Beechler Stays J. Lazier Goes
June 19, 2001 | 12:00 A.M. EST
When the Indy Racing Northern Light Series goes to Richmond International Raceway on June 30, 21 cars will be on hand again, but at least one driver won't.
Jaques Lazier, who competed for TeamXtreme at Indy, Texas and Pikes Peak, will not drive the No. 77 car for the Rockwall, Texas-based team for the remainder of the season unless additional sponsorship can be found. Lazier’s deal with Jonathan Byrd and TeamXtreme was for three races only with Classmates.com and Jonathan Byrd’s Cafeteria as sponsors.
“We couldn’t ask for anything more from Jaques,” said John Lopes, TeamXtreme’s general manager. “He has performed so well for TeamXtreme, and we look forward to working with him again in the future.
“He is a top-class driver, and God willing, if another primary sponsor steps up, we will be thrilled to work with him for the balance of the season.”
In his three appearances with the team, Lazier finished 22nd at Indy, ninth at Texas and 17th at Pikes Peak on Sunday after running in the Top 10.
“We were closing in on the Top 5 on our second pit stop on Lap 116,” Lazier said. “Everything was going very well and then the oil pressure just dropped off. It was a sad ending to what looked like a top-five finish.”
Donnie Beechler will make the trip to Richmond with A.J. Foyt’s team. Beechler was given a ride in Foyt’s No. 11 at Indy on a race-by-race basis. In his three appearances, Beechler has finishes of 25th, sixth and 16th.
In Sunday’s race at Pikes Peak, Beechler was in the pits on Lap 12 to correct handling problems. He never really recovered from that unscheduled stop.
“It was come in early or crash the car,” Beechler said. “At least we finished the race in one piece."