Long Beach "Speedy Pete" Mercier Race Report

Long Beach, Calif. (April 15, 2000) -- "Speedy Pete" Mercier, made a strong comeback today on the streets of Long Beach for Round three of the Toyota Atlantic Championship series, part of the Grand Prix of Long Beach CART FedEx Championship ...

Long Beach, Calif. (April 15, 2000) -- "Speedy Pete" Mercier, made a strong comeback today on the streets of Long Beach for Round three of the Toyota Atlantic Championship series, part of the Grand Prix of Long Beach CART FedEx Championship weekend.

After a disappointing qualifying session this morning, Mercier, the driver for the #14 World Speed -- Northwest SpeedWerx/Walker Racing Swift 008.a, finished 9th.

"It was a torrid battle, but we made it," said Mercier. World Speed qualified 16th, a combined effort of two qualifying sessions. "We did not have a good qualifying session this morning. We had some electrical problems and I wasn't able to finish the session. So we had to use my fast time from qualifying yesterday."

When the green flag dropped, Mercier made two passes to hold a steady pace in the 14th position for the majority of the race. "I had trouble getting down the straight-aways at full speed, so I passed some guys through Turns 8 and 9. Basically, that area was my passing zone," said Mercier.

Rookie Mercier made his street circuit debut on the famed southern California course. "Pete has never raced on a street circuit before, but that was not obvious to anyone watching. He was competitive out there, like I knew he would be," said Chuck West, team owner of World Speed. After Round 3 of 12 in the Toyota Atlantic Championship series, Mercier is tenth in Atlantic point standings.

Buddy Rice (DSTP Motorsports), finished first, followed by David Rutledge (Lynx Racing), and Andrew Bordin (PPI Motorsports), who finished third. The Long Beach race will be televised on espn2, Sunday, April 23 at 4:30 p.m. with a repeat broadcast on Thursday, April 27 at 5:00 a.m. For the latest information regarding World Speed, go to www.worldspeed.com Round four of the 12-race CART Toyota Atlantic Championship season takes place at the Milwaukee Mile, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, June 3.

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Series Atlantic
Drivers David Rutledge , Buddy Rice , Andrew Bordin