Print and Go Back IRL [Print without images]

Wednesday, June 7, 2006
Cheever Jr. fires back after intentional-crash claims

Associated Press

Days after team owner Michael Andretti and drivers Marco Andretti and Danica Patrick accused Eddie Cheever Jr. of crashing them out in two separate incidents during the race last Sunday at Watkins Glen International, the 1998 Indianapolis 500 winner fired back.

After the first accident, Marco Andretti, an IRL IndyCar Series rookie, said Cheever "absolutely, on purpose" crashed into him. During a live TV interview following the crash, Michael Andretti, Marco's father and team owner, called Cheever "a complete idiot."

Patrick also pointed to Cheever as the culprit after she crashed.

"Cheever took me out on the restart, and that was what put us a lap down," she said. "It is unfortunate and it is silly. There was no point in doing something so desperate on a restart."

Cheever was upset by the accusations.

"To think I would intentionally take anyone out is just ludicrous," Cheever said in a statement about the Andretti incident. "It's beyond words. It was a racing accident, pure and simple. There certainly wasn't any intent, so I find the accusations incomprehensible."

As for Patrick, Cheever said, "She did that all by herself."

Referring to all three of the accusers, Cheever added, "The last I looked, I earned the label of Indy 500 champion; those lobbing unfounded accusations at me have not."