CHAMPCAR/CART: Shinji Fontana race notes

Fontana, Calif., Oct. 30, 2000 - Walker Racing rookie driver Shinji Nakano had his best finish in a 500-mile race on Monday, finishing in 16th place in the rain-delayed Marlboro 500 presented by Toyota. Shinji completed a total of 113 laps in...

Fontana, Calif., Oct. 30, 2000 - Walker Racing rookie driver Shinji Nakano had his best finish in a 500-mile race on Monday, finishing in 16th place in the rain-delayed Marlboro 500 presented by Toyota. Shinji completed a total of 113 laps in the #5 avex/Honda/Reynard/Firestone car before his engine blew up and his car caught fire in a spectacular way on Lap 114. Shinji was able to coast back to the Walker Racing pit before making a fast exit from the car. Shinji had qualified in 24th position for Sunday's season-ending CART FedEx Championship Series race on the 2-mile superspeedway oval track. The race was red-flagged after 33 laps on Sunday due to inclement weather and was re-scheduled for Monday morning at 10 a.m. This was the CART rookie driver's first experience with an overnight rain delay. "For the drivers, I don't think the rain delay is good," said Shinji. "You are concentrating very hard on the race, and then you have to get out of the car and come back the next day, it's not easy. But today, when the race resumed, the car got better and better in the handling as the day went by and I think we could have had a very good finish." Shinji will not be returning to Derrick Walker's team for the 2001 season "This is the last race for the Walker Racing team with Shinji," said owner Derrick Walker. "It's been a hard season but I'm pleased to say that the team never gave up. I guess you sometimes have years like this. We wish Shinji all the best with his new team in 2001. We'll soon announce our CART 2001 plans as we have some unfinished business, and I'm excited about 2001. There are better times ahead."

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Shinji Nakano