FAST FACTS FOR THE MILLER LITE 225
WHAT: Miller Lite 225.
WHERE: The Milwaukee Mile, West Allis, Wis.
WHEN: Thursday-Sunday, June 1-4.
SUPPORT EVENTS: Dayton Indy Lights Championship, Toyota
(All times Central):
THURSDAY, JUNE 1 - Atlantic Open Test, 9-9:55 a.m.;
Atlantic Open Test, 11:30 a.m.-12:25 p.m.;
Indy Lights Open Test, 1:30-2:25 p.m.;
Atlantic Open Test, 2:45-3:40 p.m.;
Indy Lights Open Test, 4-4:55 p.m. FRIDAY, JUNE 2 - Atlantic practice, 8:30-9 a.m.;
Indy Lights practice, 9:20-10 a.m.;
CART practice (2 groups, 45 minutes each), 10:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m.;
Indy Lights practice, 1:10-1:40 p.m.;
Atlantic practice, 2-2:30 p.m.; CART practice 2:45-4:15 p.m.;
Atlantic qualifying, 5:05-6 p.m. SATURDAY, JUNE 3 - Indy Lights practice, 8:05-8:45 a.m.;
Atlantic warm-up, 9-9:15 a.m.;
CART practice (2 groups, 45 minutes each), 9:30-11:15 a.m.;
Indy Lights qualifying, 12:15 p.m.-1:15 p.m.; CART qualifying, 1:30-3 p.m.;
Atlantic race, 3:15-4:15 p.m. SUNDAY, JUNE 4 - Indy Lights warm-up, 9:45-10
CART warm-up, 11-11:30 a.m.;
Indy Lights race, 12:30.-1:30 p.m.;
Grid Champ Cars, 2:15 p.m.;
Miller Lite 225, 3 p.m.
BROADCAST: TV-ABC-TV (Live, 4 p.m., ET), and in 195 countries worldwide. RADIO-CART Radio Network. INTERNET -
PRE-RACE PROGRAMMING: Miller Lite 225 pole qualifying, 5:30 p.m. ET Saturday, ESPN2; CART 2Day, 10:30 a.m. ET Sunday, ESPN2.
DEFENDING CHAMPION: Paul Tracy.
DEFENDING POLESITTER: Helio
TRACK LAYOUT: 1.032-mile oval.
RACE LENGTH: 225 laps, 232.2 miles.
TRACK RECORDS: Qualifying (one lap) - 1998, Patrick Carpentier, 185.500 mph (20.028 seconds); Race - 1999, Paul Tracy, 128.029 miles per hour.
RACE ROUND: 6 of 20 in the FedEx Championship Series.
FedEx CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES
POINTS LEADERS: To be updated following Nazareth event..
NEXT EVENT: June 18, Tenneco Automotive Grand Prix of Detroit, Detroit, Mich.
Paul Tracy of Team KOOL Green recorded his first FedEx Championship Series victory since 1997 when he recorded his 14th career triumph in the 1999 Miller Lite 225 at The Milwaukee Mile. Tracy (KOOL Honda Reynard) scored his second career victory at Milwaukee by finishing 5.880 seconds ahead of Greg Moore (Player's Forsythe Racing Team Mercedes Reynard). Tracy averaged 128.029 miles per hour while claiming his fourth podium finish in the past six events at Milwaukee. Third-place went to Gil de Ferran (Valvoline/Cummins Special Honda Reynard) following final resolution of a post-race review conducted by CART Stewards surrounding an incident on Lap 210. Both rookie Juan Montoya (Target Honda Reynard) and Patrick Carpentier (Player's Forsythe Racing Team Mercedes Reynard) were penalized one lap for passing under caution during the same incident. With 73 points, Montoya maintained the FedEx Championship Series championship lead following the seventh of 20 events. He was followed by Tracy's Team KOOL Green teammate, Dario Franchitti (KOOL Honda Reynard) with 71 and Moore with 69.
Vital Race Statistics
Time of Race: 1 hour, 48 minutes, 49.169 seconds.
Average Speed: 128.029 mph
Margin of Victory: 5.880 seconds.
Caution Flags: 6 for 39 laps.
Miller Lite 200 Fast Facts
Lap Leaders: Juan Montoya 84, Jimmy Vasser 55, Paul Tracy 53, Michael Andretti 16, Helio Castroneves 14, Dario Franchitti 3.
MILWAUKEE RACE HISTORY
|| A.J. Foyt
|| A.J. Foyt
||Jr. Rick Mears
||Al Unser Jr.
Total Pole Positions
Michael Andretti 5
Rick Mears 5
Tom Sneva 4
Gordon Johncock 3
Rick Mears 2
Johnny Rutherford 3
Al Unser Jr. 2
Michael Andretti 2
Paul Tracy 2
Raul Boesel 2
A.J. Foyt 1
Paul Tracy 2
Roger McCluskey 1 Teo Fabi 2
Bobby Unser 1
A.J. Foyt 1
Johnny Rutherford 1 Tom Bigelow 1
Mike Mosley 1
Roberto Guerrero 1
Gordon Johncock 1 Bobby Rahal
Mario Andretti 1
Patrick Carpentier 1
Nigel Mansell 1
Helio Castroneves 1
Greg Moore 1
Jimmy Vasser 1
MILLER LITE 225
JUAN MONTOYA (Target Toyota Lola), on the momentum generated by his victory in Sunday's Indianapolis 500: "We had an unbelievable win at Indy and it's given our team a lot of confidence. We are starting to become a family and we're really racing well. I couldn't believe how quick we were in the pits on Sunday. We've had some small problems this year, but we showed how good we can be. Everyone is anxious to have a CART win this year and give Toyota its first victory. We are really racing well and I have a good feeling about the Milwaukee race."
PAUL TRACY (KOOL Honda Reynard) remembering last year's win in the Miller Lite 225: "Last year's victory at Milwaukee was one of the more memorable wins of my career. It was my first win for Team KOOL Green, the first win with Tony Cicale as my engineer and it was the beginning of a streak of consistent finishes [12 top-fives in the past 19 events] that have us leading the championship today. We've had a good start to the season but we can't afford to get complacent. We've got a lot of races coming up and we need to score points to stay ahead of the other guys. Another victory in Milwaukee would be sweet. I've always enjoyed racing at The Mile. It's one of the better tracks for passing and racing. With its wide and flat corners you can make a move on either the inside or outside, which makes for some pretty wide-open racing."
MICHAEL ANDRETTI (Big Kmart/Texaco/Havoline Ford Lola), on his long-term run of success at The Milwaukee Mile: "Both Newman/Haas [Racing] and myself have had a great track record at Milwaukee. I won a couple of races for Kraco and then won three for Newman/Haas. I just love the race track. I think it's a great race track to drive and I have fun there. It seems to suit my style. What it's going to take to win another [race] there is just finishing the race without a problem. If we don't have any problems, I think we will be right up front. The races are always pretty exciting there because there is always something going on. I'm hoping that the new money going into the race track will help solidify a date for the race for many years to come, because I love going to Milwaukee. The entire Big Kmart/Texaco/Havoline team has started to build some momentum by scoring some points and we plan to keep it up in Milwaukee. It has really
hurt us that we have been starting so far back. Track position is hard to make up in the races with the competitive field. We need to start qualifying better so we can make the job a little easier on ourselves during the race."
JIMMY VASSER (Target Toyota Lola), on the excitement of competing in back-to-back events at Nazareth and Indianapolis last weekend: "This past weekend was a pretty amazing experience, but I think we're looking forward to getting back to a more regular routine. I was hoping for a little better than seventh in Nazareth and Indy, but I gained a few points on [championship leader] Paul [Tracy], so that was a positive. I'd say the learning process is pretty much complete with the new car, so now it's time to put all that knowledge to use. I've had some success at Milwaukee in the past, and I'm hoping another good race here can get me even closer to the points lead."
CHRISTIAN FITTIPALDI (Big Kmart/Route 66 Ford Lola), on the success of the Newman/Haas Racing Team at The Milwaukee Mile: "Newman/Haas has obviously always had a very good setup in Milwaukee.
Michael [Andretti] had three wins and Nigel [Mansell] and Paul [Tracy] managed to win one for the team as well. After Paul left, Michael only won once more and then I started racing with him. There was a period of time where Newman/Haas was very strong in Milwaukee. Things have changed a little bit in the way you run the cars nowadays, but there is no reason why we shouldn't be competitive again this year. We were very strong for qualifying in Nazareth and I was very happy with the car there so I don't see why we couldn't go on to Milwaukee and be very competitive again. I enjoy racing on the short oval tracks. I finished sixth in the race last year, and managed to score a little bit more points and that was good for the championship at that point. The Big Kmart/Route 66 car has been consistently scoring points but they have not been the big amount of points we are shooting
[On performing well at Milwaukee and Road America, where team co-owner Carl Haas is the promoter] "I wouldn't say there is more pressure in Milwaukee, but it's like Elkhart last year. Carl is involved in both tracks and they are close enough that the entire team can come to the race. Even the shop-based guys and the test team. We had basically a dream weekend, and hopefully we can do it again. Obviously, everywhere we go where Carl is involved in the track, it's very nice if we can have a great race there and that is what we are striving for. But as far as a matter of extra pressure, I don't really see that."
GIL de FERRAN (Marlboro Honda Reynard), on continuing his recent success on one-mile ovals at The Milwaukee Mile this weekend: "All signs are positive for us going into the Milwaukee race. While I haven't tested at the track this season, my teammate Helio (Castroneves) had a good test there in April. I think we have a decent set-up going into the weekend since our Nazareth set-up should translate fairly well to Milwaukee. If you put that together with our most recent finish [a victory last Saturday at Nazareth, the 100th in the history of Penske Racing], I think it bodes well for Marlboro Team Penske this weekend."
HELIO CASTRONEVES (Marlboro Honda Reynard), on his enjoyment of The Milwaukee Mile: "I love racing at The Milwaukee Mile. It's a great track and a special place for me because I captured the first pole of my Champ Car career there last year. I think we've got a good set-up for short ovals and I'm very comfortable racing on this type of track. Marlboro Team Penske brings a lot of momentum into the race after getting Roger's (Penske) 100th win in Nazareth, so we're looking forward to a good weekend."
DARIO FRANCHITTI (KOOL Honda Reynard), looking to turn his season around at this weekend's Miller Lite 225: "Obviously, things could be going better for us. But, having said that, I feel that we'll be competitive this weekend in Milwaukee. We've run fairly well there in the past and had a decent test there last week. Team KOOL Green have given me a good car and we've got great personnel on the team, so it's not going to take much to get things turned around. I'm confident the results will come if we just work smart and stay focused. Milwaukee is a great track to race on in a Champ Car because it's so wide there's a couple of different lines and you've got lots of room for passing."
PATRICK CARPENTIER (Player's Forsythe Racing Team Ford Reynard), on the tradition of The Milwaukee Mile: "It's always a special feeling when you're racing on The Milwaukee Mile because the track is so unique, with such a sense of history. You just have to look at the great names in motor racing who have driven and won on this track to realize it has plenty of tradition. It would be great for the Player's team if we can duplicate the pole we won there two years ago. Getting back to a normal race weekend routine of practice, qualifying and then the race is going to be good. I couldn't really put my wrist to the test in Nazareth last weekend because we were on the track just that one day for the race. Still, I managed to put in more than 100 laps and I think the wrist held up quite well. I expect the fast Milwaukee oval, with its tight turns, will put my wrist to the test, which is good because I want to put in as many laps as possible before the first street course of the season in Detroit."
ALEX TAGLIANI (Player's Forsythe Racing Team Ford Reynard), on regaining the momentum he enjoyed at the start of the FedEx Championship Series season: "I've said since the start of the season that there are going to be times when the going gets a bit rough and you have to be able to deal with the adversity. The last two races have been tough but there were still quite a few positives, especially the tremendous pit-stop work by the Player's team at Nazareth that put us right in contention. It augurs well for the race in Milwaukee. I want to reward the Player's crew for the great work they're doing in giving me a competitive car, and I've got my sights set on recapturing the lead in the CART rookie standings. We've seen so far this season that anything can happen during a race. We've had five different winners in the five races and strategy and reliability have been big factors in the outcome."
TONY KANAAN (Hollywood/Mo Nunn Racing Mercedes Reynard), on the fortuitous timing of the Miller Lite 225: "Milwaukee is happening at the best time possible for this team. We're coming off of my best finish yet on a one-mile oval [eighth at Nazareth last Saturday] and the first thing you want to do after an experience like that is to get back in the car and do it again. We'll get our chance this weekend, that's for sure. Other than the fact that it's a one-mile oval, Milwaukee is an entirely different kind of track than Nazareth. But, like Nazareth, it's so full of history. It's a flat track, so you really have to feel comfortable in the race car, or else you'll go backwards in a hurry. It's another place, like Nazareth, where I haven't done too well my first two seasons. But Morris [Nunn, team owner] definitely has a way to make me feel comfortable in the race car, so that could only lead to good things this weekend. I'm very much looking forward to it."
LUIZ GARCIA JR. (Hollywood/Embratel/Tang/Banco Sofisa Mercedes Reynard), on the challenges of The Milwaukee Mile: "I really like The Milwaukee Mile, but I think it's getting too small for the cars. It's really tight and you have to be extra-careful around there. We tested there prior to Nazareth and had a good test run. We at least have a good idea of what [setup] we are going to run."
REIGNING INDY 500 CHAMPION AND DEFENDING FedEx SERIES CHAMP MONTOYA SPEARHEADS CELEBRATED FIELD FOR MILLER LITE 225
DETROIT (May 31, 2000) - The Milwaukee Mile has been an active Champ Car venue longer than any other current stop in the FedEx Championship Series, but it has been a long time since the venerable short oval hosted a field with as much luster as the lineup for Sunday's Miller Lite 225, Round 6 of the FedEx Championship Series (4 p.m. ET, live, ABC-TV).
Start with defending FedEx Championship Series champion Juan Montoya (Target Toyota Lola), fresh off a dominant performance in which he became the first Indianapolis 500 rookie driver to win the prestigious event since Graham Hill in 1966. A day earlier, Montoya finished a season-best fourth in the rescheduled Bosch Spark Plug Grand Prix Presented by Toyota at Nazareth Speedway. Sunday, he led 167 of 200 laps at the famed Brickyard to add another jewel to the crown of defending four-time FedEx Championship Series team champion Target Chip Ganassi Racing.
Marlboro Team Penske driver Gil de Ferran (Marlboro Honda Reynard) arrives at The Milwaukee Mile celebrating a historic win as well, as he delivered the historic 100th Champ Car victory for legendary Penske Racing at Nazareth last Saturday. De Ferran's victory ended a dry spell that had covered three years and 54 events since Paul Tracy had recorded the team's 99th triumph at Gateway International Raceway on May 24, 1997.
Speaking of Tracy (KOOL Honda Reynard), he comes to Milwaukee as the FedEx Championship Series leader and defending race champion. Now plying his trade for Team KOOL Green, Tracy owns an impressive resume at The Mile, including a victory in 1995 and pole positions in 1996 and '97. He has finished among the top seven six times in seven career starts on the 1.032-mile oval.
Tracy holds a 59-48 lead over Jimmy Vasser (Target Toyota Lola), Montoya's Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammate, in the championship standings. Like Tracy, Vasser is a former winner at Milwaukee, having captured the 1998 event.
Montoya may be the reigning Indianapolis 500 champion, but he is not the only one in this weekend's Miller Lite 225 field. Rookie Kenny Brack (Shell Ford Reynard) won the 500 in 1999 and comes to Milwaukee off a season-best finish of third at Nazareth.
Likewise, Tracy and Vasser are not the only previous Miller Lite 225 winners on this weekend's entry list. Joining them is Newman/Haas Racing driver Michael Andretti (Big Kmart/Texaco/Havoline Ford Lola), owner of five victories at The Milwaukee Mile (1986-87, '91-92, '96). Andretti's five wins at the Wisconsin State Fairgrounds are more than any active FedEx Championship Series driver has recorded at any venue.
The first five events of the FedEx Championship Series season have produced five different winners. In addition to de Ferran at Nazareth, they include Tracy at Long Beach, Andretti at Japan, Adrian Fernandez (Tecate/Quaker State/Patrick Racing Ford Reynard) of Patrick Racing at Rio de Janeiro, and Max Papis (Miller Lite Ford Reynard) of Team Rahal in the season opener at Homestead. All told, 11 different drivers have shared in the 15 podium positions through the first five events.
Following the Miller Lite 225, the FedEx Championship Series continues with the Tenneco Automotive Grand Prix of Detroit, June 16-18 at The Raceway on Belle Isle.
· FedEx Championship Series points leader and defending Miller Lite 225 champion Paul Tracy (KOOL Honda Reynard) of Team KOOL Green is the only driver to have scored championship points in all five events this season. The runs consists of a victory at Long Beach, podium finishes of third at Homestead and Rio de Janeiro, finishing sixth at Japan, and taking 10th at Nazareth. He leads the series in laps completed (765 of a possible 766) and miles completed (1,111.241 of a possible 1,112.187). Tracy enters this weekend's Miller Lite 225 with a 59-48 lead over Jimmy Vasser (Target Toyota Lola) in the championship.
· Gil de Ferran (Marlboro Honda Reynard), who recorded the 100th Champ Car victory in the illustrious history of Penske Racing at Nazareth last week, has scored championship points in four of five starts this season and moved into third in the championship, with 42 points. In addition to his victory at Nazareth, de Ferran owns finishes of sixth at Homestead, seventh at Long Beach and ninth at Japan. He also claimed pole positions at Homestead and Long Beach and led the most race laps at each of those venues as well.
· Defending FedEx Championship Series champion Juan Montoya (Target Toyota Lola) of Target Chip Ganassi Racing logged a season-high fourth place finish at Nazareth last weekend, improving to 10th in the championship, with 22 points. He has dominated the laps led category at each of the past two FedEx Championship Series events - 172 of 201 at Japan and 110 of 225 at Nazareth - and is the series leader in laps led with 303. Montoya also led 167 of 200 laps en route to a dominant victory in Sunday's Indianapolis 500. In addition, Montoya has started back-to-back FedEx Championship Series events from the pole (Japan, Nazareth) and has qualified among the top-three drivers for the past six events, and eight of the last 10, dating to last year's pole at Vancouver.
· Target Chip Ganassi Racing driver Jimmy Vasser (Target Toyota Lola) has finished seventh or better in four of five FedEx Championship Series events this season, topped by a runner-up effort at Rio de Janeiro. The run also includes finishes of fourth at Homestead, third at Long Beach and seventh at Nazareth.
· Rookie Kenny Brack (Shell Ford Reynard) of Team Rahal has improved his finish in each of his five FedEx Championship Series starts this season, topped by his first career podium finish of third at Nazareth last Saturday. He has scored championship points in each of his past three starts, including finishes of 10th at Rio de Janeiro and fifth at Japan.
ON THE RIGHT TRACK
· Michael Andretti (Big Kmart/Texaco/Havoline Ford Lola) of Newman/Haas Racing owns five career victories at The Milwaukee Mile (1986-87, '91-92, and '96), and has finished seventh or better in 12 of 15 starts there. The success includes second in 1989 and '97, third in '95, fourth in '84 and '94, and fifth in '90. He has started among the top 10 in 12 of 15 appearances with pole positions in 1986 and '88. He has led 641 laps, or 10 percent of his CART career-leading total of 6,160, at Milwaukee.
· Defending Miller Lite 225 champion Paul Tracy owns six top-seven finishes, including four top-three efforts, in seven career starts at The Milwaukee Mile. His podium finishes include victories in 1995 and last year, when he led 53 laps. Tracy also finished third in 1994 and '96 and started on the pole in 1996 and '97. He has started outside the top seven only once in seven career appearances at Milwaukee.
· Jimmy Vasser has scored championship points in all seven of his career starts at Milwaukee, including a victory in 1998. He also scored a podium finish with his third-place effort in 1997 and finished fourth last year, when he led 55 laps.
· Gil de Ferran (Marlboro Honda Reynard) owns four top-10 finishes in five career starts at Milwaukee, topped by third last year when he started 16th. He also finished seventh in 1997, eighth in '95 and ninth in '96.
· Helio Castroneves (Marlboro Honda Reynard) earned his first career pole position at Milwaukee last year, at an average speed of 169.704 miles per hour (21.931 seconds). He also established a FedEx Championship Series career-best finish of second at Milwaukee during his rookie season of 1998, an effort that was later matched at Gateway last year and Long Beach this year.
· Newman/Haas driver Christian Fittipaldi (Big Kmart/Route 66 Ford Lola) has scored championship points in all three of his starts at Milwaukee with finishes of sixth in 1996 and last year, and seventh in 1995. He missed the 1997 event due to a broken leg and the '98 event due to a mild concussion sustained during a practice accident at The Mile.
· Ford-powered drivers have won three of four FedEx Championship Series events contested on ovals this season. The run includes victories by Max Papis (Miller Lite Ford Reynard) at Homestead, Adrian Fernandez at Rio de Janeiro and Michael Andretti at Japan.
· Honda-powered drivers have won the past two FedEx Championship Series events contested at The Milwaukee Mile, with victories from Jimmy Vasser in 1998 and Paul Tracy last year.
· Toyota needs only a fifth-place finish in one of the remaining 15 FedEx Championship Series events this season to match its previous best points total in five years of competition for the CART Manufacturer's Championship. A Toyota-powered driver has finished fourth or better in each of the five events to date, bringing the manufacturer 70 points through five rounds of the championship, just 10 behind the 80 it scored all of last season.
· Beginning June 1, Firestone Racing is putting up for Internet auction a tire signed by more than 100 drivers, owners and dignitaries in both the FedEx Championship Series and Indy Racing League and several celebrities. All proceeds from the winning bid go to the Sam Schmidt Family Trust, to aid the IRL driver paralyzed in a winter testing accident. The authentic Firestone Firehawk racing radial display tire has been signed by nearly every current CART and IRL driver, luminaries including Mario Andretti, Al Unser, A.J. Foyt, Johnny Rutherford, Andrew Craig and Tony George, and celebrities such as Paul Newman, Ashley Judd, Sylvester Stallone and Anthony Edwards. To bid on the tire, go to www.ebay.com and use the general search for "Firestone Indy display tire." Bidding runs through June 10. For more information, contact Firestone public relations reps Mark Robinson (317-578-7249 or firstname.lastname@example.org ) or Woody McMillin (615-231-3341 or email@example.com ).
· The Champ Car piloted by PacWest Racing Group driver Mark Blundell (Motorola PacWest Mercedes) is the topic of an ambitious project begin undertaken through Friday by the Howstuffworks web site. The project, which was launched Tuesday, will cover virtually every aspect of putting Blundell's FedEx Championship Series entry on track for this weekend's Miller Lite 225. Howstuffworks.com will take its visitors behind the scenes to learn about Blundell, the car, and the PacWest team. Visitors will also learn about the chassis, the car's aerodynamics, the suspension, the engine, the transmission, the cockpit and even the pits. All the information is supported by a three-dimensional animation program which allows the car to be dissected and examined in detail. A contest has been created in conjunction with the project, giving Howstuffworks visitors the opportunity to win a checkered flag autographed by Blundell, a team jersey autographed by members of the Motorola PacWest team, a die-cast model of Blundell's car and limited-edition Motorola team T-shirts. The project can be observed by logging onto www.howstuffworks.com or by linking off the www.pacwestracing.com homepage.
ON THE AIR
· Qualifying for the Miller Lite 225 will air 5:30 p.m. ET Saturday on ESPN2. "CART 2Day" airs 10:30 a.m. ET Sunday on ESPN2, with ABC-TV's live race broadcast scheduled to begin 4 p.m. ET. The race will also air live on the CART Radio Network and on CART's official website at www.cart.com .