1998 Indianapolis 500

1998 Indianapolis 500

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1998 Indianapolis 500

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The 82nd Indianapolis 500 was held at Indianapolis on Sunday, May 24, 1998. This was the first Indianapolis 500 fully sanctioned by the Indy Racing League after the IRL relied on USAC to sanction the 1996–1997 races. The race was part of the 1998 Pep Boys Indy Racing League season.

Eddie Cheever, Jr., a former Formula One competitor and Indy rookie in 1990, highlighted hisracing career with this lone Indianapolis win. The 1998 race ushered in a compacted, two-week schedule for the Indy 500, omitting an entire week of practice, and trimming qualifying from four days down to two.

Background

Continuing split from CART

The ongoing IRL/CART split continued into its third year. The two series began moving further apart, and for the second time, no major teams from the CART ranks entered at Indianapolis. CART teams raced on Saturday at the Motorola 300.

Rule changes

After controversy in 1997, the "25/8 Rule", which locked in entries to the starting field based on points standings, was scrapped for 1998. The 33-car field would revert to the traditional 33 fastest qualifiers.

For 1998, the schedule for the month of May was trimmed down, in an effort to reduce costs. An experimental "two-week" schedule was proposed, consisting of one full week of practice, and two days of time trials. An open test was scheduled in April which also included rookie orientation.

Practice

Sunday May 10

Opening day saw Mike Groff take the honor of "first car on the...
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