CHAMPCAR/CART: Gateway Race Report

CART Motorola 300 Greg Bailey motorsport.com Motorsport News International (Madison. IL, May 29, 1999) What was supposed to be a Generation X cakewalk with Juan Montoya leading the pack instead turned into a victory for veteran Michael ...

CART Motorola 300 Greg Bailey motorsport.com Motorsport News International

(Madison. IL, May 29, 1999) What was supposed to be a Generation X cakewalk with Juan Montoya leading the pack instead turned into a victory for veteran Michael Andretti, his first in 23 races. Andretti held off Helio Castro-Neves on the final laps in the competitive race which switched leads 11 times and had 9 yellow flags. Despite several crashes no one, including several crew members hit in the pits was seriously injured according to reports at press time.

Starter Jim Swintal waved off the first lap, unsatisfied with the alignment of the field. On the second lap the green flag waved and pole sitter Juan Montoya jumped to the lead. On lap 11 Robbie Gordon lost control in turn 3 and made heavy contact with the wall. Gordon was unhurt except for a bruised leg. The new wheel tethers apparently passed its first real world test in a CART car, as it prevented the wheel from flying away. Gordon's team announced he intended to follow his plan to race in the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday The restart on lap 24 was waved off. On lap 32 Tarso Marques hit the wall in turn 4. He leaped out of the car and dashed across the track During the yellow flag pit stop Roberto Moreno picked up the lead. Gil de Ferran hit David Stephens , a vent/airjack worker causing a concussion. Stephens was airlifted to a hospital for a CAT scan. Montoya battled back to move up in the pack, going on the inside and outside of Paul Tracy to find a way around. On lap 75 Al Unser Jr., took the lead. He lost it during a green flag pit stop giving it to Paul Tracy. Michael Andretti re-gained the lead when Tracy pitted on lap 102. Andrian Fernandez brushed a crew member during his stop, for which he received a stop and go penalty One lap later he retired with engine problems. . Mauricio Gugelmin ran out of fuel at the end of the backstraight pits. bringing out the yellow flag. On the restart on lap 115 Patrick Carpentier and Bryan Herta tangled in turn one, Carpentier T-boning Herta as the cars slammed to a stop. Teammates Paul Tracy who was running second, and Dario Franchitti collided on lap 147 sending Tracy into the wall. Franchitti slid but was able to continue. Castro-Neves regained the lead during an Andretti pit stop on lap 151. Andretti returned the favor on lap 190 re-gaining the lead by taking on fuel only. Castro-Neves changed all four tires and fell to sixth. Patiently working his way back to the front, he moved into second place on lap 203, but was never able to make a serious threat on Andretti's lead keeping it to the finish. Winner Michael Andretti said in post race press conference that the tires made all the difference. "The tires were awesome. We decided to just top off the fuel on the last stop." Mario Andretti commenting on his son's win said. "It has been a dry spell. It really made the guys crazy. Nothing can be as good as this." Team co-owner Paul Newman said he had been waiting for the victory. "It's some kick in the pants."

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Al Unser Jr. , Gil de Ferran , Michael Andretti , Tarso Marques , Roberto Moreno , Patrick Carpentier , Paul Tracy , Dario Franchitti , Mauricio Gugelmin , Bryan Herta , Mario Andretti , Paul Newman