1994-95 Round 13
HO Indy 500 - Edgewood Superspeedway - New Berlin, WI
May 18, 1995
Round 13 of 13
Weather: 62 - Cloudy
Shea Wins Wild HO Indy 500
NEW BERLIN. WI.--The 1994-1995 PPPG H.O. INDYCAR World Series season came to a thrilling end here last Thursday, as the two drivers who began the season with a battle last
September went at it again in the annual "H.O. Indy 500" finale. Team Ferrari's John Shea celebrated with his finest moment in the end, holding off Phil Cianciola of the Marlboro team for
a three-car-length victory and a long drink of milk in the winner's circle.
"That was one hell of a race," said a beaming Shea, as reporters mobbed hi m during the trophy presentation. The South Milwaukee native went on to explain, "We had a bad setup on our
second set of tires and I knew Cianciola was coming to get me."
Indeed he was. After falling behind by as much as 17 laps early in the one-thousand lap marathon, Cianciola
was able to catch Shea with just 70 laps to go, and the chase for the checkereds was on.
"If you're gonna finish second, that's the way to do it ... what a great race," he said.
Ironically, just like last season, Cianciola had already clinched the PPPG Cup before starting the '500.' When Dave Austin failed to make the Final Four, Cianciola had enough points to claim the
championship for the second season in a row. Holding a huge sandwich in one hand and a Red Dog beer in the other, the champ told
reporters, "Two titles in a row means everything to me. I really expected more of a battle for the Cup tonight from Austin, but we'll take it this way too!"
Running 1,000 laps on the Edgewood International Super Speedway took 52:47 to complete, a blistering pace for the entire field. All four drivers finished the race, complete with pit stops for
fuel and tires.
Shea gained five laps with very quick fuel stops early in the event. Cianciola was able to cut into the lead only after Shea changed tires at the midway point of the race. On the very last lap,
Cianciola had to check up slightly because of a spin in Turn Three, while Shea, slightly behind the mess, was able to make it through clear and fly to the flag just a couple of car lengths in front for
his second win of the season and career win number three.
The South Milwaukee native also won the pole and his heat race. At last season's '500', Shea failed to even make the field, getting bumped no less than five times. The victory moved Shea into
a tie for second in the points standings, but by virtue of a tie- breaker he officially ends his second season of PPPG racing in third place.
The man everyone was watching, Dave Austin, did not even make the Final Four. Looking obviously nervous during qualifying, an unusually quiet Austin could only slip and slide in his heat
race, then spend his night corner marshaling in Turn Two.
"I suppose tomorrow I'll think back and think five wins was a great season for me, but right
now this is very disappointing," he said.
The other driver with a shot at the PPPG Cup was Dan Margetta. But although he was fastest on carburetion night, nerves got to the young driver on the night of the greatest spectacle in H.O.
Indy car racing. He admitted after his weak effort, "I choked." Margetta settled for last place, and fifth in the final points standings.
With Austin and Margetta out of the picture, it was Arnie Lueders and Jim Kaehny rounding out the '500' field. For Lueders, it was his best showing to date in the Indy cars. He battled
Kaehny for much of the race, and in the end won out by four laps over the veteran Marlboro driver.
"I want to thank my owner John Shea," Lueders said, "He told me not to practice at all on this track and it worked." In an amazing crash that did not result in a D.N.F., Lueders PPG Special was hurled into the
air and slammed into the start/finish bridge so hard that his helmet actually flew off, causing a few very tense moments as the camera crews drew in for a close look at what they feared could have
been his head lying track side at one point. He was treated for neck injuries and was all smiles after being released from the track
As for Kaehny, he said the track was too fast to hold the pace in the green lane. But he collected enough points to pass Margetta and take fourth place in the final standings.
In some frantic wheeling and dealing during qualifying, Rick Osterbrink of High Octane racing failed to qualify his Shell car. He cut deals with both Marlboro drivers to try putting a backup car
into the show. As the qualifying gun went off, Osterbrink went just fast enough to bump Ev Kamikawa from the field. Kamikawa had to sit the night out, while Osterbrink drove to a fifth-
place finish, equaling his best effort of the year in Kaehny's backup car.
Austin settled for sixth place in the '500' and ended the year in second place in the standings, just 11 points away.
Tony Perkins landed in seventh place in the race, driving a Ferrari backup machine after failing to grid his Kmart/Havoline car.
Shea collected $9,000 from the "Marlboro Pole To Victory" award, the third driver to win from the pole this season.
The PPPG Cup and numerous other awards will be presented this Thursday, at the second-annual PPPG Awards Banquet, to be held at Filippo's Restaurant. A complete video presentation of
the PPPG season-in-review will also be shown at the gala event. The festivities begin in the private dining room at 6:45 p.m. this Thursday, May 25th.