CHAMPCAR/CART: Patrick Racing Mid-Ohio preview

JACKSON, MI - - August 7, 2000 - - Patrick Racing drivers Roberto Moreno and Adrian Fernandez resume their pursuit of the FedEx Championship Series title beginning this weekend with the first of two road course races. The trip opens...

JACKSON, MI - - August 7, 2000 - - Patrick Racing drivers Roberto Moreno and Adrian Fernandez resume their pursuit of the FedEx Championship Series title beginning this weekend with the first of two road course races. The trip opens with the Miller Lite 200 at the beautiful and challenging 2.258-mile Mid-Ohio course in Lexington, Ohio, August 11-13. It concludes with the Motorola 220 on the equally dramatic, and fast, 4.048-mile Road America circuit in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, August 18-20. With six of the final eight races on road or street circuits, the next two weeks will serve as a harbinger for Patrick Racing's championship hopes.

Moreno, in the #20 Visteon/Patrick Racing Ford-Cosworth, is currently second in the championship standings trailing Michael Andretti by 22 points, 120-98. The 41-year-old Brazilian is having a career year in his seventh CART season and first with Patrick Racing. He led the point's race, for the first time in his CART career, for almost a month before relinquishing the top spot following two disappointing DNFs at Toronto and Michigan. Moreno rebounded with a strong sixth place showing the following week at Chicago to retain second place and stay within striking distance of Andretti. The Westin, Florida resident has finished eight of 12 races this year, each time in the top-10 including four podium showings. He captured his first career CART victory at Cleveland, took seconds at Miami and Portland and a third in Japan. The outgoing father of two daughters has qualified in the top-10 in eight of 12 races, with one pole (a CART career first at Cleveland). He is third in laps and miles completed, and fifth in laps led. This will be the fifth time Moreno has competed at Mid-Ohio. In his previous four races his best staring position is fifth (1985) and his best finish is tenth (1986).

"Mid-Ohio is a circuit where I haven't finished well in the past. I just don't feel very familiar or comfortable with the track yet, but it is a circuit I like. It is a tough track, but you can pass and I have driven well there even though my results don't necessarily show it," Moreno said.

"At this point in the championship race it is important to do well at Mid-Ohio. The Visteon/Patrick Racing team must finish high in the points if we are going to contend for the FedEx Championship Series title," Moreno concluded.

Fernandez, in the #40 Tecate/Quaker State/Patrick Racing Ford-Cosworth, has fought his way back into the thick of the championship race by scoring points in nine of his last ten races. The 35-year-old Mexican is currently sixth in the FedEx Championship Series standings with 79 points. He is just three points out of fourth and 10 out of third. Fernandez has finished nine of 12 races this year, each time in the points. He has placed in the top-10 eight times including four top five finishes with a win in Rio. The Paradise Valley, Arizona resident has qualified in the top-10 in seven of 12 races. He is fourth in laps completed and miles completed, and ninth in laps led. Now in his eighth CART season and third with Patrick Racing, the talented and personable Fernandez has had some of his best results at Mid-Ohio. In five starts he has finished in the top six four times including a victory in 1998. His best qualifying position is fifth also in 1998.

"I have had a lot of success racing at Mid-Ohio. From a driver's standpoint, it is one of the most beautiful, challenging and fun, tracks to race on. Hopefully, the success I have enjoyed there in the past will continue," Fernandez said.

"It is very important for the Tecate/Quaker State/Patrick Racing team to have a good result at Mid-Ohio. After the weird start we had to the season the team has come on strong over the last two months and put ourselves back in a position to challenge for the championship. The Tecate/Quaker State/Patrick Racing crew has done a great job preparing the cars and a fantastic job in the pits. Mr. Patrick and John Ward have also done a tremendous job with the race strategy. The crew's work and our race strategy have been the keys to our success. We just have to stay focused on the details for the rest of the season and we will be right there at the end," Fernandez noted. PATRICK RACING NOTES:
Patrick Racing Tops Statistical Charts:
Combining both Fernandez and Moreno's statistics, Patrick Racing, as a team, leads several categories. The team is first in points, prize money, laps and miles complete, tied for second in wins and third in laps led.

Patrick Racing Leads Craftsman Pit Crew Challenge:
Patrick Racing is first and tied for sixth in the Craftsman Pit Crew Challenge. The Visteon/Patrick Racing crew regained the lead in the standings following an outstanding performance in Chicago where they finished first. They hold a seven-point edge over Player's Forsythe Racing, 97-90. The Tecate/Quaker State/Patrick Racing crew has 63 points.

Fernandez Second In Budweiser Hard Charger Award Standings:
Following another outstanding performance at Chicago, where he started 19th and finished fifth, Adrian Fernandez has moved into second place in the Budweiser Hard Charger Award standings. Luis Garcia Jr. holds a 26-point lead over Fernandez, 90-64.

Fernandez and Moreno Among The Most Consistent CART Drivers:
Both Fernandez and Moreno have been among the most consistent drivers in CART over the last few years. Starting with Fontana in 1997, Fernandez has finished sixth or better in 28 of 48 events placing in the top-10 at 34 races and in the points 36 times. Moreno, over a two-year span, has finished in the top-10 in 14 of his last 25 CART starts and in the points 16 times.

Patrick Racing Tops Standings For Fifth Time In Last Six Years:
Patrick Racing has led the championship race at some point during the season in five of the last six years. They topped the standings at the halfway point of the season for the first time during that span for the first time this year.

McGee Holds Record For Most Wins:
Patrick Racing General Manager Jim McGee is tops on the all-time wins list for a General-Team Manager/Chief Mechanic with 88. McGee is the only Manager/Chief Mechanic to win a championship in four decades (60's - 90's). He has at least one victory in each of his last five decades (his 20's, 30's, 40's, 50's and 60's) and a least one victory in each of the last five decades (60's - 00).

Patrick Racing Facts:
Patrick Racing, which is entering its 28th year of competition, is one of the most successful teams in the history of Champ Car racing with 43 victories, three Indianapolis 500 wins and two national championships. U. E. "Pat" Patrick is the co-founder of CART and the "father" of the Dayton Indy Lights Series.

patrickracing.com

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Series INDYCAR