Edward "Eddie" McKay Cheever, Jr. (born in Phoenix, Arizona) is an American racing driver who raced for almost thirty years in Formula One, sports cars, CART and the Indy Racing League. Cheever participated in 143 World Championship Formula One races and started 132, more than any other American, driving for nine different teams from 1978 through 1989. In 1997, he formed his own IRL team and won the 1998 Indianapolis 500 as both owner and driver. The team now competes in sports cars.
In all, he achieved 9 podiums, and scored a total of 70 championship points. His best year was 1983, when he finished 7th in the championship, scored three podium finishes and one front row start for Renault.
From 1986 to 1988, while still driving in Formula One, Cheever won ten sports car races for Jaguar. In 1990 he moved to the US to drive for Chip Ganassi Racing in the CART series. In his first attempt at the Indianapolis 500, he finished eighth and was named the race's Rookie of the Year, as well as CART's Rookie of the Year In 1992, he qualified second for the race and finished fourth. In total, he scored four podium finishes in the series, but never won. Driving for A.J. Foyt's team, Cheever came closest to victory at Nazareth in 1995; he was leading the race on the last lap when he ran out of fuel.
In 1996 the Indy Racing League began, and Eddie moved there from CART. Cheever ran for Team Menard for the three-race series, and at the 1996 Indianapolis 500, he set the fastest race lap to date at 236.103 mph (379.971 km/h). Cheever then set up his own team and had his first race as a driver/owner at New Hampshire later that August, which was the first race of the next season.
In 1998, all the pieces came together for Cheever when he took the biggest win of his career. He started from 17th position and led 76 of 200 laps to win the 82nd Indianapolis 500, despite sliding in the first turn of the race's first lap, helping bring out the race's first caution period. He was the first owner/driver to win the race since A.J. Foyt (one of Cheever's former bosses) in 1977.
Cheever's IRL team, active until July 2006, ran cars for Alex Barron and Patrick Carpentier in 2005. Having hung up his helmet in 2002, except for occasional instances such as the 2006 24 Hours of Daytona where he competed in the first race with his new Grand-Am series team, Eddie announced on February 21 2006 he would come out of retirement to run his own car in the IRL's first four races, including the Indianapolis 500. He shut his team down after the 8th race of the season due to lack of sponsorship. The team continues to compete in the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series.
Currently, Cheever is providing television commentary on ABC for IndyCar Series and the Indianapolis 500, a position he has held since 2008 with Allen Bestwick and Scott Goodyear, a former three-time runner-up in the Indy 500 who also drove for Team Cheever in 2001.