CHAMPCAR/CART: Performance awards for 2000 season announced

DETROIT (April 7, 2000) - Championship Auto Racing Teams today announced the FedEx Championship Series performance awards for the 2000 season. The 2000 programs are: the Craftsman Pit Crew Challenge; Jim Trueman Rookie of the Year Award; ...

DETROIT (April 7, 2000) - Championship Auto Racing Teams today announced the FedEx Championship Series performance awards for the 2000 season.

The 2000 programs are: the Craftsman Pit Crew Challenge; Jim Trueman Rookie of the Year Award; Budweiser Hard Charger Award; PPG Color and Design Award; Honda Fast Pace Award; and the Bosch Spark Plug Award.

As CART's "Official Tool Supplier," Craftsman supports top teams in the series with tools for mechanics and assists CART in key areas such as supplies of tools and advertising support.

The Craftsman Pit Crew Challenge, which debuted in 1999, is a season-long pit stop competition that pays $50,000 to the winning team at the season-ending Marlboro 500 Presented by Toyota at California Speedway. Points in the Challenge are awarded on the same basis as that used to determine the FedEx Championship Series champion (20-16-14-12-10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1). Positions from each race are determined based on total time spent in the pits. Points are accumulated through the first 19 events of the season, and the top four teams following Round 19 - the Honda Indy 300 in Surfers Paradise, Australia - will qualify for a head-to-head battle for the top prize prior to the season finale in Fontana, Calif.

A new wrinkle in the program for 2000 is the addition of a wild card team, which will be determined at the Michigan 500. The team that spends the least amount of time in pit lane during the July 500-mile race will qualify for the season finale and join the four highest season points earning teams at the final pit-stop shootout at California Speedway.

The Jim Trueman Rookie of the Year Award, in keeping with the wishes of former CART team owner Jim Trueman, was established to showcase rookie CART drivers. A $50,000 check and the Jim Trueman Memorial Trophy, named for the late founder of the TrueSports Racing Team, is presented at CART's FedEx Series awards banquet in Los Angeles to the rookie driver who scores the most championship points in a season.

The 2000 FedEx Championship Series season is the first for the Budweiser Hard Charger Award. This award is given to the driver who increases his position the most from the start to the finish of each race. The winning driver at each race will be presented a check for $1,000 at the following event. At season's end, Budweiser will award a $10,000 check and a trophy to the driver who accumulates the most points - one for each position gained - during the season.

PPG continues its partnership with CART in 2000 as the "Official Automotive Paint and Refinishing Supplier." This year, PPG again sponsors the PPG Color and Design Award. This award is presented to the FedEx Championship Series team that displays the best use of color and design on its respective Champ Car.

The judging will take place on race weekends at Nazareth, Milwaukee, Michigan, Chicago, Gateway and California during Saturday's qualifying session. Judging will be done by group of FedEx Championship Series fans. Each Champ Car will be judged on color, design, gloss and appearance. The winner receives a $10,000 year-end prize as well as an original painting of the winning Champ Car by FedEx Championship Series chief starter and renowned motorsport artist Jim Swintal.

Also making its debut in 2000 is the Honda Motorcycle Fastest Lap Award. The Champ Car driver who sets the fastest race lap the most times over the course of the 20-race season will be awarded a Honda CBR600F4 at the end-of-season banquet.

Rounding out the list of 2000 programs is the Bosch Spark Plug Award, which is presented to the top-three finishing teams at each event. Prizes of $1,500, $1,000 and $500 are presented to the top finishing teams using Bosch products at each race.

-CART-

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Series IndyCar