(September 24, 1998) - Championship Auto Racing Teams' Chief Steward Wally Dallenbach has removed Team Rahal driver Bryan Herta from his term of probation. Dallenbach decided to remove Herta (Shell Reynard Ford) from his probationary status ...
(September 24, 1998) - Championship Auto Racing Teams' Chief Steward Wally Dallenbach has removed Team Rahal driver Bryan Herta from his term of probation.
Dallenbach decided to remove Herta (Shell Reynard Ford) from his probationary status following the fifth-year Champ Car driver's first career victory Sept. 13 at the Honda Grand Prix of Monterey Featuring the Texaco/Havoline 300 at Laguna Seca Raceway.
Herta was placed on probation Aug. 9 for an opening-lap incident with Dario Franchitti (KOOL Reynard Honda) during the Miller Lite 200 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Dallenbach cited Herta for unjustifiable risk in regard to the contact with Franchitti.
Herta is the latest to enjoy what has become an interesting trend over the past few seasons in the FedEx Championship Series. Dating to the 1996 season, four of five notable drivers who have been placed on probation won a race at some juncture during that period.
Michael Andretti began the trend during the 1996 season when he was placed on probation following the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach for rough driving in three of the first four events. He responded with victories in three of the next four races, with wins coming at Nazareth, Milwaukee and Detroit, respectively.
In 1997, Paul Tracy was cited for three driving violations at Long Beach and placed on probation. His response to the disciplinary action was consecutive victories in the ensuing three races (Nazareth, Rio, St. Louis).
Earlier this season, Greg Moore (Player's/Indeck Reynard Mercedes) was placed on probation for unjustifiable risk following the June 21 Budweiser/G.I. Joe's 200 Presented by Texaco/Havoline in Portland. Three events later, he emerged victorious July 26 at the U.S. 500 Presented by Toyota at Michigan. His probation was lifted following his triumph. Herta mirrored Moore as he captured his victory three events after he was placed on probation.
The only driver of note who has gone winless during his stay on probation is two-time FedEx Championship Series champion Alex Zanardi. Zanardi (Target Reynard Honda) was placed on probation following last season's Molson Indy Vancouver for rough driving and did not win the final two events of the year. He was placed on probation for unjustifiable risk for two separate incidents at Mid-Ohio this season and has gone winless in the three ensuing events. He remains on probation heading into the next event, the Texaco Grand Prix of Houston set for Oct. 4 on the streets of downtown Houston.
Source: CART Online