GREG MOORE QUICK ON TRACK IN PITS, WINS MARLBORO GRAND PRIX OF MIAMI HOMESTEAD, Fla. (March 21, 1999) -- Quickness in the pits proved superior to the lightning speed on the 1.5-mile Homestead-Miami Speedway oval in Sunday's Grand Prix of...
GREG MOORE QUICK ON TRACK IN PITS, WINS MARLBORO GRAND PRIX OF MIAMI
HOMESTEAD, Fla. (March 21, 1999) -- Quickness in the pits proved superior to the lightning speed on the 1.5-mile Homestead-Miami Speedway oval in Sunday's Grand Prix of Miami Presented by Toyota. Greg Moore's pit crew put the 23 year-old Canadian in position to win with quick pit work after an incident on lap 111, and he went on to snap Michael Andretti's two-year Miami winning streak, reversing the finish of the 1998 event. Adrian Fernandez blew an engine on that lap and spun into the turn four wall to bring out the third caution of the race with 40 laps remaining. Helio Castro-Neves led over Gil de Ferran and Dario Franchitti at the time of the incident. Moore took the lead after excellent work from his pit crew. In the end, Moore held off Andretti, who finished second by 1.110 seconds, while Dario Franchitti charged to a third place finish, just behind Andretti. Moore captured the checkered flag, the fifth of his career and first at Homestead-Miami Speedway after winning the pole with a lap of 217.279 mph. This was not Moore's first taste of success here, however. His 1999 pole time was just a tick off his 1998 track record speed of 217.541 mph. Moore, driving the Player's/Indeck Mercedes, led the opening 60 circuits before turning the point over to teammate Patrick Carpentier, who made his stop on the following circuit.
Franchitti took the lead on the opening round of pit stops, but had an eight-second lead erased when Scott Pruett hit the turn one wall on lap 81. While the Scotsman dropped out of the top five on his final stop following the Fernandez incident, he worked his way back with a late-race charge.
Three top contenders were eliminated on the opening lap when Al Unser Jr., Naoki Hattori and Raul Boesel tangled in turn one. Moore is coming off a breakthrough year in the CART FedEx Championship Series and many have picked him to win the 1999 championship as defending champion Alex Zanardi departed for Formula 1. Moore's 1998 season included victories at Rio de Janiero and Michigan. In addition to capturing the pole at Homestead last year, Moore also started first on the grid at St. Louis, Detroit and Houston. Andretti's second place finish marked his third consecutive podium finish at Homestead. Andretti was attempting to become the first series driver to win three consecutive races at the same track since Al Unser, Jr. won at Vancouver in 1993, '94 and '95. The next action at Homestead-Miami Speedway will be the Sept. 24-26 Sports Car Extravaganza. The gala season finale Nov. 11-14 features the debut of NASCAR Winston Cup Racing in South Florida in the Jiffy Lube Miami 400, plus the NASCAR Busch Series season-ending Miami 300. Tickets are now on sale by calling (305) 230-7223. For additional information, visit the Speedway's official web site, www.racemiami.com.
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