indy Racing League series.

It was the second straight pole for the Indianapolis driver, who also won pole for the Indy 200 at Walt Disney World in January and used the same Glidden/Menard Special G-Force chassis for both runs.

Stewart's hot lap was the first time that the new IRL chassis and engine combination had exceeded 170 mph in qualifying runs, and the lap allowed IRL's hottest star to claim a bonus of $20,000.

Jim Guthrie of Albuquerque, driving the Blueprint Dallara/Aurora, was second fastest. A specialist on the Phoenix track, Guthrie was obviously thrilled with both his and his teams performance, " I guess i1d liken it to a David and Goliath story. I'd like to slay the giant both here and at Indy."

Treadway Racing team-mates Scott Goodyear and Arie Luyendyk, clocked third and fourth fastest times to complete row two.

Twenty drivers completed timed runs on the one-mile oval, although Scott Sharp and Affonso Giaffone were added to the list despite being unable to run their G-Force and Dallara cars in practice.

With Stewart claiming pole the spotlight again falls onto the Menard driver. Having led six IRL races, many pundits believe this race could be a maiden Indianapolis car victory for him.

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