CHAMPCAR/CART: Firestone Chicago race report

Kenny Brack displayed his prowess on short ovals yet again, driving to his third victory of the season today and extending his lead in the FedEx Championship Series standings. Brack ran among the leaders all day and took first place for good 18...

Kenny Brack displayed his prowess on short ovals yet again, driving to his third victory of the season today and extending his lead in the FedEx Championship Series standings. Brack ran among the leaders all day and took first place for good 18 laps from the finish when others made pits stops under a caution period.

Brack finished 4.48 seconds ahead of runner-up Patrick Carpentier. Combined with victories on ovals at Motegi and Milwaukee, it helped push the Team Rahal driver 22 points ahead of the field in the season title chase.

"Today's conditions were much different than what the drivers experienced Friday and Saturday, with it hotter and more humid for the race," said Joe Barbieri, Bridgestone/Firestone Motorsports Project Supervisor. "Regardless, the Firestone tires were up to the task. The consistency between sets of tires enabled teams to fine-tune their cars and make those daring passes for position in the closing laps. Kenny Brack obviously had the confidence in his tires to make the bold moves he did, including that tight inside pass of Helio Castroneves for the lead midway through the race. A number of drivers knew their tires were still good enough that they could forego changing them on their final pit stop. Memo Gidley and Bruno Junqueira each put 108 laps on their last set (111.1 miles) and Paul Tracy had 106 laps (109.1 miles) on his final set, all without loss of performance."

Kenny Brack, Team Rahal Ford/Lola/Firestone: "We have a good oval set-up. We ran well at Michigan, too, until we had a bit of misfortune there at the end. It's great to be competitive. The Rahal crew did a fantastic job, the Shell Ford ran great all day and we hope to get a little streak going now. If we can get one or two more (wins), we should be looking pretty good. The Firestone tires were really steady throughout the whole race. They were really, really stable."

Scott Roembke, Team Rahal general manager: "This is a great victory for Team Rahal after what happened at Michigan. I think you saw during the race that we had the most consistent car. Tires were never an issue. We had just awesome tire wear. We went 80-plus laps on (the first set), plus what we qualified on them. We didn't have to do much to the car all day."

Patrick Carpentier, Forsythe Racing Ford/Reynard/Firestone: "First on the podium one week, second the next. I'm just so happy. The Firestones and Ford were excellent today. The tires stayed pretty much the same. The car went a little loose but for us it was really constant. We had the weight jackers and adjusted them, so I was very happy. My tires were pretty strong on the restarts and that's where we got some of the guys, so it was really good."

Race temperature ranges: 93-94 degrees ambient (F) 119-122 degrees track (F).

-Firestone Racing

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Memo Gidley , Bruno Junqueira , Patrick Carpentier , Paul Tracy , Kenny Brack