JACKSON, MI - - FEBRUARY 22, 2001 - - Despite losing much of the morning to rain, Patrick Racing was able to complete all the items on their checklist in an afternoon of testing, February 21st, at Texas Motor Speedway. As a result, the team decided to forego testing for the two addition days originally scheduled.
Jimmy Vasser, who for the first time this year drove the new #40 Patrick Racing Toyota Reynard (he had previously tested in one of teammate Roberto Moreno's #20 Visteon/Patrick Racing Toyota Reynard cars), ran over 150 miles on the 1.5-mile high banked oval topping the 216 mph mark.
"It rained for much of the morning so we didn't get out on the track until 11:30 a.m.," said Patrick Racing General Manager Jim McGee. "However, even with the shortened day we accomplished everything we wanted too. Jimmy did a great job and we had no problems. Things went so well that we decided to pack up and go home."
This was the first time Patrick Racing has tested at Texas Motor Speedway and Vasser came away satisfied that the team had a good head start in preparation for the Texas race, which is the third event and first oval contest on the 2001 FedEx Championship Series schedule.
"We had a good test in Texas," Vasser said. "We know what direction to go when we come back here for the race. I think we are ahead of the game. The banking at Texas Motor Speedway is high and there are some bumps, so it was good to get an idea of how the #40 Patrick Racing Toyota Reynard will react. It is fairly easy to go flat out at Texas, so we were able to work on some other things that I think will help as conditions here change," Vasser concluded.
Because the team decided to leave Texas early they have slightly adjusted their schedule for the final test of the pre-season. "We have decided to modify our testing schedule and add a day of oval testing at Homestead," McGee said. "Roberto will test on the oval on Monday, February 26 and then Jimmy will run both days of the scheduled test on the Homestead road course Tuesday, February 27 and Wednesday, February 28."
PATRICK RACING NOTES:
2000 FedEx Championship Series Season Second Best In Patrick History:
Patrick Racing placed two drivers in the top three in the championship standings for the first time in over two decades during the 2000 season. The performance was the second best by two Patrick drivers in team history. Gordon Johncock and Wally Dallenbach finished first and third respectively, in 1976. Patrick Racing was the only team with two drivers in the top six let alone the top three in the 2000 FedEx Championship Series standings. Combining the statistics of both drivers, Patrick Racing was first in points (305); races finished (31 of 40); top-10 (27) and top five (16) finishes; and tied for first in podiums (11). They were first in laps (5177) and miles (8616.473) completed.
McGee Holds Record For Most Wins:
Patrick Racing General Manager Jim McGee is tops on the all-time wins list for a Manager/Chief Mechanic with 88. McGee has nine national championships and 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, 60's) and a least one victory in each of the last five decades (60's-00).
Patrick Racing Facts:
Patrick Racing, which enters its 29th year of competition in 2001, is one of the most successful teams in the history of Champ Car racing with 44 victories, three Indianapolis 500 wins and two national championships (1976 - Gordon Johncock and 1989 - Emerson Fittipaldi). U. E. "Pat" Patrick is the co-founder of CART and the "father" of the Dayton Indy Lights Series.