CHAMPCAR/CART: Mid-Ohio Pre-Race Notes

* Honda-powered drivers have won 14 of the past 17 FedEx Championship Series events contested on permanent road courses or temporary street circuits, dating to the start of the 1998 season. Included are victories last year by Alex Zanardi at Long...

* Honda-powered drivers have won 14 of the past 17 FedEx Championship Series events contested on permanent road courses or temporary street circuits, dating to the start of the 1998 season. Included are victories last year by Alex Zanardi at Long Beach, Detroit, Portland, Cleveland, Toronto and Australia; and Dario Franchitti at Road America, Vancouver and Houston. The run continued this year with wins by Juan Montoya at Long Beach and Cleveland, Gil de Ferran (Valvoline/Cummins Special Honda Reynard) at Portland and Franchitti at Toronto and Detroit. Honda holds a 250-199 lead over Ford Cosworth in the Manufacturer's Championship.

* Reynard chassis have won 11 of 13 events contested in this year's FedEx Championship Series to take a commanding 270-178 lead over Swift in the Constructor's Championship. Reynard has won the past four Constructor's titles.

* Firestone has won 12 of 13 FedEx Championship Series events contested this season and 30 of 31 dating to Adrian Fernandez' (Tecate/Quaker State/Patrick Racing Ford Reynard) victory at Japan last year.

* Robby Gordon will make his 100th CART career start at Sunday's Miller Lite 200 at Mid-Ohio. Gordon joined the series in 1992 and owns two victories, four pole positions and nine podium finishes in his eight seasons of competition. He becomes the third driver of the season to make his 100th career start, joining Adrian Fernandez, who reached the mark at Toronto, and Mauricio Gugelmin (Hollywood PacWest Mercedes), who reached it at Michigan. Al Unser Jr. is the CART career starts leader, with 267 entering this weekend.

* Patrick Carpentier (Player's Forsythe Racing Team Mercedes Reynard) will sit out this weekend's Miller Lite 200 as the result of a minimal compression fracture of the third thoracic vertebra sustained in contact with the car driven by Mauricio Gugelmin at Sunday's Tenneco Automotive Grand Prix of Detroit. According to Dr. Terry Trammell, CART's Chief Orthopedic Consultant, "The injury will not require surgical care, and Patrick will be convalescing and starting rehabilitation in Indianapolis." Carpentier is expected to return to competition for next week's Target Grand Prix Presented by Shell at Chicago Motor Speedway. Player's Forsythe Racing will not fill his seat this weekend.

* Three drivers in the field for this weekend's Miller Lite 200 made their FedEx Championship Series career debuts at Mid-Ohio. They include Mauricio Gugelmin, whose first series start came at Mid-Ohio in 1993; and Max Papis (Miller Lite Ford Reynard) and Jan Magnussen (Visteon Ford Reynard), both of whom made their FedEx Championship Series career debuts at Mid-Ohio in 1996.

* To help preview the inaugural Target Grand Prix Presented by Shell, scheduled for Aug. 22 at the new Chicago Motor Speedway, a transporter parade will be held on Tuesday, Aug. 17 in Chicago. Approximately 15 transporters representing the FedEx Championship Series and its various teams will begin staging at 9 a.m. CT at Chicago's Soldier Field. The parade is slated to begin at 11 a.m. CT and will follow a 20-mile route from Soldier Field to Cicero - encompassing portions of Interstate 90/94 southbound and Interstate 290 westbound - before arrival at Chicago Motor Speedway. Upon arrival, the transporters will begin setting up for the inaugural Target Grand Prix Presented by Shell, Round 15 of the FedEx Championship Series.

* When the drivers of the FedEx Championship Series take to the track next Thursday to practice for the inaugural Target Grand Prix at the new Chicago Motor Speedway, it will mark the latest piece of Champ Car history that is part of the Chicagoland area. While the modern era of Champ Car racing has not seen a race in the Windy City, the open-wheel machines did race in what is now a suburb of Chicago back in 1910. The CART Championship Car Record Book shows that the Champ Cars first ran in 1909 in Portland, Ore., and visited Elgin, Ill., in 1910 for a 170-mile race that was won by Dave Buick in a Marmon. His average speed was 55.1 miles per hour. The Championship Cars then visited Chicago for the first time in 1915 and conducted a 500-mile event that was won by Dario Resta in a Peugeot. He averaged 97.5 mph en route to his victory. Records show races in Chicago were conducted through 1918. The American Automobile Association sanctioned the events through 1955 and the United States Auto Club served as the sanctioning organization through 1979. CART, after a shared sanction with the Sports Car Club of America in 1979, began its sole sanction of Champ Car races in 1980.

* Qualifying for the Miller Lite 200 will air 8 p.m. ET Saturday and 12 a.m. Sunday (late Saturday) on ESPN2. "CART 2Day" airs 11 a.m. ET Sunday on ESPN2, with ESPN's tape-delayed race broadcast scheduled to begin at 3:30 p.m. The race will also air on the CART Radio Network and both qualifying and the race will be broadcast on the CART website, at www.cart.com .

-CART-

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Jan Magnussen , Robby Gordon , Al Unser Jr. , Gil de Ferran , Max Papis , Adrian Fernandez , Patrick Carpentier , Dario Franchitti , Alex Zanardi , Mauricio Gugelmin