BEST IN THE DESERT NEVADA 2000
ELY to ELKO, Nev. (July 11, 2000) - Day 3 of 6
Distance - 269 miles
Day 3 Race: Toyota/PPIM Team Wins Stage Three and Takes the Overall Lead
"Ironman" Stewart taking his turn behind the wheel, was first to the finish line today; the Toyota/Precision Preparation Inc. (PPI) Motorsports team is now in the overall lead after three stages of the Nevada 2000. Unofficially, Stewart finished the day approximately two minutes ahead of the fellow "Trick Truck" of Tim and Ed Herbst. He also leads the overall event by two minutes.
Stewart started the day third behind the Herbst truck and the race-leading truck of Larry Ragland and Ricky Johnson. By the fourth pit stop at Currie, Nev., Stewart had made his way up to second behind the Herbst truck; he passed it for good in the Pit 5 area near Spruce Mountain.
Stewart is scheduled to be behind the wheel of the Toyota Tundra off-road truck on Day 4 of the Nevada 2000 on July 12. He will race a 300-mile leg from Elko to Reno, Nev.
While a 10-second pit stop is considered great in the CART FedEx Championship Series, the Nevada 2000 teams have exactly 70 minutes after each day before their vehicle is impounded - that includes fixing any problems incurred after more than 250 miles of racing and getting the truck ready to race another 250-plus miles the next day. The PPIM team, lead by Mark Johnson and Tom Morris, and with the assistance of engine builder Bruce Nogrady of Toyota Racing Development (TRD), completed an astounding number mechanical and maintenance tasks including the installation of new fuel-injection components. The penalty for not getting the job done in the allotted time was a minute-for-minute addition to the race time today.
Ivan "Ironman" Stewart:
"It was a little tough getting into a driving rhythm after not racing since November. The fuel problem also made it a little harder to get into my usual groove with the Tundra."
"I'm looking forward to starting the race from the front tomorrow. You get to control the pace when you're out front, which is what everyone wants."
"Having been used to the start-to-finish format we've raced down in Baja, I think this format of racing in stages throughout the week is more difficult in a lot of ways. If you have a flat or something, you can drop back five or six spots, and you could be stuck back there all day."
Day 4 on Wednesday, July 12, 2000: Elko to Reno, Nev. - 300 miles