CHAMPCAR/CART: ACRL: Local teams look for good Mid-Ohio showing

DUBLIN, Ohio (August 7, 2000) - Ohio fans will have a lot to cheer for at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course when several local teams fight for the podium at the 2.25-mile, 13-turn permanent road course during the Miller Lite 200, August 10-13. The...

DUBLIN, Ohio (August 7, 2000) - Ohio fans will have a lot to cheer for at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course when several local teams fight for the podium at the 2.25-mile, 13-turn permanent road course during the Miller Lite 200, August 10-13.

The Miller Lite 200 is Round 13 on the 20-event CART FedEx Championship Series schedule. As Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course's premier event, the Miller Lite 200 features a variety of races that culminate with the 83-lap Miller Lite 200 main event. The Dayton Indy Lights Championship, Barber Dodge Pro Series and American City Racing League (ACRL) will also race at the track known as the "Most Competitive in the U.S."

Team Rahal, based out of Hilliard, Ohio, has been a local fan favorite since its inception in 1992. Over the years, spectators have seen current team owner Bobby Rahal race to eight podium finishes at Mid-Ohio, including victories with the TrueSports racing team in 1985 and 1986. Rahal is now the interim President and CEO of CART, and has turned the pilot reigns over to current drivers Kenny Brack, a former Indianapolis 500 champion, and Max Papis, whose Champ Car debut occurred at Mid-Ohio in 1996.

Papis is in his second year of driving the number seven Ford/Reynard Miller Lite car, a ride he took over when Rahal announced his retirement from Champ Car racing at the end of the 1998 season. Papis quickly climbed to the top of CART in 1999, recording 11 top-five finishes and was named to the inaugural CART All-Star team. After mechanical problems in Chicago, Papis is looking forward to returning to the track that gave him his first taste of CART competition.

"Mid-Ohio is the 'home' course of Team Rahal and we will have a lot of our fans rooting for us when we race there next week," Papis said. "That fan support really got me pumped before the race last year."

CART rookie Brack, whose previous Mid-Ohio experience is limited to a Barber Saab race in 1993 and a CART open test in June, is currently leading the points race for the Jim Trueman Rookie of the Year Award. He is seventh overall in points driving his Ford/Reynard Shell car, and has two podium finishes at Nazareth and Cleveland.

Although Brack has been coming on as of late, showing the skill necessary to win at the top level of open-wheel racing, he feels his challenge is living up to the expectations of a team that has been consistently successful at the Miller Lite 200.

"The track is a difficult course both physically and mentally," Brack said. "Max has told me how the fans are all supporting our team, so I am looking forward to having the crowd cheering for us on race day."

Team Rahal isn't the only local team spectators will be able to root to the finish. Lucas Motorsports Ltd., based in Dublin, Ohio, is well known as a competitive team in the circles of the Dayton Indy Lights Championship. However, Mid-Ohio fans will see Lucas Motorsports for the first time since the team's inception in 1997 - the Dayton Indy Lights Championship has not raced at Mid-Ohio since the 1994 season.

Brothers and teammates Andy and Geoff Boss comprise the Lucas Motorsports on-track talent. Geoff, the elder of the two, drives the number four car and is in his second season with Lucas Motorsports. He has scored five career top-three finishes in Indy Lights. Andy is also back for a second year with the team. Both brothers are familiar with Mid-Ohio, having raced there in the Barber Dodge Pro Series. Geoff finished third in the 1995 race, while Andy also notched a third-place finish during the 1994 event.

American City Racing League competitor John Fergus, of Columbus, Ohio, is very familiar with the track. He won last year's ACRL race in June, and already has one ACRL victory at Mid-Ohio this year during the season-opening U.S. Road Racing Classic. Fergus is the overall series individual points leader, and will join with fellow Team Columbus drivers Craig Chima, Jason Engel, Glenn Jividen, Jr., and Bob Liebert as they try to improve on their third-place overall team points position.

With the support of the local fans, Team Rahal, Lucas Motorsports Ltd. and Team Columbus can look forward to home course advantage during the Miller Lite 200 weekend. For tickets to the homecoming of these competitors, call

1-800-MID-OHIO, Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. or log on to www.midohio.com <http://www.midohio.com>.

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Series INDYCAR , INDYLIGHTS , SCCA-PRO