CHAMPCAR/CART: Ford Racing Nazareth preview

LAST VISIT TO NAZARETH - Ford-Cosworth makes its way to Western Pennsylvania this weekend for the Lehigh Valley Grand Prix at the Nazareth Speedway. Ford-Cosworth was the dominant powerplant at the Texas Motor Speedway last weekend with...

LAST VISIT TO NAZARETH - Ford-Cosworth makes its way to Western Pennsylvania this weekend for the Lehigh Valley Grand Prix at the Nazareth Speedway. Ford-Cosworth was the dominant powerplant at the Texas Motor Speedway last weekend with Ford-powered cars posted the four fastest qualifying times, capped by Kenny Brack's pole-winning lap of 233.447 miles per hour (track record).

NAZARETH HISTORY - Ford-Cosworth has raced nine (9) times at Nazareth Speedway since 1992, winning in 1993 with Nigel Mansell, and again in 1996 with Michael Andretti. Cosworth Racing has raced at Nazareth 14 times, winning the first CART event at the track in 1987 (Michael Andretti). Ford-Cosworth has also captured three (3) pole positions at Nazareth - Michael Andretti in 1992, Nigel Mansell in 1993 (qualifying rained out; awarded due to points standings) and Robby Gordon in 1995.

CARPENTIER HOLDS NAZARETH RECORD - Player's Forsythe driver Patrick Carpentier holds the Nazareth Speedway's one-lap record established during qualifying in 1998. Carpentier lapped the one-mile tri-oval in 18.419 seconds, or an average speed of 184.896 miles per hour, en route to his first career CART pole position.

QUALIFYING STRONG - Ford-Cosworth has qualified well in each of the first three CART events this season. After scoring his first career CART pole position at Mexico in the season-opening event of the season, Brack followed that by qualifying second at Long Beach. Although the race at the Texas Motor Speedway was postponed due to concerns over driver safety, Ford-Cosworth put on an impressive display of horsepower during qualifying on Saturday by capturing the first four starting positions, capped by Kenny Brack's pole-winning lap of 233.477 miles per hour (track record). Patrick Carpentier had the second-fastest lap (233.345 mph), followed by Oriol Servia (232.978 mph) and Bryan Herta (232.663 mph).

FORD-COSWORTH STILL SEARCHING FOR ITS FIRST VICTORY - Heading into the fourth event of the season, Ford-Cosworth is still in search of its first victory. This season marks the first time since 1996 that Ford-Cosworth has not won one of the first two races on the CART schedule, and just the second time it has happened since Ford re-entered the series nine years ago (1992).

FORD FAVORITES AT NAZARETH SPEEDWAY - Although there are several drivers capable of winning a race in the FedEx Championship Series, Ford-Cosworth drivers Kenny Brack and Patrick Carpentier each stand a strong chance of sipping champagne this weekend. Here's a quick look at each of these drivers and why they should be considered favorites: Kenny Brack - Has scored two pole positions (Mexico and Texas) and a front row start (2nd at Long Beach) in each of his first three CART events this season. Brack scored three top-four finishes on one-mile ovals as a rookie last season, including his first CART podium at Nazareth (3rd), as well as fourth-place results at both Milwaukee and Chicago. Patrick Carpentier - Has been a strong oval track driver throughout his four-year Champ Car career with four of his five career best results coming on ovals (Gateway twice, Milwaukee and Michigan). A former polesitter at Nazareth (1998), Carpentier has never started from outside the top 10 in four appearances at Nazareth. After qualifying third as a rookie in 1997, Carpentier won the pole at Nazareth in 1998 (track record) before qualifying 6th in 1999 and 10th last season in his first race back after suffering a broken wrist.

OVAL SUCCESS - Ford-Cosworth has been very successful in the last 10 CART races held on oval tracks. Ford-Cosworth had at least one driver appear on the podium in each of the last 10 oval races dating back to Fontana in 1999, scoring five victories (twice at Fontana, Motegi, Rio and Homestead), seven runner-up finishes (twice at Fontana, Gateway, Chicago, Michigan, Milwaukee and Homestead) and five third-place results (Gateway, Milwaukee, Nazareth, Motegi and '99 at Fontana).

I DEMAND A RECOUNT! - Following a recount of its wins, it has been determined that Cosworth Racing has scored 205 victories in USAC- and CART-sanctioned races since entering North American open-wheeled racing in 1976. Cosworth has won 159 CART-sanctioned races and 46 USAC-sanctioned races, including five victories in 1996 with the Ford-Cosworth XB engine in the inaugural season of the Indy Racing League (IRL) (was sanctioned by USAC). 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 916).

SPARK PLUGS - Bryan Herta is Ford-Cosworth's most experienced CART driver this season with 102 career Champ Car starts ... both of Patrick Carpentier's two career pole positions came in 1998 on one-mile ovals (Nazareth and Milwaukee) ... Bryan Herta's last oval track podium appearance (second) came in 1996 at Michigan ... Oriol Servia's best career finish on an oval was fifth at Gateway last season ... Max Papis' scored his only career CART pole position on the one-mile oval at Chicago in 1999.

<pre> WHEN: May 6, 2001 TRACK LAYOUT: 1.0-mile oval RACE DISTANCE: 225 laps; 225 miles TELEVISION COVERAGE (ET): ABC; 1:00 PM (live) DEFENDING CHAMPION: Gil de Ferran DEFENDING POLESITTER: Juan Montoya 2001 DRIVER POINTS (2 races): Cristiano da Matta (37), Gil de Ferran (30), Helio Castroneves (27), Paul Tracy (26), Jimmy Vasser (18)

2001 MANUFACTURER POINTS (2 races): Honda (38), Toyota (37), Ford-Cosworth (14), Ilmor-Phoenix (0)

-Ford Racing

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Robby Gordon , Helio Castroneves , Gil de Ferran , Michael Andretti , Jimmy Vasser , Max Papis , Bobby Rahal , Patrick Carpentier , Paul Tracy , Oriol Servia , Bryan Herta , Kenny Brack , Nigel Mansell , Mario Andretti , Rick Mears , Cristiano da Matta , Johnny Rutherford