CHAMPCAR/CART: Denver: Ford Racing preview

CART FEDEX CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES RETURNS TO DENVER TO CONCLUDE GRUELING STRETCH - The CART FedEx Championship Series returns to Denver for the first time in over 10 years for this weekend's Shell Grand Prix of Denver. The last time the Champ Cars ...

CART FEDEX CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES RETURNS TO DENVER TO CONCLUDE GRUELING STRETCH - The CART FedEx Championship Series returns to Denver for the first time in over 10 years for this weekend's Shell Grand Prix of Denver. The last time the Champ Cars roared through the streets of downtown Denver came in 1991, however this weekend will see them race on a newly configured track that winds around the Pepsi Center, which is home to the NHL's Colorado Avalanche and the NBA's Denver Nuggets. The event is also the last of a grueling stretch of four consecutive races on four consecutive weekends that saw the FedEx Championship and its teams compete at Mid-Ohio, Road America and Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve before arriving in the Mile High City.

FORD-COSWORTH DRIVER NOTES -

Patrick Carpentier - Competed in front of his home fans for the first time in his Champ Car last weekend in Montreal where he qualified a strong fourth only to suffer a failed engine early in the race to finish a disappointing 15th, ending his streak of five consecutive points-paying results. For the season, he has scored top-10 finishes in Monterrey [seventh], Japan [fourth], Laguna Seca [fifth], Portland [fifth], Toronto [10th], Cleveland [first], Vancouver [fifth], Mid-Ohio [first] and Road America [seventh] and is currently tied for third in the championship with Bruno Junquiera [101 points]. His 101 championship points also equal his career-high established in 2000 when he finished 11th in the standings.

Mario Dominguez - Endured a disappointing weekend in Montreal where he suffered engine failures on Saturday during qualifying [started 17th] and just 11 laps into the race on Sunday [finished 17th]. Finished eighth two weeks ago at Road America to score his best career Champ Car result to date. Made his first points-paying finish of the season in Japan when he came home 11th [two points]. With 15 championship points, he remains second in the Jim Trueman Rookie of the Year standings behind Townsend Bell [19 points].

Michel Jourdain, Jr. - His qualifying woes continued last weekend in Montreal [started 15th], but he ran a strong race and finished sixth for his best result since a fourth-place result five weeks ago in Vancouver. Extended his streak of consecutive points-paying finishes to 13 [a Team Rahal record] and is the only driver in the series who has finished all 13 races thus far this season. With top-five finishes this season in Monterrey [fourth], Long Beach [fifth], Japan [fifth], Milwaukee [fifth] and Vancouver [fourth], he is currently tied for fifth in the championship with 88 points [Christian Fittipaldi].

Alex Tagliani - Like his teammate, Patrick Carpentier, he competed in front of his home fans for the first time in his Champ Car career last weekend in Montreal. Unfortunately, the homecoming wasn't what he hoped it would be as he finished three laps down in 11th place after losing three gears and radio communication with his team during the race. Has scored points in nine straight events and is currently tied for seventh [Michael Andretti] in the championship with 82 points. His 82 championship points through the first 13 races of the season eclipses his previous career-high of 80 points established last season.

Jimmy Vasser - Turned in his second consecutive strong performance last weekend in Montreal where he qualified sixth and finished fifth, marking the first time this season the former CART champion has scored back-to-back top-five results [fifth last weekend at Road America]. Has eight top-10 results this season and currently sits 11th in the championship standings with 67 points.

COSWORTH RACING CHAMP CAR WINS - Patrick Carpentier's third career Champ Car victory at Mid-Ohio on August 11th, 2002 was the 214th victory for Cosworth Racing in USAC- and CART-sanctioned races since it entered North American open-wheeled racing in 1976. Cosworth has won 168 CART-sanctioned races and 46 USAC-sanctioned races, including five victories in 1996 with the Ford-Cosworth XB engine during the inaugural season of the Indy Racing League [IRL]. Michael Andretti has won the most races using a Cosworth engine [25], followed by Rick Mears [20], Bobby Rahal [18], Mario Andretti [16] and Johnny Rutherford [16].

SPARK PLUGS - Michel Jourdain, Jr., is the only Champ Car driver this season who has finished every race and has scored championship points in every event ... Patrick Carpentier has two wins and six top-five finishes through 13 races this season, eclipsing last year's total of one win and five top-five finishes ... Jourdain leads all drivers this season having completed 1,624 out of a possible 1,632 laps [99.5%] ... Alex Tagliani has scored championship points in all but two races this season [Long Beach - DNF; Milwaukee - DNF].

-ford-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Michael Andretti , Jimmy Vasser , Bruno Junqueira , Patrick Carpentier , Alex Tagliani , Christian Fittipaldi , Townsend Bell , Mario Dominguez , Mario Andretti , Rick Mears , Johnny Rutherford , Michel Jourdain