Miller Brothers Racing News -- For Immediate Release =================================================== KNAPP'S NAZARETH GAMBLE =================================================== Contact: Scott Gates ...
Miller Brothers Racing News -- For Immediate Release
=================================================== KNAPP'S NAZARETH GAMBLE ===================================================
Contact: Scott Gates (612) 670-7268 (612) 332-6331
NAZARETH, Pennsylvania, (April 28, 1997) -- KOOL/Toyota Atlantic Series front runner Steve Knapp gambled big at this weekend's 3rd round of the 1997 KOOL/Toyota Atlantic Championship. Consistently quick all weekend, Knapp, the 1996 United States Formula Ford 2000 Pro Series National Champion, qualified his Miller Milling Company/Manheim Auctions Ralt RT-41 on the second row in 4th position.
The weekend wasn't without a few trials however for Knapp and Bill Fickling's P-1 Racing team. Commending his hard working crew Knapp remarked; "We lost a motor due to a fuel pressure problem in Thursday practice missing half a day of track time and putting us a little behind. Dave, Chad, Willie and the rest of Bill's crew did a great job changing engines to get me back on track late Thursday for a quick shakedown and systems check which gave me the confidence to go all out first thing Friday morning."
Friday's 2 lap, single car qualifying found KOOL/Toyota Atlantic Series rookie Knapp in learning mode. "I unfortunately never got an opportunity to do a simulated qualifying run on cold tires. The Yokohama radial tire on the Atlantic car is somewhat different than the bias ply tire we ran in FF 2000. I wasn't sure how to read what the car was telling me on the out lap so I played it conservatively, picking up the pace throughout my qualifying run. At the beginning of the run I was hoping to do turn 2 flat out, by the end I was debating doing the whole place flat. I really learned a lot from this run, and now that I know what to expect you'll see me really be able to turn it on at Milwaukee."
An event filled race included several incidents requiring quick action on Knapp's part to avoid being a participant in some major accidents. Running in fourth through most of the race Knapp's momentum built as, heading into the white flag lap, he passed Case Montgomery for 3rd position. As the white flag flew Knapp had the entire crowd on it's feet, diving low inside Alexandre Tagliani in the race's final corner. A battle of wills ensued with Knapp driving almost to the grass to briefly grab 2nd position. "I got inside Alex in turn three and although he made it tight, I was able to force my way through. I turned in and lost the back of the car. I was sliding sideways, even touching the steering rack stop once - it should have come around. I was just hanging on, sliding sideways, as I watched Case and Alex get back by me. I dropped down to fourth gear and tried to get Alex back at the finish but I'd lost too much momentum in the slide."
Knapp continued; "My friend and team owner John Miller flew in to root for me this weekend so I'm a little disappointed. Should I have taken the safe route and hung on for a podium finish - probably! Would I take the same chance under the same circumstance again - without a doubt! Did I learn how to make the pass stick next time - definitely! Just make sure you watch the telecast - it's going to make for great TV!"
Knapp's 4th place Nazareth finish, advances him to 4th place in the 1997 KOOL/Toyota Atlantic Series points chase. Tagliani holds a five point advantage over Montgomery, 43-38. Anthony Lazzaro drops to third with 36 points, followed by Knapp and Joao Barbosa, of Portugal, with 36 and 28 points, respectively.
The Nazareth Atlantic race will be aired on ESPN2, Saturday, May 3, from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. ET.
>From Nazareth the team heads to the historic and challenging Milwaukee Mile May 30-31, 1997 followed two weeks later by their first of several Canadian appearances at the always exciting Montreal Formula 1 event.
Miller Brothers Racing Notes:
Minneapolis, MN based Miller Milling Company, with mills in Winchester, Virginia and Fresno, California, is one of the largest US. millers of durum wheat for the pasta industry. With an aggressive expansion program in Mexico, Canada and the United States, Miller Milling is fast becoming one of the dominant companies in North America's grain industry.
Manheim Auctions, is a division of COX Enterprises of Atlanta, Georgia. With 63 locations, Manheim is North America's largest auto auction company, handling over 5 million vehicles in 1996. In addition to Steve Knapp, Manheim also sponsors John C. Miller and former World Cycling Champion and Tour de France winner Greg LeMond in the Miller Brothers Racing entries in the United States Formula Ford 2000 Pro Series and also Larry Hedrick's Kodiak NASCAR Winston Cup team with driver Steve Grissom.
Greg LeMond Charity Bike Rides; Miller Brothers Racing will hold a series of charity bike rides at selected Toyota Atlantic and United States Formula Ford 2000 race venues across the country. These rides provide the public a chance to ride with cycling legend Greg LeMond and Miller Brothers Racing drivers Steve Knapp, John Miller and the rest of the Miller Brothers Racing team. These rides will benefit the Jimmie Heuga MS Center in Vail, Colorado and local MS Chapters. Contact the team for a schedule and further details.
Miller Brothers Racing's Formula Ford 2000 team's next events, with drivers John C. Miller and Greg LeMond, include the inaugural event May 16-18, 1997 in Savannah, Georgia where they will share the event with PPG Indy Lights and then continue to Pikes Peak Raceway in Colorado Springs June 27-29, 1997 in conjunction with the Indy Racing League's first visit to the new Colorado track . ###