Lynx Racing Nazareth Preview

LYNX RACING AT NAZARETH -- HORSES FOR COURSES There's an old saying among devotees of horse racing, based on the observation that a particular horse seems unbeatable on a particular track, that "...there are horses for courses." ...


There's an old saying among devotees of horse racing, based on the observation that a particular horse seems unbeatable on a particular track, that "...there are horses for courses." Auto racing's version of that concept is Lynx Racing at the Nazareth Speedway. The Lynx team, which competes every year in the KOOL/Toyota Atlantic support race at the Bosch Spark Plug Grand Prix Presented by Toyota, has won that race four years in a row. In 1995, Lynx Racing driver Patrick Carpentier qualified on the front row and won. In 1996, he came back to make his second victory at Nazareth, this time from the pole, part of a record-breaking season in which he won nine of 12 races, eight of them in a row from the pole. The next year Carpentier was CART's "Rookie of the Year," and last year he put his Player's/Forsythe Reynard-Mercedes on the pole with a new lap record. In 1997, Lynx driver Alex Barron won from the pole at Nazareth as part of yet another remarkable season in which he won the Atlantic series' "Rookie of the Year" award, and the series' championship. He was then was signed by Dan Gurney's All-American Racers to run in the CART FedEx series, and he too will be running in the big show this weekend. Lynx driver Buddy Rice kept the team's Nazareth streak alive in 1998 as he won, from the pole, in only his second-ever Atlantic race. Rice will be back with the team in 1999 to go for two in a row and extend Lynx Racing's remarkable record to five in a row. "When you've got a good car at Nazareth, it's one of the most exhilarating tracks on the circuit," says Rice. "From a driver's point of view, Nazareth combines elements of both an oval and a road course. When you get the car set up just right, you hardly have to turn the wheel all the way around the track, you just steer with the throttle. The track is so fast, and the consequences of a mistake are so bad, that you have to have total concentration every second you're in the car. When you win a race at Nazareth, you've really accomplished something as a driver." Rice, 23, of Phoenix, Arizona, will be joined in the KOOL/Toyota Atlantic race at Nazareth this year by a new Lynx Racing teammate, Mike Conte, 30, of Seattle, Washington. Conte drove this race last year for another team, but while Rice was running around unchallenged at the front, Conte was charging up through the field from last place to finish in the top-10 in his first oval race in an Atlantic car. "It was an extremely satisfying result to a difficult weekend," says Conte. "Nazareth isn't one of those tracks where a driver can make up for a bad-handling car by driving extra hard. You do that and you wind up in the wall. A properly set up car with just the tiniest bit of understeer is the key here, and with Lynx Racing's past history at this track, I'm looking forward to a good-handling car and a good race." The KOOL/Toyota Atlantic Championship, now in its 26th year, is the triple-A baseball of auto racing, a place for rising stars to hone their talents and strive to impress the CART FedEx team owners who hold the key to future employment. Alumni of the Atlantic series reads like a 'Who's Who' of auto racing, including CART and F1 champion Jacques Villeneuve, Michael Andretti, Jimmy Vasser and Bobby Rahal, as well as former Lynx Racing drivers Richie Hearn, Patrick Carpentier and Alex Barron. Lynx Racing, owned by Peggy Haas and Jackie Doty, is a unique driver development program now in its ninth year of operation. The team's mission is to seek out young drivers with championship potential and provide them with the finding, resources and training to realize that potential. Lynx currently competes in the KOOL/Toyota Atlantic Championship with drivers Buddy Rice and Mike Conte, and in the Star Mazda Championship with Sara Senske. For further information on Lynx Racing and its drivers, please visit the team's web site at www. or telephone the team's Public Relations Manager, Peter Frey, at (818) 909-0985.

The schedule for KOOL/Toyota Atlantic Championship activities at the "Bosch Spark Plug Grand Prix Presented by Toyota" is as follows:

Thursday, April 29

9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.  Atlantic open test
12:15 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.  Atlantic open test
4:15 p.m. - 5:15 p.m.   Atlantic open test

Friday, April 30

8:45 a.m. - 9:15 a.m.   Atlantic practice
1:45 p.m. - 2:15 p.m.   Atlantic practice
5:51 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.   Atlantic qualifying

Saturday, May 1

12:30 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.  Atlantic warm-up
3:00 p.m. - 4-00 p.m.   Atlantic race

KOOL/Toyota Atlantic races are televised on a tape-delay basis on ESPN2. The schedule for the Nazareth race is as follows. All times are Eastern):

Sunday, May 9           12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.          First broadcast
Tuesday, May 11         1:30 a.m. - 2:30 a.m.           Repeat
Thursday, May 13        2:00 a.m. - 3:00 a.m.           Repeat

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About this article
Series Atlantic
Drivers Michael Andretti , Jimmy Vasser , Bobby Rahal , Patrick Carpentier , Richie Hearn , Alex Barron , Dan Gurney , Buddy Rice