Scheckter Cops Kansas Pole
July 6, 2002 | 12:00 A.M. EST
Scheckter's best lap was 25.0381 seconds, 218.547 mph in the No. 52 Red Bull Cheever Racing Dallara on the 1.5-mile oval. It was the third pole this season for an Infiniti-powered car, all on tracks 1.5 miles or longer. Scheckter, 21, also won the pole last month at Texas Motor Speedway.
"The track changed a lot from this morning," Scheckter said. "We had a good idea of what happened because Eddie (Cheever Jr.) came to me and the engineers and told us what was going on. Really, it was an easy job for me.
"Fortunately for me, I went out a little later. Unfortunately for Eddie, he went out earlier and was kind of the guinea pig in the situation. I am pleased to have another pole position for the Red Bull Cheever Racing."
The race starts at noon (CDT) Sunday and will be televised live on ABC.
Defending Indy Racing League champion Sam Hornish Jr. will join Scheckter on the front row after a best lap of 25.1305, 217.743 in the No. 4 Pennzoil Panther Dallara.
Scheckter's teammate and boss, defending event champion Eddie Cheever Jr., was third at 25.1414, 217.649 in the No. 51 Red Bull Cheever Racing Dallara. Cheever earned the other pole for Infiniti this season, in March at California Speedway.
"I bet Ron Hemelgarn $50 that Tomas was going to get the pole," Cheever said of his fellow IRL team owner. "So I am $50 richer and very proud that we have a Red Bull car on pole."
Laurent Redon gave Infiniti three of the top four spots by qualifying fourth at 25.1556, 217.526 in the No. 34 Mi-Jack Dallara. 2000 IRL champion Buddy Lazier rounded out the top five at 25.2949, 216.328 in the No. 91 Coors Light/Life Fitness/Tae-Bo/Delta Faucet.
It was a tough qualifying session for Marlboro Team Penske teammates Helio Castroneves and Gil de Ferran, first and second in the series points, respectively.
Two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Castroneves qualified seventh at 25.3066, 216.228 in the No. 3 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara. He only was allowed one lap after pulling in on his first attempt due to handling problems.
de Ferran struggled with a lap of 25.8462, 211.714 in the No. 6 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara, good for only 21st.
Scheckter's pole was the second of the day for Infiniti. A.J. Foyt IV earned the first pole position ever for the Infiniti Pro Series, the new Indy Racing League development series making its debut this weekend.
Foyt, the 18-year-old grandson of four-time Indianapolis 500 winner A.J. Foyt, took the pole with a lap of 30.3444, 180.330 in the No. 14 Harrah's/A.J. Foyt Racing Dallara. IRL veteran Ronnie Johncox will start alongside Foyt in the front row of the race at 10:10 a.m. (CDT) Sunday after a qualifying lap of 30.6546, 178.505 in the No. 8 Rev. 1 Racing Special entry.