Goodyear Tests Cheevers Car
January 30, 2001 | 12:00 A.M. EST
Cheever had just come off a season in which he finished out of the top 11 just once and he placed third in the Indy Racing Northern Light Series point standing behind champion Buddy Lazier and Scott Goodyear. Goodyear had just won the season finale at Texas Motor Speedway and came within 33 points of winning the Northern Light Cup.
Surely, the combination of Cheever and Goodyear would be a huge roadblock on Lazier’s way to repeating as IRNLS champion.
Soon, however, the talk died down and reports began to surface that the potential deal between Cheever and Goodyear was in doubt because sponsorship could not be found for a second Team Cheever car.
Then on Monday and Tuesday, Goodyear showed up in a Team Cheever car at a two-day test at Homestead-Miami Speedway. He still hasn’t signed a contract with Cheever, but Goodyear is at least hoping to run the Indianapolis 500 and possibly other IRNLS races in addition to running in the International Race of Champions.
The test was Goodyear’s second visit to Homestead but his first on the reconfigured 1.5-mile flat oval.
"This is also my first time testing with Team Cheever, so we're learning a lot about the track and getting to know the guys on the team," said Goodyear, sounding more and more like a member of Team Cheever. "We're testing with the car and engine that the team ran with last year so we can get a baseline for when we come back with the update kit and new engine."
Goodyear also had to get accustomed to driving with a new powerplant. Cheever uses the Infiniti engine, while Goodyear ran and won the season finale at Texas with the Oldsmobile Aurora last season.
"This motor feels very strong, it's got a lot of torque and it feels different in some areas than the Oldsmobile I had last year, but overall it's a good package," said Goodyear, who has three IRNLS wins in his career.
Cheever couldn’t be on hand for the test because he is out of the county.
1999 IRNLS champion Greg Ray joined Team Cheever at the track. He crashed late in the Monday session and suffered a mild concussion.
The two-day private test is being run in preparation for the inaugural Infiniti Grand Prix of Miami on April 8.