CHAMPCAR/CART: Elkhart Lake Team Target looking to get back on track

ELKHART LAKE, Wis. -- In the 85 Championship Auto Racing Team (CART) events run since 1996, only five checkered flags have waved without at least one Team Target driver still on the track. This rarity occurred most recently last weekend...

ELKHART LAKE, Wis. -- In the 85 Championship Auto Racing Team (CART) events run since 1996, only five checkered flags have waved without at least one Team Target driver still on the track. This rarity occurred most recently last weekend at the Miller Lite 200 in Lexington, Ohio, when Juan Montoya exited the race after 43 of the 83 laps and Jimmy Vasser was knocked on lap 54. Although Target Chip Ganassi Racing is heading to Elkhart Lake, where neither driver finished last year's Motorola 220, both Vasser and Montoya are confident the outcome will be different on Sunday. "Road America is a great course and I'm really looking forward to getting back on a racetrack and starting a good streak," Montoya said. "Last year, I led a lot of laps in Elkhart, so this year I want to do the same thing, except I want to stay in the lead. We've had a couple of disappointing races, so I'm looking forward to a good race to get some confidence back for our team." Montoya, who ranks ninth in the CART point standings with 77 points, trails leader Michael Andretti by 48 points. "When we're behind on the racetrack, we never give up," Montoya said. "The same is true with the points race. I don't care how many points we're down, we still believe we have a shot and we're not going to give up. We need to score a lot of points this weekend and hope for the best." Montoya's teammate, Jimmy Vasser, has four top-ten finishes at Elkhart Lake, highlighted by a third place effort in 1995. The 1996 CART champion ranks 12th in the point standings with 68 points. "I'm anxious to get on the track at Elkhart and just race and forget about some of the other things that have been going on," said Vasser, referring to the announcement that he will not return to Target Chip Ganassi Racing in 2001. "I've had some good luck at Road America in the past, so it will be nice to return there after a couple of tough races." Vasser is looking for his eighth top-ten result of the year and his third podium finish. "We've had some good stretches and some disappointing stretches this year, but this team has the talent and the car to start a good streak in Elkhart and finish up strong," Vasser said. "I plan to get back to that podium again in Elkhart. Team Target is still in a battle for a straight fifth championship, and no one on this team is going down without a fight."

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Michael Andretti , Jimmy Vasser , Chip Ganassi
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing , HART