WEST ALLIS, Wis., May 25, 1998 - Fresh off his second victory in three races, Lynx Racing's Memo Gidley will be looking to build on his lead in the KOOL/Toyota Atlantic Championship when the series makes its traditional stop at the...
WEST ALLIS, Wis., May 25, 1998 - Fresh off his second victory in three races, Lynx Racing's Memo Gidley will be looking to build on his lead in the KOOL/Toyota Atlantic Championship when the series makes its traditional stop at the Miller 200 at the Milwaukee Mile on Saturday, May 30.
Gidley, of Novato, Calif., already has recorded victories at the Long Beach season-opener and last weekend at Gateway in St. Louis, and now leads the championship with 53 points. Andrew Bordin, of Woodbridge, Ont., has finished second at all three KOOL/Toyota Atlantic Championship races this season, and sits in second place with 48 points. Gidley's teammate, Buddy Rice, won the second race of the season in Nazareth, Pa., and is third in the points with 37. Lynx Racing has won all three races so far this year.
Round Four of the 13-race KOOL/Toyota Atlantic Championship, scheduled for 60 laps/60 miles, will get underway at 3 p.m. on Saturday, with qualifying on Friday at 5:15 p.m. on the famed oval.
"Setup is really important on an oval, and even more so at Milwaukee because the turns are almost flat so you don't have any banking to help make up for any lack of grip," said Gidley, who started 11th but moved up to finish third at Milwaukee in 1997. "I found that out last year when I struggled through the race with a car that had a big push. But we've had good cars this year at both Nazareth and Gateway, and there's nothing like a win to get you revved up for the next race."
Gidley's toughtest competition at Milwaukee could come from Bordin, who drives the #2 B.D.J.S. Millennium Data Systems Ralt RT-40, Gidley's Lynx Racing teammate Rice in the #65 Ralt RT-41, and Lazzaro, who drives the #25 MCI/PPI Swift 008.a. Gidley, Bordin and Lazzaro went neck-to-neck-to-neck last Saturday at Gateway before rain shortened the scheduled 50-lap race to just 27. Before the rain fell, however, those three put on a show, with Gidley taking the checkered flag under the yellow, Bordin finishing second, and Lazzaro, who started in the pole position, finishing third.
It was Lazzaro two years ago at the Milwaukee Mile that surprised the Atlantic field by cruising to his first series victory - in a borrowed car and on a shoestring budget. Last year, Gidley's Lynx Racing teammate Alex Barron, who will be driving for Dan Gurney's All American Racers team in Sunday's Miller 200, led wire-to-wire for the victory at Milwaukee.
"With the events so close together now, Gateway, Milwaukee and Montreal one right after the other, psychological momentum becomes a real factor, and the Lynx team is feeling pretty good ... not overconfident, but secure in our ability to consistently field competitive cars. Gateway was literally a wheel-to-wheel race between the top teams and I think Milwaukee will be more of the same," said Gidley.
The $1.3 million KOOL /Toyota Atlantic Championship is the richest open-wheel development series in North America, noted for its long history of graduating its stars directly into CART competition. Among the drivers who have graduated from the Atlantic series are CART stars Michael Andretti, Bobby Rahal, Danny Sullivan, Jimmy Vasser, Richie Hearn, Patrick Carpentier and Barron, as well as 1997 FIA Formula One Champion, Jacques Villeneuve.
Saturday's Atlantic race at the Miller 200 will be broadcast the following Saturday, June 6, on ESPN2 and ESPN International at 4:30 p.m., with repeat broadcasts on ESPN2 on June 8, June 12 and June 18. CTV will broadcast the race in Canada on Saturday, June 6, at 4 p.m. All times are Eastern. Round 5 of the 1998 KOOL /Toyota Atlantic Championship will continue Saturday, June 6, at the Grand Prix du Player's in Montreal, Que.