1993 Barber Pro Series Champion Kenny Brack put his challenge for the CART FedEx Championship back into top gear with a marvelous run to victory in the Target Grand Prix Presented by Energizer. The victory allows Brack to put a firm grip on his mid-season series points lead. Brack started from eighth but the Swede soon worked his way forward. The Karlstad native wrestled the lead from fellow Skip Barber trained Helio Castroneves with an opportunistic move at a restart on lap 122 then rocketed away into the lead.
The former Pro Series standout fell as low as 16th when he made his second and final pit stop on lap 161, but gradually moved toward the front as other contenders pursuing a three-stop strategy (as opposed to his two-stopper) made their way onto pit lane. Brack then regained the lead on lap 207 and marched clear at the restart. He took the checkered flag a commanding 4.480 sec. ahead of the second place finisher. Memo Gidley (5th), Castroneves (7th) and Tony Kanaan (8th) joined Brack in the Skip Barber trained Top-10 with their strong results.
Earlier on the Chicago Motor Speedway oval, Skip Barber trained Jonathan Macri (6th), Rocky Moran Jr. (7th) and Joey Hand (10th) registered Top-10 results in Toyota Atlantic competition.
In Winston Cup action, Skip Barber trained Bobby Labonte, hoeing a long, slow road back to the top, earned his first victory of the season in the Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono Raceway. Labonte, defending NASCAR champion, staggered out of the top 25 in points with three DNFs through April, then began a gradual climb toward the top 10. For the usually quick racer, Sunday's victory was his first since Charlotte last fall, 294 days ago. Three time Winston Cup Champion Jeff Gordon finished the race in eighth place.
Former Formula Dodge racer Antonio Pizzonia, who graduated to the FIA Formula 3000 championship this year after winning the British Formula 3 title in 2000, claimed his first series win in a bare-knuckles battle at Hockenheim. The Brazilian, who started sixth, finished a huge 4.988 sec. ahead of his closest competitor.
"I knew I had a good car for the race," said the jazzed Pizzonia. "It feels good to be back on the top step of the podium."
The F3000 race supported the marquee Formula One race, in which Michelin tires rolled Ralf Schumacher to his third win of the season. His Williams-BMW teammate, former Barber Pro Series race winner Juan Pablo Montoya, led from pole for most of the contest before succumbing to unfortunate mechanical woes.
- Andrew Torres