CHAMPCAR/CART: Team Rahal Chicago preview

HILLIARD, OH . . . Team Rahal drivers Kenny Brack and Max Papis come to the Chicago Motor Speedway for Sunday's Chicago Grand Prix (Sunday 4:00 PM EDT ABC) off a dominating performance at Michigan International Speedway in the Harrah's 500. Team...

HILLIARD, OH . . . Team Rahal drivers Kenny Brack and Max Papis come to the Chicago Motor Speedway for Sunday's Chicago Grand Prix (Sunday 4:00 PM EDT ABC) off a dominating performance at Michigan International Speedway in the Harrah's 500. Team Rahal's Shell and Miller Lite cars led 138 of 250 laps but contact on lap 233 ended the day for the two Team Rahal cars. Both the crews and the drivers have turned their attention to this weekend's Chicago Grand Prix with a common goal, win!

CART series points leader Kenny Brack has held the series lead for seven races and nine weeks since capturing his initial Champ Car win at Motegi Japan on May 19th. He enters this weekend with a three point lead over second place Dario Franchitti (84-81).

Brack started fourth and led 46 laps at Chicago in 2000 and appeared on his way to his first CART victory when he stalled the car in the pits falling to 16th. The combination of a strong car and spot on race strategy allowed Brack to claw his way back to the fourth overall.

"We have put the mishap from last week behind us and the team is focused on Chicago this weekend," said Brack. "We have been competitive on the ovals this season and I fully expect that we will again be near the front. Ford showed once again last week how strong and reliable the XF engine is and those factors will be working in our favor again."

Miller Lite driver Max Papis won the inaugural pole position at Chicago in 1999 and led 63 laps en route to a fourth place finish. Papis' 2000 race was cut short with an on board fire prior to taking the green flag.

"I love the track here are CMS and I have fond memories of this place from 1999," said Papis. "Team Rahal has shown how dominate we can be this season on the ovals and we come to Chicago with a lot of momentum and desire to succeed after the race at Michigan. We know we can duplicate the strength of our performance from last week and with the Ford-Cosworth/Lola combo we have the package to beat."

BRACK READY FOR IROC TITLE RUN

With the running of the Chicago Grand Prix Shell driver Kenny Brack will be looking to retain the CART FedEx championship Series points lead he currently holds by three points over Dario Franchitti. Once the checkered flag waves on Sunday, Brack will turn his attention to another form of racing, the IROC Series which concludes with the fourth and final race next Saturday (August 4) at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Brack currently is second in IROC points, one point behind leader Bobby Labonte and four points ahead of third place drivers Eddie Cheever Jr. and Tony Stewart.

Brack is attempting to become the first open-wheel races since Al Unser Jr. (1988) to win the IROC Championship. "If I can win the IROC title I would consider it one of the greater accomplishments of my driving career," said Brack. "Driving a stock car is radically different from driving one of our open wheel cars. To be successful in that kind of environment, especially when it is so different than what I am used to, would be a real accomplishment. The difficult thing about IROC is the better you do the worse you start and so I will be next to last on the start. It won't be easy."

"BRACK-AND-ROLL" - RPM READY TO ROCK

The CART band R.P.M. (Racing Powered Music) will play its second concert this weekend at the Chicago Grand Prix. The band, founded by Team Rahal Shell driver Kenny Brack (guitar) and Players-Forsythe Racing driver Patrick Carpentier (drums) made its world debut at the Driver/VIP party at Wayne Gretzky's Restaurant in Toronto. Brack and Papis were joined on stage by Elizabeth Fornal (vocals) a CART marketing assistant and Laz Denes (bass) who handles PR for Mo Nunn Racing. The band will play a concert for the fans outside the track on Saturday night at 6:30 PM.

"Playing in the band is a form of relaxation for me," said Brack. "I have played guitar since I was a kid and have always found it to be a great escape from the pressure of the sport. The best thing about music is when you make a mistake it hurts a hell of a lot less than when you make a mistake in racing."

-Team Rahal

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Bobby Labonte , Tony Stewart , Eddie Cheever , Al Unser Jr. , Max Papis , Dario Franchitti , Kenny Brack , Mo Nunn