CHAMPCAR/CART: Walker rookie Shinki Nakano back to learning oval tracks

INDIANAPOLIS, May 19, 2000 -- Walker Racing CART rookie Shinji Nakano continues his quest to learn the many different types of oval tracks that comprise the CART FedEx Championship. He returned to action at Motegi, Japan, last weekend, his first...

INDIANAPOLIS, May 19, 2000 -- Walker Racing CART rookie Shinji Nakano continues his quest to learn the many different types of oval tracks that comprise the CART FedEx Championship. He returned to action at Motegi, Japan, last weekend, his first race back after being injured in a private testing incident on March 31 at the Milwaukee Mile racetrack.

Due to his injuries during the private test, Nakano was unable to participate in the Nazareth race originally scheduled to take place on April 8 and CART rules excused him from running that race.

"When the Nazareth race was postponed, there was a chance we would be able to test there after Shinji had recovered," said owner Derrick Walker.

"Unfortunately, the rules don't allow us to test at that racetrack before the rescheduled race, and Shinji hadn't been cleared to drive in the timeframe we had. So for us to be able to make a serious attempt to qualify within 110% of the pole speed, and get a race setup in the one-hour practice that is allotted us at the rescheduled Nazareth race would be impossible. It's unfortunate that we will be unable to compete, however we are going to spend the time wisely by continuing our testing program at Michigan on May 23 and 24, since that is the next type of oval track he hasn't yet experienced. "

Nakano has a strong road course background in Formula One racing, and has been focusing on learning the different types of oval tracks that comprise a part of the CART FedEx Championship Series. He finished in fifth place at his first-ever oval track race this year in Homestead, Fla., and has tested at Nazareth, Milwaukee and Motegi also. The one type of CART oval racetrack he has not yet tested on is a 2-mile superspeedway track, like that at Michigan. Nakano will overcome that during his team's private test at Michigan Speedway next week in preparation for the Michigan 500 on July 23.

The rescheduled Bosch Spark Plug Grand Prix presented by Toyota will be run on Saturday, May 27 and will be aired live on ESPN from 1 - 3 p.m. (ET.) Walker Racing's corporate sponsor partners are avex, Alpine, Mitsuba, SpeedWRX.com, NGK, St. Elmo Steakhouse, Honda, Reynard and Firestone.

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Shinji Nakano