CHAMPCAR/CART: Fontana Sunday Track Notes

The Marlboro 500 Presented by Toyota FedEx Championship Series Track Notes - Sunday Fontana, CA (November 1, 1998) - Good Morning for Race Day in sunny Southern California! The weather is again perfect with pale blue skies and a cool breeze...

The Marlboro 500 Presented by Toyota FedEx Championship Series Track Notes - Sunday

Fontana, CA (November 1, 1998) -

Good Morning for Race Day in sunny Southern California! The weather is again perfect with pale blue skies and a cool breeze greeting the early arrivals to the track for today's activities. Temperatures are expected in the mid-seventies with no hint of rain so the near-sell out crowd will use plenty of sun tan oil. Today's CART on-track activities begin with the traditional 30-minute warm-up period at 9 a.m. followed by the Green Flag for the Marlboro 500 Presented by Toyota at 12:30 p.m. SCOTT PRUETT sits on the pole with a clocking of 233.748 mph (31.249 seconds) and will lead the field of 28 cars to the start of the 250-lap, 500-mile race. The winner will take home a cool million dollars with PRUETT able to collect $45,000 more from Marlboro if he can win from the pole. The IRS will probably be standing by the driver payout window with their hands out, but the winner can probably offer them a tip as well!

GREEN FLAG waves at 9:02 a.m. to start the final practice session of the weekend.

YELLOW FLAG waves at 9:10 a.m. for CART safety workers to remove debris from the race course.

At 9:12 a.m., ten minutes into the practice session and under a Yellow Flag, the fastest driver is #5 DE FERRAN with a lap of 231.335 mph (31.575 seconds), followed by #6 ANDRETTI (230.183 mph; 31.733 seconds) and #10 HEARN (229.727 mph; 31.796 seconds).

GREEN FLAG waves at 9:13 a.m. to resume the practice session.

At 9:18 a.m., #27 FRANCHITTI logs the fastest lap of the session with a speed of 232.491 mph (31.418 seconds).

YELLOW FLAG waves at 9:20 a.m. after #16 CASTRO-NEVES spins at the entrance to pit road and stalls in the middle of the lane. CART safety workers tow the car back to his pit area.

At 9:22 a.m., 20 minutes into the session and under the Yellow Flag, the fastest driver is still #27 FRANCHITTI with his earlier lap of 232.491 mph (31.418 seconds), followed by #2 UNSER JR. (231.658 mph; 31.531 seconds) and #5 DE FERRAN (231.335 mph; 31.575 seconds).

GREEN FLAG waves at 9:23 a.m. to resume the practice session.

At 9:31 a.m., #21 KANAAN logs the fastest lap of the session with a speed of 232.646 mph (31.397 seconds).

CHECKERED FLAG waves at 9:32 a.m. to end the final practice session of the weekend and of the 1998 season with the fastest driver still #21X KANAAN with his earlier lap of 232.646 mph (31.397 seconds), followed by #27 FRANCHITTI (232.491 mph; 31.418 seconds) and #12 VASSER (232.484 mph; 31.419 seconds). There are 26 cars within one second of the fast lap set by KANAAN at the end of this session. FedEx Championship Series driver introduced 37 cars to the track in this morning's session with secondary cars utilized by #21X KANAAN, #1X ZANARDI, #9X LEHTO, #6X ANDRETTI, #7X RAHAL, #3X RIBEIRO, #18X BLUNDELL, #24X GORDON, #19X JOURDAIN JR., #36X BARRON, #17X GUGELMIN, #98X SOSPIRI, and #25X PAPIS. CART drivers logged a total of 300 laps during this final practice session.

PPG Industries Inc. is pleased to announce that Trevor Hoskins, the recently retired senior vice-president of public affairs for Bridgestone/Firestone, has been named as PPG's Colorful Character for the Marlboro 500 Presented by Toyota in Fontana.

Trevor Hoskins joined Bridgestone (USA) in January 1989 as director of public relations. After the consolidation with Firestone, Hoskins became executive director of public relations for BFS in June 1990. He was then appointed vice president of public affairs in April 1991 and senior vice president of public affairs in January 1997. This past September, Hoskins retired from BFS but he remains as a consultant to the company.

"Trevor's insight, vision and humor have been widely noted and enjoyed by the drivers, teams and media at PPG Cup events," said Mike Sack, PPG's Director of Sports Marketing. "We are delighted to recognize this popular practitioner of PR sciences as our latest PPG Colorful Character," said Sack.

Created in 1995 by PPG Industries, co-title sponsor of the 1998 CART FedEx Championship, the PPG Colorful Character award recognizes members of the racing community who add color, style, personality and fun to the series.

Hoskins joins prior winners including: Fr. Phil DeRea, Tom Carnegie, Rick Mears, Roger Bailey Lou Palmer, Barry Green, Leo Mehl1 Sid Priddle, Floyd Ganassi, Wally Reese, Wally Dallenbach, Robin Miller, Shav Glick, Mario Andretti, Jim McGee, Kirk Russell Mike Nealy, Al Speyer, Ned Wicker, Ned and Ann Miller, Michelle Trueman-Gaioch, Jim Melvin, Jim Hall, Dan Gurney, Pat Patrick, Ralph Sanchez, Les Unger, Dan Luginbuhi, Bud Stanner, Derrick Walker, Mike Harris, Christine Home, Jim Haynes, Phil Heard1 Ron Hussey, Alex Zanardi, Dr. Steve Olvey, Bruce Flanders, Walt Czarnecki, Chuck Givler Emerson Fittipaldi, Brian Stewart, Carl Haas, Andrew Craig, Bruce McCaw, Dan Proudfoot, Roger Penske, Bobby Rahal, Dale Coyne, Brian Williams, the CART Safety Team and Paul Newman.

Following Sunday's Champ Car warm-up, two-time Fed Championship Series driving champion Alex Zanardi (Target Reynard Honda) will receive his second consecutive season--ending Omega Speedmaster Award. Omega, the official timekeeper of the FedEx Championship Series, will present Zanardi with an Omega Louis Brandt watch for recording the fastest race laps at five FedEx Championship Series events this season. During the season, Omega presented a Speedmaster watch to the driver who clocked the fastest race lap at each event. Zanardi earned the season-ending award based on his five fastest race laps, to three for runner-up Greg Moore (P1ayer's/Indeck Reynard Mercedes).

The STP Most Improved Driver Award and the Valvoline/ASE Mechanic of the Race Award will also be presented following Sunday's Champ Car Warm-up. The driver who is chosen most improved during the 1998 season by vote of his peers will receive $5,000 from First Brands Corporation/STP. Michel Jourdain Jr. Herdez /Viva Mexico Reynard Ford) won the award last year.

At 12:32 p.m., the command "Gentlemen, Start Your Engines!" is given by honorary starter, Anthony Edwards of ER.

At 12:33 p.m., the PPG Pace Car begins to roll with the field of 28 cars in tow for the first of four pace laps.

GREEN FLAG waves at 12:40 p.m. to start the Marlboro 500 Presented by Toyota. Firestone engineers report a track temperature of 104 degrees F. and an ambient temperature of 74 degrees F. at the drop of the Green Flag.

#16 CASTRO-NEVES slows dramatically as the car crosses the finish line, leaving the cars behind to stream past on either side. CASTRO-NEVES comes up to speed at the back of the pack as the field enters the backstretch.

#12 VASSER leads the first lap by .061 seconds, followed by #6 ANDRETTI , #20 PRUETT, #7 RAHAL, and #5 DE FERRAN. Ninth-place starter, #99 MOORE falls to 14th on the first lap. #24 GORDON has jumped from his 22nd starting spot to ninth on the first lap.

On Lap 2, #5 DE FERRAN has already moved up from sixth to third.

YELLOW FLAG waves on Lap 7 after #3 RIBEIRO makes hard contact with the wall at Turn 3. Fellow drivers behind RIBEIRO had reported that RIBEIRO's car was leaking oil just before the incident. RIBEIRO exits the car under his own power but the car is destroyed.

On Lap 8 and under the Yellow Flag, #7 RAHAL has fallen from his starting position of fourth to seventh. #99 MOORE has moved from the 14th spot to eighth.

On Lap 10 and under a Yellow Flag, the running order is #12 VASSER leading #6 ANDRETTI, followed by #5 DE FERRAN, #20 PRUETT, and #17 GUGELMIN.

GREEN FLAG waves on Lap 17 to resume the Marlboro 500. 19th-place #10 HEARN was the only car on the lead lap to pit under this caution period.

On Lap 20, the running order is #12 VASSER leading #6 ANDRETTI by .369 seconds, followed by #5 DE FERRAN, #20 PRUETT, and #17 GUGELMIN.

On Lap 22, #99 MOORE moves past #7 RAHAL to take over seventh place.

On Lap 24, #6 ANDRETTI passes #12 VASSER in Turn 1 to take over first place.

On Lap 29, #27 FRANCHITTI and #99 MOORE pass fourth-place #20 PRUETT, dropping PRUETT to sixth.

Also on Lap 29, #2 UNSER JR. has smoke starting to show at the right rear of the car. UNSER JR. pits on the subsequent lap and returns to the race four laps down.

On Lap 30, the running order is #6 ANDRETTI leading #12 VASSER by .450 seconds, followed by #5 DE FERRAN, #27 FRANCHITTI, and #99 MOORE.

On lap 32, #99 MOORE passes #27 FRANCHITTI to take over fourth place.

On Lap 33, #99 MOORE passes #5 DE FERRAN to take over third place.

On lap 40, the running order is #6 ANDRETTI leading by .727 seconds over #99 MOORE, followed by #12 VASSER, #17 GUGELMIN, and #26 TRACY. #27 FRANCHITTI pits on the 40th lap.

On lap 41, #6 ANDRETTI pits and hands the lead to #99 MOORE.

On Lap 42, fourth-place #12 VASSER pits and returns to the race in 11th place.

On Lap 43, #17 GUGELMIN takes the lead as leader #99 MOORE pits along with #26 TRACY, #7 RAHAL, and #20 PRUETT.

On Lap 45, #10 HEARN takes over first place when leader #17 GUGELMIN pits.

On Lap 47, #2 UNSER JR. retires from the race due to an oil leak.

On Lap 50, the running order is #10 HEARN leading by 4.098 seconds over #16 CASTRO-NEVES, #99 MOORE, #6 ANDRETTI, and #12 VASSER. HEARN and CASTRO-NEVES are out of pit sequence with the leaders at this point and are due to pit soon.

On Lap 52, #99 MOORE takes the lead as leader #10 HEARN pits.

On Lap 59, #6 ANDRETTI catches #99 MOORE in traffic going into the third turn and passes to take the lead.

On Lap 60, the running order is #6 ANDRETTI leading by .196 seconds over #99 MOORE, #12 VASSER, #27 FRANCHITTI, and #17 GUGELMIN.

On Lap 59, #6 ANDRETTI catches #99 MOORE in traffic going into the third turn and passes to take the lead.

On Lap 60, the running order is #6 ANDRETTI leading by .196 seconds over #99 MOORE, #12 VASSER, #27 FRANCHITTI, and #17 GUGELMIN.

On Lap 70, the running order is #6 ANDRETTI leading by .288 seconds over #99 MOORE, #12 VASSER, #27 FRANCHITTI, and #17 GUGELMIN.

On Lap 71, #6 ANDRETTI pits and hands the lead to #99 MOORE. ANDRETTI returns to the race in fifth place.

On Lap 75, #27 FRANCHITTI pits and hands fourth place to #7 RAHAL.

On Lap 80, the running order is #99 MOORE leading by 15.345 seconds over #17 GUGELMIN, #18 BLUNDELL, #9 LEHTO, and #6 ANDRETTI. MOORE subsequently pits and hands the lead over to #17 GUGELMIN.

On Lap 81, #17 GUGELMIN leads teammate #18 BLUNDELL, who rides in second.

On Lap 82, #18 BLUNDELL takes the lead from #17 GUGELMIN to lead his first lap of the 1998 season.

On Lap 85, #99 MOORE takes the lead back, followed by #6 ANDRETTI, dropping #17 GUGELMIN to third.

BLACK FLAG is shown to #77 MEIER on Lap 87 for a pit road speed violation.

Also on Lap 87, #12 VASSER passes #26 TRACY to take over fourth place.

YELLOW FLAG waves on Lap 89 after #77 MEIER loses an engine coming down the front straight. The car trails smoke and fire down to the apron of Turn 1. MEIER exits the car and CART safety workers quickly extinguish the flames.

On lap 90 and under a Yellow Flag, the running order is #99 MOORE leading, followed by #6 ANDRETTI, #27 FRANCHITTI, #12 VASSER, and #26 TRACY.

On Lap 91, second-place #6 ANDRETTI pits and hands third over to #27 FRANCHITTI. ANDRETTI returns to the race in sixth place. #10 HEARN, running in seventh, also pits and hands seventh but maintains his position as HEARN is the last car on the lead lap.

GREEN FLAG waves on Lap 96 to resume the race.

On lap 100, the running order is #99 MOORE leading by .992 seconds over second-place #27 FRANCHITTI, #12 VASSER, #26 TRACY, and #17 GUGELMIN. There have been 14 lead changes at this point of the race with seven cars still on the lead lap.

On Lap 101, #20 PRUETT passes the leaders to get back into the lead lap in eighth place.

On Lap 110, the running order is #99 MOORE leading by 1.085 seconds over #27 FRANCHITTI, #12 VASSER, #26 TRACY, and #6 ANDRETTI.

YELLOW FLAG waves on Lap 113 after second-place #27 FRANCHITTI's car erupts with smoke going down the backstretch. FRANCHITTI pulls to the bottom of the apron as CART safety workers catch up to the car. FRANCHITTI is out of the race, and #12 VASSER takes over second place.

On Lap 115, the lead-lap, top-seven cars pit. MOORE retains the lead, followed by #17 GUGELMIN, #12 VASSER, #6 ANDRETTI, and #26 TRACY.

On Lap 116, CART Race Control, after reviewing the video tape of the pit stops just completed, moves #26 TRACY around #6 ANDRETTI to put TRACY in fourth place.

By Lap 118, #1 ZANARDI, #40 FERNANDEZ, and #24 GORDON did not pit and thus have moved onto the lead lap in eighth, ninth, and tenth place respectively.

GREEN FLAG waves on Lap 121 to resume the race with #99 MOORE leading #17 GUGELMIN. GUGELMIN quickly passes MOORE to take over first place.

On Lap 122, 317 GUGELMIN leads #99 MOORE by .414 seconds.

On lap 124, #26 TRACY passes #12 VASSER to take over third place.

On Lap 125, halfway through the Marlboro 500 Presented by Toyota, the top-ten running order is #17 GUGELMIN, leading by .968 seconds over #99 MOORE, #26 TRACY, #6 ANDRETTI, #12 VASSER, #20 PRUETT, #10 HEARN, #1 ZANARDI, #40 FERNANDEZ, and #24 GORDON, all on the lead lap.

YELLOW FLAG waves on Lap 126 after #9 LEHTO loses an engine coming down the front stretch and coasts to the apron of the track. LEHTO is done for the day.

On Lap 127, #1 ZANARDI, #40 FERNANDEZ, and #24 GORDON all pit to get back on sequence with the leaders. Upon leaving the pits, #1 ZANARDI leaves with the crew still fueling the car and hits his fuel man. ZANARDI will be Black-Flagged and called back in for a stop and go penalty for a pit road safety violation.

GREEN FLAG waves on Lap 130 with the running order #17 GUGELMIN leading by .285 seconds over #99 MOORE, #26 TRACY, #6 ANDRETTI, and #12 VASSER.

BLACK FLAG is shown on Lap 131 to #1 ZANARDI for the pit road safety violation. ZANARDI pits, falls one lap down, hands tenth place to #18 BLUNDELL, and re-enters the race in 14th place.

On Lap 131, #26 TRACY moves from third to first, with #6 ANDRETTI following him from sixth to second. #99 MOORE falls from second to third and #17 GUGELMIN drops from the lead to fifth place.

YELLOW FLAG waves on Lap 139 after #20 PRUETT makes hard contact with the outside wall coming out of Turn 4. PRUETT rear-ends the wall and slides down into the grass on the front stretch. PRUETT is unhurt in the incident but the car is done for the day.

On lap 140 and under the Yellow Flag, the running order is #26 TRACY leading #6 ANDRETTI, followed by #99 MOORE, #12 VASSER, and #17 GUGELMIN.

On lap 141, the top-seven, lead-lap cars all pit. ANDRETTI wins the race off pit road, followed by #12 VASSER, #99 MOORE, #17 GUGELMIN, and #10 HEARN. Former leader #26 TRACY falls to sixth place after the crew has a little trouble adjusting the rear wing under the pit stop.

During this pit stop sequence, five more drivers elected not to pit and now there are 13 cars on the lead lap. These drivers were #18 BLUNDELL, #11 FITTIPALDI, #1 ZANARDI, #7 RAHAL, and #25 PAPIS. BLUNDELL and FITTIPALDI have not pitted since Lap 115 and will be short on fuel soon.

GREEN FLAG waves on Lap 148 to resume the race. #26 TRACY moves from sixth to fourth just after the Green Flag flies, dropping #17 GUGELMIN to fifth, and #10 HEARN to sixth.

On lap 150, the running order is #6 ANDRETTI leading by .178 seconds over #12 VASSER, followed by #99 MOORE, #26 TRACY, and #17 GUGELMIN. Just as the field goes into Turn 1, VASSER passes ANDRETTI, pulling MOORE into second place.

On Lap 160, the running order is #12 VASSER leading by .449 seconds over #99 MOORE, followed by #6 ANDRETTI, #26 TRACY, and #17 GUGELMIN.

On Lap 163, #11 FITTIPALDI pits and hands tenth place to #24 GORDON. FITTIPALDI returns to the race in 16th, one lap down to the leaders.

On Lap 166, #6 ANDRETTI passes #99 MOORE to take over second place.

On Lap 167, #18 BLUNDELL pits and hands sixth place to #40 FERNANDEZ. BLUNDELL returns to the race in 15th place.

On Lap 168, #99 MOORE retakes second from #6 ANDRETTI.

On lap 169, #6 ANDRETTI again passes #99 MOORE to take second place.

On Lap 170, the running order is #12 VASSER leading by .997 seconds over #6 ANDRETTI, #99 MOORE, #26 TRACY, and #17 GUGELMIN.

On lap 173, 31 ZANARDI pits and hands eighth place to #24 GORDON. ZANARDI returns to the race in 10th place, one lap down to the leaders.

On Lap 178, #21 KANAAN retires from the race due to a problem with a wheel bearing.

On Lap 180, the running order is #12 VASSER leading by .831 seconds over #6 ANDRETTI, followed by #99 MOORE, #26 TRACY, and #17 GUGELMIN.

On Lap 181, #6 ANDRETTI and #26 TRACY pit. ANDRETTI returns to the race in fourth with TRACY in sixth.

On lap 182, #12 VASSER, #99 MOORE, and #10 HEARN pit, and #17 GUGELMIN takes over the lead. VASSER re-enters the race in third, with MOORE in second.

YELLOW FLAG waves on 183 after #10 HEARN spins his car leaving pit road. HEARN gathers the car back in and continues on-course without damage to the car.

On lap 184, leader #17 GUGELMIN pits but retains the lead under the Yellow Flag, followed by #99 MOORE, #12 VASSER, #6 ANDRETTI, and #26 TRACY.

On Lap 190 and under a Yellow Flag, the running order is #17 GUGELMIN leading #99 MOORE, followed by #12 VASSER, #6 ANDRETTI, and #26 TRACY.

GREEN FLAG waves on Lap 193 with #17 GUGELMIN leading #99 MOORE.

On lap 196, #12 VASSER and #6 ANDRETTI pass #99 MOORE in traffic on the backstretch to take over second and third place respectively.

On Lap 197, #26 TRACY and #1 ZANARDI also pass #99 MOORE to take over fourth and fifth respectively.

On lap 198, #99 MOORE passes #1 ZANARDI to take over fifth place.

On Lap 200, the running order is #17 GUGELMIN leading by .674 seconds over #6 ANDRETTI, followed by #12 VASSER, #26 TRACY, and #99 MOORE.

On Lap 201, #6 ANDRETTI takes the lead from #17 GUGELMIN as they enter Turn 1.

On Lap 205, #12 VASSER and #26 TRACY pass #17 GUGELMIN to take over second and third place respectively.

On Lap 206, #99 MOORE takes fourth from #17 GUGELMIN.

On lap 207, #12 VASSER takes the lead from #6 ANDRETTI with #26 TRACY still in third.

On lap 210, the running order is #12 VASSER, leading by .400 over #6 ANDRETTI, followed by #26 TRACY, #99 MOORE, and #17 GUGELMIN.

YELLOW FLAG waves on Lap 211 after #6 ANDRETTI makes hard contact with the outside wall at Turn 4. ANDRETTI rear-ends the wall before coming to rest at the top of the track.

On Lap 213, the top nine positions all pit under the Yellow Flag. #17 GUGELMIN wins the race off pit road, followed by #26 TRACY, #99 MOORE, #18 BLUNDELL, and #12 VASSER.

On Lap 220 and under a Yellow Flag, the running order is #17 GUGELMIN leading #26 TRACY, followed by #99 MOORE, #18 BLUNDELL, and #12 VASSER.

GREEN FLAG waves on Lap 221 and #26 TRACY passes #17 GUGELMIN before the cars hit the stripe. #1 ZANARDI also jumps from sixth to fourth.

On lap 226, #99 MOORE passes #17 GUGELMIN to take over second place.

On Lap 229, #1 ZANARDI passes #12 VASSER to take over third place.

On lap 230, #12 VASSER re-passes #1 ZANARDI to take third place.

Also on Lap 230, the running order is #26 TRACY leading by .369 seconds over #99 MOORE, followed by #12 VASSER, #1 ZANARDI, and #40 FERNANDEZ.

YELLOW FLAG waves on Lap 235 after #5 DE FERRAN loses an engine going down the back straight at speed. DE FERRAN keeps control and pulls to the apron in Turn 4. CART safety workers tow the car back to the pit area.

GREEN FLAG waves on Lap 240 to resume the race with #26 TRACY leading #99 MOORE.

YELLOW FLAG immediately flies on Lap 240 as #25 PAPIS moved to the outside of #8 HERTA before the start/finish line and HERTA moves up the track, making side-to-side contact. Both cars contact the wall and grind to a halt at the top of the track, approximately 300 yards past the line. Both drivers are uninjured in the incident but both cars are done for the day.

GREEN FLAG was to wave on Lap 246 to resume the race with #26 TRACY leading #99 MOORE, followed by #12 VASSER, #1 ZANARDI, and #40 FERNANDEZ, but as the cars come up to speed on the exiting Turn 2, #26 TRACY spins off-course and makes contact with the inside wall. YELLOW FLAG stays out.

GREEN FLAG waves on Lap 249 to resume the race with #99 MOORE leading #12 VASSER, followed by #1 ZANARDI, #40 FERNANDEZ, and #17 GUGELMIN.

As the field comes up to speed to the stripe, #12 VASSER and #1 ZANARDI pass #99 MOORE as the cars head into Turn 1. VASSER quickly opens a 15-car length lead while MOORE catches ZANARDI down the backstretch. MOORE moves to the inside of ZANARDI and makes the pass into Turn 3 but VASSER has opened an insurmountable lead.

CHECKERED FLAG waves on lap 250 as JIMMY VASSER wins the Marlboro 500 Presented by Toyota and the million-dollar, first-place purse! VASSER takes the victory by .360 seconds over a fast-closing, second-place GREG MOORE. Third place goes to ALEX ZANARDI in his last CART race with fourth going to ADRIAN FERNANDEZ. Fifth place belongs to MAURICIO GUGELMIN.

JIMMY VASSER's win today was his eighth career victory an his third victory of the season. VASSER previously won at Nazareth and Milwaukee. With the victory, VASSER overtakes DARIO FRANCHITTI for second place in the final tally in the PPG Cup Points chase. This is also VASSER's second million dollar purse in the FedEx Championship series. VASSER previously won a million dollar-purse at Michigan for the inaugural US 500 in 1996. VASSER averaged 153.785 mph in today's victory, taking 3 hours, 17 minutes, and 54.369.

GREG MOORE logs his sixth podium of the season with his second-place finish today.

ALEX ZANARDI logs his fourth consecutive podium of the 1998 season. Today also represents ZANARDI's 15th podium of the season, a new CART single-season record.

VASSER's win gives Honda their 13th victory in the 1998 season. It also represents Honda's third consecutive victory. Honda-powered drivers finished 1-2-3 in the final PPG Cup Points chase, with ZANARDI winning, VASSER finishing second, and FRANCHITTI finishing third.

Firestone wins their eighteenth straight race with today's victory, logging victories in 18 out of 19 races.

There were 24 lead changes in today's race with seven different drivers taking the lead during the race. VASSER led 63, followed by MOORE with 59, ANDRETTI with 44, GUGELMIN with 40, TRACY with 36, HEARN with 10, and BLUNDELL led one lap. There were 13 cars running at the end of the race with eight cars on the lead lap. The podium margin was a separation of 1.117 seconds at the Checkered Flag. The Yellow Flag flew 10 times for a total of 74 laps.

Quotes from the top drivers from today's Marlboro 500 Presented by Toyota.

JIMMY VASSER, Target Reynard Honda: "It was a fantastic way to finish the season. The million dollars is great, but the goal for me coming in here was to finish second in the championship. Alex has had the championship won for some time, and it's been a goal of our team for me to finish second. A lot of things have been done to help me accomplish that, and quite frankly, at times, I've felt that I let the team down. We've had an uphill battle [to finish second] and it's great to get it accomplished. [On his departing teammate, Alex Zanardi] I've learned a lot from Mr. Zanardi, more out of the cockpit than in it. He's been a great teammate and a great friend; it's great to be up here with him. [On the last lap pass of Greg Moore] "I saw Greg had a big gurney on his car, which gives it a lot more downforce and makes the car run better in traffic, but I knew that he'd have trouble running by himself. I knew that if I had a good restart, get a good run on him. He was really a sitting duck; there was nothing he could do about it. The same thing happened to me at Michigan."

GREG MOORE, Player's/Indeck Reynard Mercedes: "They [Vasser and Zanardi] came out of nowhere. It was amazing how quick they caught with me. Alex got loose in [Turn] 2, then I caught Jimmy's draft into [Turn] 3 and 4, but he was too far ahead. Second place today is the first loser. It's a bitter pill to swallow. I thought Paul and I would be able to break away. I thought it was going to be a two-horse Canadian race for the last 10 laps. Then Max and Bryan got together and that was it. We had five or six laps to go and I was running second, and I radioed to my guys, 'Does this look familiar?' [It's where Moore was at Michigan with five laps remaining]. I would have been happy to follow Paul for a couple of laps and then go for it. I wasn't sure if we'd get a restart or not, but I stayed on it really hard because I didn't know if Paul had spun or continued or not. Once I came back around and saw him standing by his car, he gave me a wave and I thought, 'Gee, as long as he's O.K., I really hope he hit the wall hard, so it will take awhile to clean up."

ALEX ZANARDI, Target Reynard Honda: "I'm very surprised to be here. At the beginning of the race, I was pushing very hard, but my car was not in good balance and going as well as I wanted it to. But one small change and surprisingly, it came around. We went one lap down and made a little mistake and had to come in to serve a penalty. We were lucky and brave, because Chip [Ganassi] did the right calls and we were able to get back on the lead lap. Then, I was able to start passing the cars in front of me. We got third [place], which is much better than I thought, so I'm very happy. I will take with me some good memories, and this is one of them."

BOBBY RAHAL, Miller Lite Reynard Ford: "Last night, I was so tired. I had lots of owner stuff with meetings at starting at 7 a.m. yesterday [Saturday], then practice and qualifying and more meetings. I didn't get back to the hotel until 6 and by the time 10 o'clock rolled around I was out. I had thought I might have trouble sleeping on the night before my last race, but I didn't have any trouble at all. I don't really know what I'm feeling right now. The enormity of turning that page is the biggest thing I feel. I don't feel melancholy or joy, or any of those things you might think I'd feel. A long chapter of my life is now over, and a new chapter starts. Where that will take me, I don't know. [On the tribute in pit lane following the morning warmup] That was pretty good. Some of those people have never looked better. Of course, they shall remain nameless. [On the late race get-together between Bryan Herta and Max Papis, next year's Team Rahal teammates] I hope that was not the future of Team Rahal. I had already introduced Max to Bryan some time ago. I didn't think he'd feel the need to do it again. The thing that has struck me the most this year is the people that have had the opportunity for me to say 'Thank you' to them. Every race this year, there's been something very special that has touched me emotionally. The races tend to blur to be honest, but those are the things that I remember. Early in the race, the car was running strong, then the car went real loose on the second or third set of tires. I lost a lot of ground trying to get it sorted out and we got out of sync, to be honest. We've let some races get away from us. Obviously, you can't let that happen if you hope to be competitive in the series. I finished ahead of some very talented people, and more than anything, I think we retired on a competitive footing, and that's what I wanted to do more than anything else."

This concludes the Pit Notes for the Marlboro 500 Presented by Toyota as well as for the 1998 FedEx Championship Series season. We, at CART, gratefully thank the fans that follow the season-long campaign and we hope we see you early in the winter for the 1999 Spring Training session at Homestead. Have a safe winter and be sure and follow the off-season action in the most competitive racing series in the world at cart.com. Good night and God bless!

Source: CART Online

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Wally Dallenbach , Max Papis , Bobby Rahal , Alex Zanardi , Bryan Herta , Dan Gurney , Paul Newman , Emerson Fittipaldi , Carl Haas , Barry Green , Roger Bailey , Roger Penske , Greg Moore , Robin Miller , Dale Coyne
Teams Williams