This time, Billy Boat got the checkered flag and the victory. Really.
Boat, handed the winner's trophy in last year's True Value 500K only to be bumped to second following an all-night review, won his first career Indy Racing League event Saturday in the circuit's return to the Texas Motor Speedway.It wasn't easy. Greg Ray, a native of nearby Plano whose car was sponsored by the speedway in the Indianapolis 500, overtook Boat on the 201st lap. But Boat regained the lead for good on the 202nd of the 208 laps.
Boat, who started second, won by .928 seconds. He led 108 laps and averaged 145.388 mph and had a top speed of 227.273 mph.
Kenny Brack, Boat's teammate with A.J. Foyt Enterprises, was third, followed by Scott Goodyear and Scott Sharp.
Pole-sitter Tony Stewart, who dominated the field in practice, led 57 laps and was second when his car spewed smoke entering the 176th lap. Stewart was leading last year's event before his engine blew up in the final laps.
The win was sweet redemption for Boat and Foyt, who kept the trophy he received last year and insists he deserves it, even though Arie Luyendyk was declared the winner. Foyt and Luyendyk scuffled in victory lane last year when the Dutchman charged in to announce that he'd won.
The race - which featured fast laps and side-by-side challenges - also redeemed the speedway, which spent $3 million to rebuild its 11/2-mile track following a heavily criticized, problem-filled NASCAR weekend in April.
There were six cautions for 45 laps, slowing the race to a time of 2 hours, 8 minutes.
Indianapolis 500 champion Eddie Cheever Jr. went out in the fifth lap in a six-car wreck triggered by Roberto Guerrero.
"Somebody spun in front of me and I didn't have any place to go and I hit him," Cheever said.
"It was all my fault," said Guerrero, whose car ended up upside down. "I got loose off (turn) two and caused all the confusion."