<pre> PPI Motorsports Pre-Race Notes & Quotes Event: Motorola 300 Track: Gateway International Raceway, St. Louis, Missouri 1.27-Mile Oval Date: September 17, 2000 TV: ESPN2, Sunday, September 10, 2000; 2:30 PM (EST) Series: CART ...
<pre> PPI Motorsports Pre-Race Notes & Quotes Event: Motorola 300 Track: Gateway International Raceway, St. Louis, Missouri 1.27-Mile Oval Date: September 17, 2000 TV: ESPN2, Sunday, September 10, 2000; 2:30 PM (EST) Series: CART FedEx Championship Series, Round 17
CRISTIANO da MATTA, #97 PIONEER ELECTRONICS/WORLDCOM/TOYOTA-REYNARD
CART Season: 2 Best CART Start: 2 (Toronto, 2000) Best CART Finish: 1 (Chicago, 2000) Points Standings: 10
</pre> In the Points: Da Matta has earned 88 points this season to date, 45 of which were scored on ovals, and 50 points more than his season total last year.
Reigning Oval Winner: Da Matta acquired his first victory at the CART Fed Ex Series most recent oval event at Chicago. Da Matta led the final 51 laps of the event. Da Matta will most certainly look for a repeat at Gateway, a similar venue.
Last Year at Gateway: Da Matta ran as high as fourth here last year with just 40 laps to go before suffering mechanical problems. The then rookie started the race 12th and finished 17th.
Cristiano on Gateway:
"This is going to be a very important weekend for me, because the past month has been very disappointing for me and my team. We won at the last oval we competed on, and it is similar to this oval, so there is really no reason we shouldn't't do very well. We need to focus just on this weekend, and not think about the past few too much, and hopefully we can repeat our performance in Chicago. Also, we ran very well here last year, so I am confident I can perform well on this track. There is a lot going on at this time of the season, and it just makes it that much more crucial for me, and my guys to focus on the job we have to do. I have fallen back a lot in the points this last month, and it is very disappointing. I am concentrating on doing my best to give PPI and the Pioneer team a very good finish this weekend, and to get us back in the top five in points where we should still be."
<pre> ORIOL SERVIÀ, #96 TELEFÓNICA/TOYOTA-REYNARD CART Season: 1 Best CART Start: 7 (Portland, 2000) Best CART Finish: 3 (Detroit, 2000) Points Standing: 15
</pre> The Rookie Points Chase: With his eleventh place finish in Vancouver, Servià jumped back into second position in the rookie points chase. The rookie is currently ranked 15th in the points standings with 46 championship points. Oriol the Pitcher: Along with fellow Champ Car driver Memo Gidley, and former Indy Lights teammate Casey Mears, Servià participated in the pre-game activities at Anaheim Stadium last Monday, when the Anaheim Angels took on the Baltimore Orioles. Prior to the game, Servià had never picked up a bat or baseball, but he adapted quite well particularly with his pitch. Several players commented on his ability to throw a curveball during his pitching debut.
Gateway in his Lights Machine: The Dayton Indy Lights Series did not compete in Gateway last year. However in his rookie lights season, Servià started the race 17th and finished 16th.
Servià on Gateway:
"I was not here last year, so it will be nice to be back on this oval. I am feeling very optimistic about our chances of a very competitive weekend. We had a good weekend in Chicago, so hopefully we can run with the momentum we had there. We were unfortunate last weekend, as we ran out of gas, but we ran a strong weekend. I was in the top ten throughout the weekend, and on my way to at least an eighth place finish, at a place like Laguna Seca , that is pretty competitive. This weekend, we must finish well, I am not happy at all with where I am in the series points standings, I know we are a better team than that, and I must prove it. "