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Friday, May 30, 1997 . The Miller 200 is round four of the 12-race 1997 KOOL/Toyota Atlantic Championship, sanctioned by SCCA Pro Racing. The KOOL/TOYOTA Atlantic communications staff of James Hyneman, ...

Friday, May 30, 1997

. The Miller 200 is round four of the 12-race 1997 KOOL/Toyota Atlantic Championship, sanctioned by SCCA Pro Racing. The KOOL/TOYOTA Atlantic communications staff of James Hyneman, Blair Hefty, and Anne Roy will be available to assist in your media needs.

. Now in its 24th year, the $1.38-million 1997 KOOL/TOYOTA Atlantic Championship is the richest and longest-running open-wheel development series in North America, and a primary training ground for future Indy Car and Formula One drivers. . 30 drivers are expected to compete, including Long Beach race winner and current points leader Alexandre Tagliani; last year's Milwaukee winner and this year's Homestead race winner Anthony Lazzaro; and Nazareth victor Alex Barron. Tagliani holds a slim five-point margin over his closest challenger, Case Montgomery, 43-38. Lazzaro is third in the championship with 36 points, followed by Salem, Wisconsin's Steve Knapp with 33 points. Portuguese driver Joao Barbosa rounds out the top-five points leaders with 28.

. Indy Car Racing Magazine editor and publisher Ned Wicker is substituting for Atlantic series announcer Greg Creamer as the Atlantic public address (PA) announcer this weekend. Creamer is unable to attend Milwaukee this weekend due to other commitments, but he is expected to return to the Atlantic announcers booth at the Grand Prix Player's du Canada Formula One race from Montreal on June 13 and 14. . SCHEDULE (CT): Fri. May 30 practice: 9:45 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. qualifying: 4:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Sat. May 31 warm-up 8:15 a.m. to 8:35 a.m. RACE: 4:15 p.m. (CT) . LAST YEAR'S Atlantic sprint race at Milwaukee was highlighted when Anthony Lazzaro successfully passed eventual series champion Patrick Carpentier on lap 24 of a designated 70-lap race. Lazzaro's move past Carpentier was especially bold in that he attempted his race-winning pass when the track was three-cars abreast at the start-finish line. Lazzaro dived low while entering turn one and nearly contacted the pit wall before jumping ahead of the field. Late race challenges by Montgomery and Lee Bentham proved futile as Lazzaro took the checkered flag ahead of Montgomery by 0.273-seconds. Lazzaro's victory in a Ralt RT-40 was even more surprising when he revealed that he had used the same left-side tires he previously raced at Nazareth because he could not afford new tires. . Nazareth Speedway is a one-mile/1.609-km oval; race length is 60 laps/60 miles

. RECORDS: Qual.: Paul Jasper 0.25.187-sec/142.93 mph Ralt RT-41 5/96 Race Lap: Patrick Carpentier 0.25.067-sec/143.61 mph Ralt RT-41 6/96

. PAST MILWAUKEE RACE WINNERS: 1988 J.O. Cunningham 1993 Claude Bourbonnais 1994 Greg Ray 1995 David Empringham 1996 Anthony Lazzaro

. TELEVISION: ESPN2 - - Saturday June 7 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. ET CTV - - Saturday June 7 4:00 p.m. to 4:40 p.m. ET RDS - - Sunday June 8 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET

. VIDEO NEWS: Saturday, May 31, 1997 - - 7:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. (firm) ET SBS6, T 15, audio 6.2 MHz and 6.8 MHz

. This year's race will mark the second consecutive year of impressive increases in Atlantic entries at Milwaukee: 1995 - 14 Atlantic entries 1996 - 22 1997 - 29

. PRIZE MONEY (US): total race purse $85,000 winner's earnings $20,000

. LAP/MILE LEADERS: Position Driver Laps Led Miles Led

1 Alex Barron (R) 60 60.000 2 Case Montgomery 37 52.750 3 Alexandre Tagliani 24 38.160 4 Chuck West 9 12.600 5 Memo Gidley (R) 6 8.400 6 Anthony Lazzaro 4 5.790

TOTALS 140 177.700

. ATLANTIC TRIVIA: When DAVID POOK, driver of the No. 35 B.D.J.S.-prepared HYPE ENERGY Drink/Budweiser/Atomic Clothing Ralt RT-40, entered the Jim Russell School in March, 1990, his chief instructor was current Atlantic, ESPN, and ABC-TV motorsports reporter Jon Beekhuis. . ATLANTIC SPONSOR UPDATE: One of the more unique products being marketed by an Atlantic team sponsor is the Port-A-Cool, from General Shelters of Texas. Port-A-Cool is the primary sponsor for the No. 12 Drive 4 Life Ralt RT-40, driven by John Brooks, of Tucson, Ariz. Port-A-Cool is a portable cooling unit that operates on electricity and water, and delivers up to 9,600 cubic feet per minute of up to 20 degree cooler ambient air. A singular Port-A-Cool unit can dispense the cooler air over thousands of square feet. While this weekends initial weather reports suggest cooler conditions, its a "cool" bet that the Drive 4 Life team will appreciate their sponsors technology when they visit warmer, humid venues.

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MORNING PRACTICE SESSION

9:40 a.m. - - Session begins for a scheduled 30-minutes under cloudy skies and temperatures in the upper 50s  a total of 29 cars will officially attempt single-car qualifying this afternoon

9:53 - - YELLOW FLAG  debris on track

9:58 - - Session resumes 10:16 - - Session ends with #32 ALEX BARRON, of Vista, Calif., fastest in the Lynx Racing-prepared Victory Circle/Red Line Oil Ralt RT-41 at 25.282 = 142.39 mph.

#25 TONY AVE, of Indianapolis, Ind., is second fastest in the Olsson Engineering-Fisher Dynamics/Schuler Design Ralt RT-41 at 25.471 = 141.33 mph.

# 96 JERET SCHROEDER, of Vineland, N.J., is third fastest at 25.675 = 140.21 mph in the PPI-MCI Telecommunications-prepared Ralt RT-41.

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Series Atlantic
Drivers Greg Ray , Memo Gidley , Patrick Carpentier , Alex Barron , Anthony Lazzaro , Steve Knapp , David Empringham , Claude Bourbonnais , Lee Bentham