CHAMPCAR/CART: Points battle shifts to high at Mid-Ohio

DUBLIN, Ohio (August 7, 2001) - When the competitive CART FedEx Championship Series returns to the 2.258-mile, 13-turn Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for the Miller Lite 200, Aug. 9-12, drivers will have their eyes on points with 11 races down and...

DUBLIN, Ohio (August 7, 2001) - When the competitive CART FedEx Championship Series returns to the 2.258-mile, 13-turn Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for the Miller Lite 200, Aug. 9-12, drivers will have their eyes on points with 11 races down and nine to go.

In the first 11 races of the 2001 CART FedEx Championship Series season, eight different drivers have claimed victory. An amazing total of 19 drivers have finished on the podium at least once this season.

Brack leads the championship race with 104 points coming into Mid-Ohio. Defending Miller Lite 200 winner Castroneves is second with 82 points and co-track record holder Franchitti is third with 81 points. Following the top three are Michael Andretti with 73 and Franchitti's fellow track record holder, Gil de Ferran, with 72. Rounding out the top ten are Scott Dixon (69), Cristiano da Matta (67), Paul Tracy (53), Patrick Carpentier (51) and Jimmy Vasser (50).

Brack has been on fire since claiming the Jim Trueman Rookie of the Year award last year and finishing fourth in the championship battle. Brack has three victories in 11 races on the ovals of Japan, Milwaukee and Chicago. The Dublin, Ohio resident is coming to Mid-Ohio with a great chance to put Team Rahal back on the Miller Lite 200 podium for the first time since Bobby Rahal finished third during his farewell campaign in 1998.

"It's a great feeling to be able to drive back and forth to the track each day of a 'home' race weekend and enjoy the fan support, but this is one of the toughest tracks we race," Brack said. "It's very technical, very difficult and very demanding. They won't be cutting us any slack just because we're the local favorites."

Defending champ Castroneves is entering Mid-Ohio with street course victories this year in Long Beach and Detroit. Last year he was the series leader in points on road and street courses with 110, making him a viable candidate for another Miller Lite 200 victory.

Franchitti, now in his 5th year of CART FedEx Championship Series competition, was runner-up in the points in 1999 and third in 1998. After a spring training injury last year, he bounced back with four podium finishes and two consecutive pole positions at Road America and Vancouver. Franchitti comes to Mid-Ohio with the official track record of 124.394 mph, set in 1999 and tied last year by de Ferran.

Positioning himself in the heart of the points battle with a win this year in Toronto is two-time Mid-Ohio winner and 1991 FedEx Championship Series points champion Michael Andretti. Andretti, in his 18th year of competition, has led the most laps at Mid-Ohio with 246 and owns the record for most Mid-Ohio pole positions with three. If Andretti completes 41 laps this year, he'll also pass Bobby Rahal for second on the all-time Mid-Ohio laps completed list with 1111, 117 behind Al Unser, Jr.

Defending CART FedEx Championship Series champ Gil de Ferran captured the pole last year at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course by tying a track record and finished second in the race to teammate Castroneves. This year he comes to Mid-Ohio fifth in points and waiting for his first victory. However, de Ferran has four top-tens since 1997 in the Miller Lite 200 and a Mid-Ohio victory is just what he needs to make a big points jump.

For tickets to the Miller Lite 200 call 1-800-MID-OHIO or visit www.midohio.com.

-MOSCC

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Gil de Ferran , Michael Andretti , Jimmy Vasser , Bobby Rahal , Patrick Carpentier , Paul Tracy , Scott Dixon , Cristiano da Matta , Al Unser