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Indy Racing League 199(6)-97 Recap

 

Driver Point Champion - Tony Stewart - Team Menard Champion 
Rookie of the Year - Jim Guthrie Blueprint Racing

Indy Racing League (IRL) Information
Indy Racing League (IRL) Drver Champion

 

The 1996-1997 Indy Racing League season was a result of the league abandoning the concept of ending each season with the Indianapolis 500. Following the races at Loudon and Las Vegas, on October 9, 1996, the Indy Racing League announced that the league would revert to a calendar-based schedule for 1998. The 1996-97 season was originally scheduled to begin at Loudon in August 1996 and end with the Indianapolis 500 in May 1997. To prevent awarding two championships in less than six months, the last two races in 1996 were added to a complete 1997 season to create a single championship awarded in October 1997.

The two remaining races in 1996 were contested with the same outdated equipment as the 1996 season. All races that took place in 1997, starting with the race at Walt Disney World Speedway, were contested with all new purpose-built oval chassis from G-Force and Dallara with stock block naturally aspirated 4.0 liter V8's from Oldsmobile and Infiniti. Only seven drivers competed in all ten races of this seventeen month long marathon schedule.

199(6)-7 Indy Racing League Race Results

 

Date
Race
Track
Miles
Type
Winner
8/18/96
Loudon
200
PO
Scott Sharp
9/15/96
Las Vegas
300
PO
Richie Hearn
1/25/97
Orlando
149
PO
Eddie Cheever
3/23/97
Phoenix
200
PO
Jim Guthrie
5/25/97
Indianapolis
500
PO
Arie Luyendyk
6/7/97
Ft. Worth
312
PO
Arie Luyendyk
6/29/97
PPIR
200
PO
Tony Stewart
7/26/97
Charlotte
312
PO
Buddy Lazier
8/17/97
Loudon
200
PO
Robbie Buhl
10/11/97
Las Vegas
312
PO
Eliseo Salazar

 

199(6)-7 Indy Racing League Driver Points

 

Rank
Driver
Points
Behind
Starts
Poles
Wins
Top 5
Top 10
Winnings
1
Tony Stewart
278
Leader
10
4
1
4
6
$1,142,450
2
Davey Hamilton
272
-6
10
0
0
4
7
$816,950
3
Eddie Cheever Jr.
230
-48
10
0
1
2
5
$725,400
4
Marco Greco
230
-48
10
1
0
1
6
$554,850
5
Scott Goodyear
226
-52
8
0
0
5
6
$953,350
6
Arie Luyendyk
223
-55
10
2
2
3
3
$2,079,150
7
Roberto Guerrero
221
-57
10
0
0
1
4
$601,000
8
Buddy Lazier
209
-69
10
0
1
3
4
$736,550
9
Eliseo Salazar
208
-70
8
0
1
2
6
$586,650
10
Buzz Calkins
204
-74
9
0
0
2
4
$599,750
11
Stephan Gregoire
192
-86
9
0
0
2
5
$410,550
12
Jim Guthrie
186
-92
9
0
1
2
3
$627,200
13
Robbie Buhl
170
-108
7
0
1
2
4
$528,400
14
Mike Groff
169
-109
6
0
0
3
4
$562,850
15
John Paul Jr.
163
-115
8
0
0
0
3
$346,850
16
Affonso Giaffone
159
-119
8
0
0
1
3
$397,500
17
Mark Dimore
158
-120
8
0
0
1
1
$433,300
18
Billy Boat
151
-127
6
1
0
2
4
$604,150
19
Kenny Brack
139
-139
7
0
0
2
2
$419,200
20
Robbie Groff
135
-143
6
0
0
0
3
$441,450
21
Vincenzo Sospiri
134
-144
6
0
0
1
3
$432,100
22
Scott Sharp
119
-159
5
1
1
2
2
$324,150
23
Dr. Jack Miller
114
-164
8
0
0
0
0
$439,100
24
Johnny Unser
107
-171
7
0
0
0
1
$318,150
25
Tyce Carlson
84
-194
5
0
0
0
0
$315,050
26
Fermin Velez
82
-196
4
0
0
0
2
$345,150
27
Jimmy Kite
76
-202
4
0
0
0
1
$155,000
28
Sam Schmidt
76
-202
6
0
0
0
1
$224,700
29
Greg Ray
73
-205
5
0
0
0
1
$238,300
30
Jeff Ward
69
-209
3
0
0
1
1
$449,150
31
Stan Wattles
63
-215
3
0
0
0
1
$92,000
32
Michele Alboreto
62
-216
2
0
0
2
2
$137,250
33
Richie Hearn
59
-219
2
1
1
1
1
$181,000
34
Billy Roe
55
-223
3
0
0
0
0
$185,700
35
Jeret Schroeder
37
-241
2
0
0
0
0
$81,500
36
Michel Jourdain Jr.
33
-245
1
0
0
1
1
$95,250
37
Robby Gordon
27
-251
2
0
0
0
0
$156,500
38
Brad Murphey
25
-253
2
0
0
0
0
$47,000
39
Alessandro Zampedri
24
-254
2
0
0
0
0
$167,150
40
Paul Durant
23
-255
2
0
0
0
0
$209,000
41
Johnny OConnell
23
-255
1
0
0
0
0
$22,000
42
Lyn St. James
22
-256
1
0
0
0
0
$188,000
43
Danny Ongais
22
-256
1
0
0
0
0
$24,500
44
Steve Kinser
21
-257
1
0
0
0
0
$193,250
45
Dennis Vitolo
20
-258
1
0
0
0
0
$200,000
46
Mike Shank
19
-259
1
0
0
0
0
$13,000
47
Dave Kudrave
18
-260
1
0
0
0
0
$14,000
48
Juan Carlos Carbonell
16
-262
1
0
0
0
0
$34,000
49
Joe Gosek
14
-264
1
0
0
0
0
$10,000
50
Allen May
13
-265
1
0
0
0
0
$13,700
51
Johnny Parsons
7
-271
1
0
0
0
0
$10,000
52
Claude Bourbonnais
5
-273
1
0
0
0
0
$152,250