CHAMPCAR/CART: Team Player's in Mid-Ohio top ten

Lexington, Ohio, August 13, 2000 Team Player’s driver Patrick Carpentier celebrated his 29th birthday in fine fashion today at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course with a seventh-place finish at the Miller Lite 200 won by Brazil’s Helio ...

Lexington, Ohio, August 13, 2000 Team Player’s driver Patrick Carpentier celebrated his 29th birthday in fine fashion today at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course with a seventh-place finish at the Miller Lite 200 won by Brazil’s Helio Castroneves.

For Carpentier, who started ninth on the grid, it marked the eight time in the 10 races he has entered this season that he finished in the top-10. He collected six points to bring his season total to 71 points, which puts him 10th overall in the championship standings.

“It’s not the birthday gift that I was hoping for, but I am happy that we were able to score some points and keep ourselves in the hunt for the title chase,” said Carpentier, who hails from Joliette, Que. “The car was extremely fast early on in the race and the Player’s crew did a great job on the first pit stop, which allowed me to move up two spots, but I had problems during the last 30 laps with the boost (turbo) and eventually lost a position to Adrian Fernandez.”

His teammate Alex Tagliani was equally pleased with the final outcome, after coming back from 16th place at the start of the 83-lap race to finish ninth and gain valuable points.

“The first set of tires gave us a lot of headaches and we had to make two changes to regulate the pressure, but the car got progressively better and I thought I had a chance to pass Michael (Andretti) late in the race, but I couldn’t get close enough to get it done,” said Tagliani, who is currently 15th in the driver’s standings with 44 points.

“The incident with Paul Tracy near the end of the race (lap 70) was unfortunate, but I had a great run on him on the back straightaway and I was clearly ahead before making the turn at the Keyhole when his front wheel touched my rear tire,” added Tagliani. “I’m happy that we were able to fight our way back after running into some problems in qualifying and the changes we made to the car prior to the start proved to be right on the money.”

It was the second win of the season for Brazil’s Helio Castroneves who finished ahead of teammate and polesitter Gil de Ferran. Fellow countryman Christian Fittipaldi finished third. In the championship standings, Michael Andretti remains in the lead with 125 points, followed by de Ferran (106 pts), Roberto Moreno (100 pts), rookie Kenny Brack (88 pts) and Fernandez (87 pts).

Round 14 of the FedEx Championship Series will take place next weekend at Road America in Elkhart Lake, WI, for the running of the Motorola 220.

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Gil de Ferran , Adrian Fernandez , Roberto Moreno , Patrick Carpentier , Alex Tagliani , Christian Fittipaldi , Paul Tracy , Kenny Brack