CHAMPCAR/CART: Portland: Ford Racing preview

Grand Prix of Portland at Portland International Raceway - Portland, Oregon WHEN: June 18 - 20, 2004 TRACK LAYOUT: 1.969-mile permanent road course RACE DISTANCE: 100 laps (196.9 miles) TELEVISION COVERAGE (ET): Spike TV; 4:00pm June ...

Grand Prix of Portland at Portland International Raceway - Portland, Oregon

WHEN: June 18 - 20, 2004

TRACK LAYOUT: 1.969-mile permanent road course

RACE DISTANCE: 100 laps (196.9 miles)

TELEVISION COVERAGE (ET): Spike TV; 4:00pm June 20

DEFENDING CHAMPION: Adrian Fernandez

DEFENDING POLESITTER: Paul Tracy (58.793 seconds; 120.565 mph)

QUALIFYING RECORD: Helio Castroneves - 2000 (57.738 seconds; 122.768 mph)

2004 DRIVER POINTS: Bruno Junqueira (76), Patrick Carpentier (75), Ryan Hunter-Reay (66), Sebastien Bourdais (53), Mario Dominguez (62)

FORD-COSWORTH AT PORTLAND INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY - Ford-Cosworth engines have powered seven winners at Portland International Raceway. The DFX version of the Ford-Cosworth engine holds four of the wins in Portland, two with Mario Andretti in 1985 and 1986 and one each with Al Unser, Jr. (1984) and Bobby Rahal (1987). Michael Andretti notched the other Ford-Cosworth win in 1992 with the XB powerplant.

Ford-Cosworth has also had qualifying success at PIR earning six poles with six different drivers since 1992. Nigel Mansell (1993), Jacques Villenueve (1995), Scott Pruett (1997), Bryan Herta (1998) Max Papis (2001) and Paul Tracy (2003) have all started first on the grid for the Blue Oval.

DRIVERS' CHAMPIONSHIP RACE - Bruno Junqueira continues to lead the championship points race by picking up 12 points with a fourth place finish in Milwaukee. Junqueira currently leads the championship battle over Patrick Carpentier by one point. Carpentier's second place finish at Milwaukee marks his third consecutive top five finish this season. Ryan Hunter-Reay's win at Milwaukee moved him to third in points. The second year Champ Car driver looks for the "Milwaukee Momentum" to carry his Herdez team for the rest of the year.

With three races run there have been three different points leaders; Paul Tracy after Round 1, Sebastien Bourdais after Round 2, and now Bruno Junqueira. There have been three different winners in each of the first three events and nine drivers have a chance to leave Portland with the points lead.

TRACKING THE ROOKIES - Justin Wilson is the only driver in the 2004 rookie class in the top-10 points. A.J. Allmendinger's impressive fifth-place effort at Milwaukee cut Wilson's Rookie-of-the-Year points lead to 15. Wilson and Allmendinger will join Roberto Gonzalez, Gaston Mazzacane, Alex Sperafico and Nelson Philippe as rookies making their first laps in a Champ Car at Portland.

FORD-COSWORTH DRIVERS TO WATCH -

Ryan Hunter Reay - notched his second career Champ Car win last weekend at Milwaukee and climbed to third in championship points, 10 behind leader Bruno Junqueira. Reay's victory marked the first time since 1992 that a driver led every lap during a Champ Car oval event. The last driver to accomplish the feat was Bobby Rahal in 1992, who led all 200 laps in a Phoenix win. Reay heads into Portland looking to improve from last year, a race that saw him qualify seventh before a clutch malfunction sidelined him after 21 laps.

Michel Jourdain Jr. - Drove to a third place finish in Milwaukee and gave the first-year RuSport team its first career podium in only its third race in the Champ Car World Series. Jourdain started from the ninth position, and raced his way into the top five and earned his eighth career podium in his eighth year in Champ Car.

Bruno Junqueira - put on a driving performance last year in Portland after starting 11th on the grid and finishing fourth. Junqueira's Newman/Haas Racing team has had success in the past at Portland, having won there six times with Mario (1985 - 86) and Michael Andretti (1990 - 92) as well as Cristiano da Matta (2002).

Justin Wilson (R) -posted the best start and finish of his brief Champ Car career in Mexico where he qualified third en route to a sixth-place result in just his second Champ Car start. Wilson makes his first start at the Portland, but the English native has collected two top-10 finishes in three starts, and currently sits seventh in driver points.

SPARK PLUGS - Paul Tracy returns as the highest finisher from last year's Portland International Raceway contest, where he placed second ... On Sunday, Jimmy Vasser will make his 208th Champ Car start at Portland International Raceway. The start will tie him for fifth all-time with champion Mario Andretti.. Vassar is scheduled to pass Andretti with his 209th start during the Grand Prix of Cleveland, July 1-3 at Burke Lakefront Airport.

-ford-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Justin Wilson , Helio Castroneves , Michael Andretti , Jimmy Vasser , Bruno Junqueira , Max Papis , Adrian Fernandez , Bobby Rahal , Patrick Carpentier , Paul Tracy , Bryan Herta , Nigel Mansell , Scott Pruett , Mario Dominguez , Mario Andretti , Sébastien Bourdais , A.J. Allmendinger , Roberto Gonzalez , Alex Sperafico , Nelson Philippe , Ryan Hunt , Cristiano da Matta , Al Unser , Michel Jourdain