CHAMPCAR/CART: Mid-Ohio awaits 20th annual event

DUBLIN, Ohio (August 1, 2001) - The CART FedEx Championship Series screams into Lexington, Ohio, when it returns to the 13-turn, 2.258-mile permanent road course for the Miller Lite 200, Aug. 9-12. The stop is Round 13 on the 21-event CART FedEx...

DUBLIN, Ohio (August 1, 2001) - The CART FedEx Championship Series screams into Lexington, Ohio, when it returns to the 13-turn, 2.258-mile permanent road course for the Miller Lite 200, Aug. 9-12. The stop is Round 13 on the 21-event CART FedEx Championship Series season schedule.

The 2001 event marks the 20th time the CART FedEx Championship Series has attacked the challenging curves and rolling hills of Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Last year, Gil de Ferran took the pole and led until lap 29 when Marlboro Team Penske teammate Helio Castroneves captured the lead with clever pit strategy and held on for the win. Christian Fittipaldi of Newman/Haas Racing came in third behind de Ferran.

As in years past, many of the best open-wheel racers in the world are expected to participate in this year's Miller Lite 200. The list includes Miller Lite driver Max Papis, defending champ Helio Castroneves, season points leader and Dublin, Ohio, resident Kenny Brack, the track co-record holders Dario Franchitti and Gil de Ferran and two-time Miller Lite 200 champions Michael Andretti and Alex Zanardi.

"It's a great feeling to be able to drive back and forth to the track each day of a 'home' race weekend and enjoy the fan support, but this is one of the toughest tracks we race," points leader Brack said. "It's very technical, very difficult and very demanding. They won't be cutting us any slack just because we're the local favorites."

The 2001 CART FedEx Championship Series season has been very competitive with eight different drivers winning the first 11 races. Brack leads the points battle with 104, Castroneves is in second with 82 and Franchitti currently sits third with 81. Rounding out the top ten are Andretti (73), de Ferran (72), Scott Dixon (69), Cristiano da Matta (67), Paul Tracy (53), Patrick Carpentier (51) and Jimmy Vasser (50).

"I'm looking forward to returning to Mid-Ohio after my win and the Team's 1-2 finish last year," Castroneves said. "We enter the event second in the championship -- 22 points behind the leader, Kenny Brack. Since our car performs well on road courses, hopefully we can close the gap at Mid-Ohio."

The Miller Lite 200 also welcomes back the Dayton Indy Lights Championship for the second consecutive year. The Dayton Indy Lights Championship is CART's top development series and has produced drivers such as CART stars Castroneves, Adrian Fernandez, da Matta and Tracy. The drivers who win in this series today may be the ones who win in the CART FedEx Championship Series tomorrow.

The Barber Dodge Pro Series will also bring open-wheel action to Mid-Ohio. The series has been a training ground for drivers such as Kenny Brack and Bryan Herta on their way to the FedEx Championship Series. The U.S. F2000 National Championship and American City Racing League round out the schedule.

In addition to the great on-track action, the off-track activities leading up to the Miller Lite 200 will give fans a chance to go behind the scenes of the CART FedEx Championship Series.

On Thursday, Aug. 9, from 3:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. the Miller Lite 200 Fan Fest at Quaker Steak and Lube in Columbus, Ohio, will give fans a chance to meet Team Rahal owner Bobby Rahal, Kenny Brack, Max Papis, Bryan Herta and others. This is also the last chance spectators have to purchase tickets to the Miller Lite 200 at a discounted price. QFM96 will provide a live radio remote during the festivities.

The 2nd Annual Fan Forum, which will include a fan-based question-and-answer session with the biggest names in open-wheel racing, will take place on Friday, Aug. 10, from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Championship Row in the infield. The forum is open to all general admission ticket holders.

Also on the schedule is the All-CART Autograph Session. The annual Mid-Ohio tradition is set for Saturday from 4:45 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. All paddock pass holders will be given priority to get a signature from their favorite driver.

For tickets to the Miller Lite 200, call 1-800-MID-OHIO, Monday through Friday or visit our web site at www.midohio.com.

-MOSC

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Gil de Ferran , Michael Andretti , Jimmy Vasser , Max Papis , Adrian Fernandez , Bobby Rahal , Patrick Carpentier , Christian Fittipaldi , Paul Tracy , Dario Franchitti , Scott Dixon , Alex Zanardi , Bryan Herta , Kenny Brack , Cristiano da Matta
Teams Team Penske