May 26, 1998 -- Though he isn't among the previous champions competing in Sunday's Miller Lite 200 at The Milwaukee Mile (1:30 p.m. ET, live, ESPN), the event will always hold a special significance for Target/Chip Ganassi Racing driver Jimmy...
May 26, 1998 -- Though he isn't among the previous champions competing in Sunday's Miller Lite 200 at The Milwaukee Mile (1:30 p.m. ET, live, ESPN), the event will always hold a special significance for Target/Chip Ganassi Racing driver Jimmy Vasser (Target Reynard Honda). For it was at Milwaukee in 1995 that Vasser began to turn his FedEx Championship Series career around.
Vasser was coming off a streak of five consecutive 22nd-or-worse finishes when he finished ninth in the 1995 Miller Genuine Draft 200 at Milwaukee. He went on to score podium finishes in four of the next five events (seconds at Detroit and Portland, thirds at Road America and Cleveland), and he has not slowed down since.
Vasser won the 1996 PPG Cup championship, becoming the first driver in series history to complete every race en route to the title. He scored in 15 of the 16 events, with victories at Homestead, Australia, Long Beach and The Inaugural U.S. 500.
In 1997 at Detroit, Vasser tied Al Unser Jr.'s (Marlboro Penske Mercedes) FedEx Championship Series record for consecutive race finishes (25). He scored PPG Cup points in 14 of 17 events and ended the campaign by finishing second or better in each of the final three events, including a victory at Laguna Seca.
The 1998 season has seen Vasser produce points-paying finishes in the past five events, highlighted by a victory at Nazareth. In Vasser's past 50 FedEx Championship Series starts dating to 1995 at Milwaukee, he has scored PPG Cup points in 43, or 86 percent of them.
Vasser has also scored points in all five of his previous starts at Milwaukee, highlighted by a third-place effort last year. He finished eighth in 1993, 11th in '94, ninth in '95 and 10th in 1996.
Source: CART Online