CHAMPCAR/CART: PacWest Cleveland preview

Mauricio Gugelmin ...

Mauricio Gugelmin
#17 Nextel PacWest Toyota

* Mauricio Gugelmin enters Cleveland after a disappointing result to a promising race in Portland. Big Mo was running a solid 5th position before being caught up in a wreck by a lapped competitor, bringing his top ten and point-scoring streak to an end. He also had his season-best qualifying result in Portland, gridding in the 11th position.

* Gugelmin has scored two top-ten finishes this season.

* Cleveland has treated Mauricio well in his seven previous starts at the airport, as he has qualified better than 12th in each appearance, and at least 9th in six of seven starts. His career-best finish is an 8th place result in his rookie season, 1994.

* Last season's event saw Gugelmin nearly capture the pole position, but unfortunately his car ran out of fuel on the final lap of qualifying, losing time as the car coasted through the final 200 yards of the lap. However, he did place his car 3rd in the lineup, on the way to a 10th place result.

* Gugelmin, one of CART's most experienced drivers, is in his ninth year of FedEx Championship Series competition, and eighth full season.

Mauricio Gugelmin:

"Even though we didn't finish the Portland race (contact while in fifth position), I still feel as though we are on a roll and heading in the right direction entering Cleveland. This is a track where I have enjoyed a lot of success in the past. I have always qualified well there, and the wide-open track is something that I enjoy. The circuit allows you the perspective of seeing everyone on the track, so you can always gauge where you are compared to everyone else simply by looking around - which is unique for a street circuit. Last year we nearly had the pole so this year, with Toyota power, I'm feeling very confident. I know what my crew and I are capable of doing. It's just a matter of putting it all together and really working hard as a team. As long as we stay focused and consistent in our efforts, the results will come."

Scott Dixon
#18 Powerware Panasonic PacWest Toyota

* PacWest Racing rookie driver, Scott Dixon, ranks 7th in the 2001 CART FedEx Series with 44 points.

* The Kiwi has led in four events this season-the only rookie to lead this season, is 4th in money earnings, and 2nd in laps completed.

* With his 7th place finish in the rain at Portland, Dixon now has top 10 finishes in four of his last five races. He also collected his best ever qualifying position at Portland, where he captured the 4th position on the grid.

* Dixon leads the battle for the Jim Trueman Rookie of the Year Award, extending his lead to 21 points following his result at Portland.

* Dixon is the youngest-ever winner of a Champ Car race, scoring a victory earlier this season in Nazareth at the age of 20.

* In 1999, Scott finished 14th in the Dayton Indy Lights Race at Cleveland after starting 10th. The series did not stop at Cleveland last season.

* Dixon was the 2000 Dayton Indy Lights Champion with six wins, seven podiums, and one pole position, finishing the season with 155 points.

Scott Dixon:

"Cleveland is a very different track," said Dixon. "I raced there once in 1999 (Indy lights) and I'm looking forward to returning. We couldn't do any testing at Cleveland, so I've never driven a Champ Car on this particular track. I'm interested to see how a Champ Car handles all the bumps. Aside from being a bumpy track it is difficult to find your braking spots, so it should be very challenging. It's a very wide track so there should be a lot of passing, which will be exciting for the fans of Cleveland. I'm confident my engineers will put together a great set-up and my Toyota Reynard package has been consistent all year. Plus, I'm qualifying in the fast group, so overall it should be a good weekend."

-PacWest

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