CHAMPCAR/CART: Andretti ready for first Visit to Texas

<pre> What: Firestone Firehawk 600K Round 3 of 21 of the CART FedEx Championship Series Where: Texas Motor Speedway, 1.5-Mile Oval Forth Worth, Texas When: Sunday, April 29, 2001 at 2:00 p.m. CST ...

<pre> What: Firestone Firehawk 600K Round 3 of 21 of the CART FedEx Championship Series

Where: Texas Motor Speedway, 1.5-Mile Oval Forth Worth, Texas

When: Sunday, April 29, 2001 at 2:00 p.m. CST 3:00 p.m. EST live on ESPN Television

Fast Facts: --This is the inaugural event for Champ Cars at Texas Motor Speedway.

-- This is the first time Andretti has driven the 1.5-mile oval at Texas Motor Speedway, he did not test here in the off-season.

-- Andretti has scored 7 poles in his career on ovals. His last pole earned on an oval was in Nazareth in 1992.

-- Andretti has scored 15 victories in his career on ovals. His last oval victory was at Twin Ring Motegi, Japan in 2000.

<pre> Indianapolis, IN-Michael Andretti and the crew at Team Motorola are ready for their inaugural visit to the high-banked oval at Texas Motor Speedway. On Friday, April 27 when practice begins, it will be Andretti's first time driving on the famed oval in preparation for the Firestone Firehawk 600K to be held Sunday, April 29. "I'm looking forward to running this track", said Andretti. "Open-wheel cars have run here and the racing has always been exciting so I'm anticipating a good show on Sunday."

After an engine failure on lap number 3 at the last CART event in Long Beach, California Andretti and the team have been itching to get back to business. "After our short race in Long Beach we are ready to get back on track, literally and figuratively", said Tony Cotman, team manager. "Texas is a bit different configuration from the other ovals we run so we've spent our time preparing for a different approach to this race weekend. We also did some extra pit stop practice since we were a few short from Long Beach."

Despite their early finish in Long Beach, Team Motorola still stands in sixth position with 12 championship points and is on target for their season goal of a CART FedEx Championship. "We feel like we've used our time between Long Beach and Texas well", said general manager Kim Green. "The next four races are 'Andretti type tracks'--ovals. Michael has always been competitive on an oval track and it's nice to be racing with Michael and not against him at these venues."

Preparation for Texas Motor Speedway began in March when Team Motorola's technical partner, Team KOOL Green and their driver Dario Franchitti tested the 1.5-mile oval and gathered engineering data. Andretti explained the information advantage that Team Motorola and Team KOOL Green have from this partnership. "Dario tested here in March and was able to provide a good baseline for the set-up. I think we will be able to unload the car on Friday and be competitive. That is the great thing about our technical partnership; we're able to share the knowledge from Dario's test and hopefully start off the race weekend a step ahead of the competition."

The inaugural Texas event will be a 600K race and there will be a variety of strategies that come into play for Michael and Team Motorola. "This is a long race," said Andretti. "This is a 600K, which is a lot of miles. Fuel mileage and pit strategy will be very important and the bottom line is you need to be there at the end of the race which is going to take patience and a lot of luck!"

Team Motorola and Andretti begin practice on Friday, April 27 at 9:45 a.m. The Firestone Firehawk 600K will be shown live on ESPN on Sunday, April 29 beginning at 3:00 p.m. EST.

-TGR

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Michael Andretti , Dario Franchitti , Kim Green