Milwaukee: Lynx - Flying on the face of history

The justly-famed 1.0-mile oval at the Milwaukee Fairgrounds is literally the face of history in American open wheel racing, the oldest track in American, older even than the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. And on the weekend of June 3 - 4 at...

The justly-famed 1.0-mile oval at the Milwaukee Fairgrounds is literally the face of history in American open wheel racing, the oldest track in American, older even than the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. And on the weekend of June 3 - 4 at the Miller Light 225, two dozen or so of the hottest young drivers in auto racing will by flying on the face of history... with a blind date on either arm. Leading the pack will be Lynx Racing drivers David Rutledge and Mike Conte, and the blind date that will accompany not just them but each of the drivers in the 60-lap CART Toyota Atlantic Support race comes in the form of a brand-new 'spec' racing tire from Yokohama that has never been tested at Milwaukee, a tire that's supposed to solve the single most persistent problem at this fast, abrasive racetrack -- excessive right-side tire temperatures leading to blistering. "Milwaukee is already literally a level playing field, and these new tires should make it even more so," says Rutledge, 21, of Vancouver B.C. "On a spec car like the Swift 008.a Atlantic car, even the smallest detail can make a major difference, and new tires are a major change. Still, Lynx won here in 1997 with Alex Barron and 1998 with Memo Gidley and finished second last year with Buddy Rice, so they've got some pretty good setup data and its just a question of adapting it to the on-track characteristics of the new tires. I was driving for a different team last year and I led about a third of the race, so it's a track I'm very comfortable with and coming off a second place finish at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach we're expecting to be very competitive here." Rutledge's Lynx Racing teammate, Mike Conte, 31, of Seattle, WA, finished 6th in the Milwaukee event after running fourth for a good part of the race and getting boxed in by traffic on a re-start near the end of the race. "Even with its very low banking, or perhaps because of it, Milwaukee is a surprisingly 'raceable' track," says Conte. "It's a bit of a challenge to drive because, being so flat, the sight lines as you go into the corner don't really give you much information. And it's so wide that, as I found out last year, a yellow flag near the end of the race sets off a mad scramble and can really shuffle the finishing order; so being on top of your game for re-starts is really important. And because the track is so flat and wide, and cornering speeds so high, the race is often as much about tire conservation as anything else. You can set your car up to go like a rocket, but if your tires are blistered ten laps from the end, you're history. So our test day here on Thursday will give us a chance to figure out these new tires and determine whether this race will be about speed or strategy." 2000 marks the 10th anniversary of Lynx Racing, one of the most unique organizations in auto racing today. Created and owned by two women, Peggy Haas and Jackie Doty, Lynx is both a championship-winning racing team and a uniquely successful driver development program that focuses on a driver's spiritual and psychological growth in addition to their on-track skills. The Lynx mission is to seek out young drivers with the desire and potential to become champions at the highest levels of the sport and provide them with the funding, equipment and training to take the last step toward realizing that potential, a process the team calls 'destiny by design.' Lynx alumni include CART FedEx drivers Patrick Carpentier, Alex Barron and Memo Gidley. <pre> Event Schedule:

Thursday, June 1 9:00 am to 9:55 am Atlantic open test 11:30 am to 12:25 pm Atlantic open test 2:45 pm to 3:40 pm Atlantic open test 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm David Rutledge in March of Dimes "Race of Champions" at the Trade Building on the Fairgrounds Friday, June 2 8:40 am to 9:10 pm Atlantic practice 2:00 pm to 2:30 pm Atlantic practice 5:05 pm to 6:00 pm Atlantic preliminary qualifying

Saturday, June 3 11:45 am to 12 noon Atlantic warm up 3:45 pm to 4:45 pm Atlantic race (60 laps)

Broadcast Schedule (all times Eastern): 10:00 am -- 11:00 am ESPN2 / Sunday, June 11 4:00 am -- 5:00 am ESPN2 / Wed., June 14 (repeat) 10:00 am -- 11:00 am ESPN International 11:30 am -- 12:00 pm RDS /Canada 7:00 pm -- 8:00 pm CTV / Canada (all regions) {TX} Milwaukee Mile History:

The one mile oval has been in existence since at least 1876. It appears on a map, labeled as 'Race Course' in the Illustrated Historical Atlas of Milwaukee County, Wisconsin of 1876, located on a horse farm owned by George C. Stevens. In 1891, the Agricultural Society of the State of Wisconsin purchased the Steven's farm to create a permanent site for the State Fair.

On September 11, 1903, William Jones of Chicago set the first track record with a 72 second, 50 MPH lap and won the first speed contest at THE MILWAUKEE MILE, averaging about 36 MPH for the five lap run.

In 1905, Barney Oldfield toured THE MILWAUKEE MILE's dirt oval in 56.8 seconds - 63.38 miles per hour. Today, the Champ Cars circle the course in 20 seconds with the one lap record held by Lynx Racing graduate Patrick Carpentier at 20.028 seconds - 179.748 MPH - set during qualifying for the Miller Lite 200 on May 30, 1998.

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Series Atlantic
Drivers Memo Gidley , Patrick Carpentier , David Rutledge , Alex Barron , William Jones , Buddy Rice