CHAMPCAR/CART: Mid-Ohio PPI Motorsports pre-race notes and quotes

<pre> Event: Miller Lite 200 Track: Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Lexington, Ohio 2.258-Mile Permanent Road Course Date: August 13, 2000 TV: ABC-TV, Sunday, August 13, 2000; 4:00 PM (EST) Series: CART FedEx Championship...

<pre> Event: Miller Lite 200 Track: Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Lexington, Ohio 2.258-Mile Permanent Road Course Date: August 13, 2000 TV: ABC-TV, Sunday, August 13, 2000; 4:00 PM (EST) Series: CART FedEx Championship Series, Round 13

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: 4

</pre> Da Matta Wins: Da Matta earned his first Champ Car victory two weeks ago in Chicago. After starting fourth, da Matta took the checkered flag with a 1.690 second margin of victory. After 154 Champ Car starts, da Matta also earned PPI Motorsports' first-ever Champ Car victory with his win in Chicago.

In the Championship Hunt: With his victory in Chicago, da Matta is now ranked fourth in the CART FedEx Championship series standings with 82 points, just seven points shy of Gil de Ferran, who is ranked third with 89 points.

On the Rise: In just three events, da Matta has improved nine positions in the Championship standings. Da Matta currently has 82 championship points, 66 more than he had at this time last year. Da Matta has finished in the top five, in five of the last six races, and has scored 57 points in the last five races.

CART Radio Network: Da Matta will be a featured guest this week on the CART Radio Network at 7:20 p.m. on Friday.

Mid-Ohio One Year Ago: In his rookie debut one year ago, da Matta qualified 14th for the event and finished ninth. This effort was his second best finish at that point of the season, and his third highest result of the year.

Cristiano on Mid-Ohio:

"We tested here in June, and it certainly was not one of our best tests. However, we have had several good finishes on road courses since then, including my podium in Cleveland and Oriol's in Detroit, and we have made some developments on our road course car that I am confident in. I think we should be strong here. These, along with Road America are two of my favorite tracks, so I am really looking forward to the next two races. We have a very strong momentum going, especially after our win two weeks ago. That was good for my confidence and great for the team as a group, we are a very close family, and I think that is good for everyone."

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