CHAMPCAR/CART: 12 weeks to go for Texaco/Havoline Grand Prix

The FedEx Championship Series so far this year: Race ...

The FedEx Championship Series so far this year:

Race # 9 in the FedEx Championship Series was Sunday, July 2 at the Marconi Grand Prix of Cleveland. Roberto Moreno dominated the entire race. Starting from the pole and leading 91 of the 100 laps race, he became the oldest first-time winner of a CART event. Moreno is 41 years old.

Kenny Brack came in second and Mark Blundell came in third.

The points chase has changed significantly during the past two races:

Still leading in points is Roberto Moreno with 90; 2nd place is now held by Michael Andretti with 68 points; 3rd place: Gil de Ferran - 67 points; 4th: Kenny Brack - 63 points; 5th: Paul Tracy - 59; 6th: Jimmy Vasser - 59; 7th: Juan Montoya - 54; 8th: Cristiano da Matta - 49; 9th: Max Papis, 47; and 10th: Patrick Carpentier - 47.

Brazil still leads the Nation's Cup standings with 156 points followed by the USA with 116 points.

Ford is leading the manufacturer's points with 158, followed by Honda with 138 and Toyota with 132 points.

Kenny Brack maintains a strong lead in the Rookie of the Year standings with 63 points over second place Oriol Servia with 31.

Other news:

Alex Zanardi is coming back for a couple days. He has agreed to test for Morris Nunn Racing this coming weekend in Sebring, Florida. Tony Kanaan, Nunn's regular driver, is still out recuperating from a broken left arm. Morris Nunn engineered Zanardi's two titles before Zanardi's departure to Formula 1 and Nunn's starting his own team this year.

Will Zanardi drive at the next CART show in Toronto? That remains to be seen.

What's going on for the 2000 THGPH?

It won't be long before activity begins around the race circuit. The first stage in building the "race arena" is the construction of the grandstands. The first section is scheduled to start the end of July.

The weekend schedule is being finalized. With the addition of the Indy Lights, the action all weekend will be fast and furious. On Friday, September 29, practice and qualifying takes place for all four sanctioned races: Trans-Am, Toyota Atlantic, Indy Lights and CART.

Saturday, practice and qualifying continues plus the 3rd annual Houston Police Officers Bicycle Race presented by Houston Cellular and the late afternoon Trans-Am race.

Sunday, the three open-wheel classes compete along with the Racing for Children Grand Prix Sprint. The Toyota Atlantic race is scheduled to start at 9:40am; the Indy Lights at 12:30pm and the CART event at 3:00pm.

Who's Who? Roberto Moreno

Roberto Moreno should have a couple of nicknames -- "Super Sub" as he has been a substitute driver in CART and Formula 1. Over the past few years, he has substituted for Christian Fittipaldi, Patrick Carpentier and Mark Blundell.

His other nickname could easily be "Mr. Perseverance". At the age of 41, he is the oldest driver in the series. This year is his first ride with Patrick Racing, driving the Visteon Ford/Reynard.

Sunday's win shows "persistence pays".

Champ Car Jargon: -- What does it mean?

Qualifying: Determines the starting positions based on each driver's best lap time during the qualifying session or sessions. Each car is timed, and the starting grid is determined by the order of fastest cars. For road and street courses, the cars are on the track at the same time, requiring careful management of track position in order to avoid being blocked by a slower car. For oval tracks, qualifying is one car at a time, usually for two timed laps.

Flat spot: If a driver locks a tire (brakes so hard that the wheel stops turning), he'll grind a flat spot on the surface of the tire. This causes vibration that can make the car almost undrivable.

Did you know?

It is generally accepted that the history of Champ Car racing dates back to 1909. That year, U.S. automobile manufacturers, interested in advertising and generating sales, approached the American Automobile Association to establish a set of rules so that manufacturers could compete on equal footing. The AAA National Championship Racing Series began with the 1909 season.

All about Houston:

Houston's founders, Augustus and John Allen, advertised for settlers in newspapers in 1836 and managed to attract enough people to qualify as a sleepy swamp town. Now, one of the largest cities in Texas, Houston is a city that refuses to define itself. Strip shopping centers, grand homes and gleaming skyscrapers coexist next to one another, due to Houston's unwillingness to pass traditional zoning laws.

Next race for the CART FedEx Championship Series is the Canadian National Exhibition Place in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on Sunday, July 16, on ESPN at 2:00pm CDT.

For the latest updates about the Texaco/Havoline Grand Prix of Houston, visit our website: http://www.texacogp.com

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Gil de Ferran , Jimmy Vasser , Max Papis , Roberto Moreno , Patrick Carpentier , Paul Tracy , Alex Zanardi , Tony Kanaan , Oriol Servia , Kenny Brack , John Allen , Mark Blundell , Morris Nunn , Cristiano da Matta