JUNE 7, 2006
Cheever in a tizzy
Eddie Cheever and Marco Andretti have got into a spat over an incident last weekend in the Watkins Glen Indy Racing League race. On the 38th lap of the race 19-year-old Andretti was lapping 49-year-old Cheever when Eddie moved to the right unexpectedly and pushed Andretti off the road and into a wall. It was the second time this year that the two have collided, the first being in practice at St Petersburg.
Marco's father Michael said "it was so blatant, he does it all the time. The guy doesn't belong on the racetrack. He takes the kid out. Just stupid."
Marco described the move as "blatant, an absolutely on-purpose deal" and said that if Cheever had not known he was there he was "in the wrong business".
Cheever raced in F1 between 1978 (the year Marco's grandfather Mario won the World Championship) until 1989 and made 132 starts with Hesketh, Osella, Tyrrell, Ligier, Renault, Alfa Romeo, FORCE and Arrows but his best results were a couple of second places. In 1990 he embarked on a new career in America and joined Chip Ganassi Racing but failed to win in three years of trying. When CART and IRL split Cheever went with IRL and won the first race of the new series in 1anuary 1997, admittedly against mediocre opposition and only after Tony Stewart went out with an engine failure. In 1998, however, he finally won the Indianapolis 500 after battling for victory with Buddy Lazier.
Despite all his experience Cheever has taken umbrage at being called an idiot twice on national television and has responded to the remarks of the Andrettis.
"To think I would intentionally take anyone out is just ludicrous," Cheever said. "It's beyond words. It was a racing accident, pure and simple. There certainly wasn't any intent, so I find the accusations incomprehensible."
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