CHAMPCAR/CART: Gateway Saturday Lap Report

Motorola 300 -- FedEx Championship Series Lap Report Saturday, May 23, 1998 At 12 p.m., under a bright and sunny sky, the honorary starter, Senator Richard Durbin is introduced to the crowd. On Lap 40, ...

Motorola 300 -- FedEx Championship Series Lap Report

Saturday, May 23, 1998

At 12 p.m., under a bright and sunny sky, the honorary starter, Senator Richard Durbin is introduced to the crowd.

On Lap 40, #6 ANDRETTI passes #99 MOORE to take second place, putting #99 MOORE in third, #21 KANAAN fourth, and #9 LEHTO in fifth.

On Lap 40, #6 ANDRETTI passes #99 MOORE to take second place, putting #99 MOORE in third, #21 KANAAN fourth, and #9 LEHTO in fifth.

On Lap 40, #6 ANDRETTI passes #99 MOORE to take second place, putting #99 MOORE in third, #21 KANAAN fourth, and #9 LEHTO in fifth.

At 12:04 p.m., the National Anthem is performed at the podium by the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra.

At 12:09 p.m., the command "Gentlemen, Start Your Engines!" is given by Mary Galvin, wife of Bob Galvin, the son of the founder of Motorola.

At 12:10 p.m., the PPG Pace Car begins to roll with the field in tow for the first of four pace laps.

GREEN FLAG waves at 12:15 p.m. to start the Motorola 300. Firestone engineers report a track temperature of 106 degrees F. and an ambient temperature of 90 degrees F. at the start of the race.

#12 VASSER passes #99 MOORE and leads the first lap of the Motorola 300, followed by MOORE, and #6 ANDRETTI.

YELLOW FLAG waves as the leaders approach the start/finish line for the first lap. Coming off of Turn 4 on the first lap, #27 FRANCHITTI spins and makes contact with the outside wall. #10 HEARN and #26 TRACY are also involved in the incident. Though all three drivers are uninjured in the incident, all three cars are too damaged to continue and are withdrawn from the race. #6 ANDRETTI moved from sixth to third on the first lap while #24 GRODON rose from a 14th start to 8th. #11 FITTIPALDI moved from 13th to 5th position but then FITTIPALDI pits on lap 3 and falls to 25th position.

On Lap 10 and under a full-course caution flag, the running order has #12 VASSER leading #99 MOORE, #6 ANDRETTI, #21 KANAAN, and #9 LEHTO.

GREEN FLAG waves on Lap 12 to resume the race.

YELLOW FLAG waves on Lap 15 after #34 VITOLO makes hard contact with the wall on the front stretch. VITOLO exits the car under his own power but the car is too damaged to continue and VITOLO withdraws from the race.

GREEN FLAG waves on Lap 22 to resume the race.

On Lap 25, the running order is #12 VASSER leading by 1.895 seconds over #99 MOORE, #6 ANDRETTI, #21 KANAAN, and #9 LEHTO.

By Lap 30, #12 VASSER has opened at 3.496 seconds over second-place #99 MOORE.

On Lap 40, #6 ANDRETTI passes #99 MOORE to take second place, putting #99 MOORE in third, #21 KANAAN fourth, and #9 LEHTO in fifth.

BLACK FLAG is shown to #8 HERTA on Lap 42 for a pit road speed violation.

On Lap 43, #6 ANDRETTI passes #12 VASSER to take over the lead.

On Lap 46, #3 RIBEIRO and #7 RAHAL make side-to-side contact on the track. RIBEIRO subsequently pits his car and loses four laps in the process.

YELLOW FLAG waves on Lap 48 after #21 KANAAN makes hard contact with the outside wall in Turn 3 with the rear of his car. KANAAN is transported by ground to St. Elizabeth Hospital for precautionary X-rays after KANAAN complains of some neck pain.

On Lap 50, and under a full-course caution flag, the running order is #6 ANDRETTI leading #12 VASSER, #99 MOORE, #9 LEHTO, and #5 DE FERRAN.

On Lap 51, the top eleven cars pit under the yellow flag. LEHTO falls from fourth to 11th place during the pit stops with #1 ZANARDI moving up from fifth to fourth.

GREEN FLAG waves on Lap 61 to resume the race.

On lap 62, #1 ZANARDI passes #99 MOORE for third and then teammate #12 VASSER for second place, trailing leader #6 ANDRETTI by .461 seconds.

On Lap 70, the running order is #6 ANDRETTI leading #1 ZANARDI with #12 VASSER in third, #99 MOORE in fourth, and #40 FERNANDEZ in fifth.

By Lap 75, #6 ANDRETTI has opened the lead up to 3.209 seconds over #1 ZANARDI.

On Lap 80, the running order is #6 ANDRETTI leading #1 ZANARDI by 1.633 seconds, with #12 VASSER in third, #99 MOORE in fourth, and #40 FERNANDEZ in fifth.

On Lap 90, the running order is #6 ANDRETTI leading #1 ZANARDI by 8.009 seconds, with #12 VASSER in third, #99 MOORE in fourth, and #40 FERNANDEZ in fifth.

On Lap 100, the running order is #6 ANDRETTI leading #1 ZANARDI by 14.052 seconds, with #12 VASSER in third, #99 MOORE in fourth, and #40 FERNANDEZ in fifth.

YELLOW FLAG waves on Lap 107 after #25 PAPIS and #77 MEIER make side-to-side contact entering Turn 1. Both cars impact the outside wall, coming to rest at the top of the track. PAPIS exits the car under his own power while CART safety workers attend to MEIER. According to Steve Olvey, CART Director of Medical Affairs, Davis Racing driver Arnd Meier will be airlifted to Barnes University Hospital for a CAT scan and further examination. Dr. Olvey said that Meier was conscious at the scene, but there were signs of a minor concussion.

In an earlier incident, Ken Adolf, Davis Racing's sign person, was injured by debris from the car of Dennis Vitolo . Adolf received several stitches on the lower right side of his chest. He missed about 50 laps of the race, but returned to action.

On Lap 110 and under a full-course caution flag, the top nine cars pit and the top five positions remain unchanged after the stops with #6 ANDRETTI leading #1 ZANARDI. #9 LEHTO moves up from ninth to sixth after his stop.

On Lap 120 and under a full-course caution flag, the running order is #6 ANDRETTI leading #1 ZANARDI with #12 VASSER in third, #99 MOORE in fourth, and #40 FERNANDEZ in fifth.

On Lap 130, the running order is #6 ANDRETTI leading #1 ZANARDI by 2.073 seconds, with #12 VASSER in third, #99 MOORE in fourth, and #40 FERNANDEZ in fifth.

On Lap 140, the running order is #6 ANDRETTI leading #1 ZANARDI by 2.182 seconds, with #12 VASSER in third, #99 MOORE in fourth, and #40 FERNANDEZ in fifth.

On Lap 150, the running order is #6 ANDRETTI leading #1 ZANARDI by 2.689 seconds, with #12 VASSER in third, #99 MOORE in fourth, and #40 FERNANDEZ in fifth.

On Lap 160, the running order is #6 ANDRETTI leading #1 ZANARDI by 3 seconds, with #12 VASSER in third, #99 MOORE in fourth, and #40 FERNANDEZ in fifth.

On Lap 162, #5 DE FERRAN passes #9 LEHTO to take over sixth place.

On Lap 170, the running order is #6 ANDRETTI leading #1 ZANARDI by 2.292 seconds, with #12 VASSER in third, #99 MOORE in fourth, and #40 FERNANDEZ in fifth.

YELLOW FLAG waves on Lap 172 after #2 UNSER JR. makes contact with the outside wall exiting Turn 4. UNSER JR. is uninjured in the incident but the car is too damaged to continue.

The top eight cars on the lead lap pit on Lap 175. #1 ZANARDI beats #6 ANDRETTI out of the pits and takes the lead for the first time in the race. #20 PRUETT moves up from seventh to sixth, dropping #5 DE FERRAN to seventh.

GREEN FLAG waves on Lap 180 with #1 ZANARDI leading by .442 seconds over #6 ANDRETTI, with #99 MOORE in third, #12 VASSER in fourth, and #40 FERNANDEZ in fifth.

YELLOW FLAG waves on Lap 188 after #36 BARRON spins exiting Turn 2. BARRON continues on-course with a flat tire and subsequently pits on Lap 190.

On lap 190 and under a full-course caution flag, #1 ZANARDI leads #6 ANDRETTI, #99 MOORE, #12 VASSER, and #40 FERNANDEZ.

GREEN FLAG waves on 194 with #1 ZANARDI leading by .533 seconds over second-place #6 ANDRETTI.

On Lap 200, #1 ZANARDI is leading by .600 seconds over #6 ANDRETTI, #99 MOORE, #12 VASSER, and #20 PRUETT. #40 FERNANDEZ begins to lose positions due to mechanical problems and drops from fifth to eighth.

On Lap 208, #40 FERNANDEZ pulls off the track at the pit exit and withdraws from the race with an engine problem.

On Lap 210, #1 ZANARDI is leading by .392 seconds over #6 ANDRETTI, #99 MOORE, #12 VASSER, and #20 PRUETT.

On Lap 220, #1 ZANARDI is leading by .376 seconds over #6 ANDRETTI, #99 MOORE, #12 VASSER, and #20 PRUETT.

On Lap 230, #1 ZANARDI is leading by 1.802 seconds over #6 ANDRETTI, #99 MOORE, #12 VASSER, and #20 PRUETT.

On Lap 232, #1 ZANARDI is leading by 1.830 seconds over #6 ANDRETTI, #99 MOORE, #12 VASSER, and #20 PRUETT.

On Lap 233, #1 ZANARDI is leading by 1.885 seconds over #6 ANDRETTI, #99 MOORE, #12 VASSER, and #20 PRUETT.

On Lap 234, #1 ZANARDI is leading by 1.689 seconds over #6 ANDRETTI, #99 MOORE, #12 VASSER, and #20 PRUETT.

WHITE FLAG waves on Lap 235 with #1 ZANARDI leading by 1.518 seconds over #6 ANDRETTI, #99 MOORE, #12 VASSER, and #20 PRUETT.

CHECKERED FLAG waves on Lap 236 for the winner of the Motorola 300, ALEX ZANARDI. ZANARDI's margin of victory was .573 seconds over #6 ANDRETTI with #99 MOORE finishing third, #12 VASSER fourth, and #20 PRUETT fifth.

ZANARDI's race-winning average speed was 125.725 mph and he took 2 hours, 23 minutes, and 2.140 seconds to cover the 236 laps of the Motorola 300. The podium margin was 1.526 seconds. There were 17 cars running at the end of the race with seven cars on the lead lap at the end of the race. ANDRETTI led the most laps in today's race with 133, followed by ZANARDI with 61 and JIMMY VASSER with 42.

ALEX ZANARDI's victory today represents his second win of the season, with his first coming at Long Beach. This is ZANARDI's tenth career win and the second on an oval. His other oval win was at Michigan for the 1997 U.S. 500. This is also ZANARDI's 11th podium in the last 13 events. ZANARDI is the first repeat FedEx Championship Series winner this season. With his victory today, ZANARDI takes the points lead for the PPG Cup with an 87 to 85 points total over second-place and previous leader, GREG MOORE.

MICHAEL ANDRETTI's second-place finish is his second podium this season; his first podium being a win at Homestead. Today represents ANDRETTI's 21st career runner-up finish. ANDRETTI has been the race leader in laps led in both Motorola 300's. ANDRETTI led 66 laps last year and 133 laps this year.

GREG MOORE's third-place finish today is MOORE's third consecutive podium finish and his fourth of the season. MOORE has finished in the top six positions in all six races of the 1998 season. MOORE falls to second in the chase for the PPG Cup; however, MOORE is the only driver in the FedEx Championship Series to complete every lap of all six races of the 1998 season.

Today's race featured three different engines manufacturers on the podium with ZANARDI in a Honda, ANDRETTI in a Ford, and MOORE in a Mercedes. Both tires were also represented on the podium with Firestone placing ZANARDI and MOORE, and Goodyear placing ANDRETTI. Finally, two of the FedEx Championship Series four chassis manufacturers were present on the podium with ZANARDI and MOORE in Reynards and ANDRETTI in a Swift.

Toyota steadily-improving engine program scored points for the fourth consecutive race with P.J. Jones's 12th-place finish.

Driver quotes from today's Motorola 300 follow.

ALEX ZANARDI, Target Reynard Honda: "We always say it is a team victory, but today it is even more so. This morning [during the warm-up], I was a little bit lost. Jimmy [Vasser] was running pretty well, and he was nice enough to let us look at his book. We were able to take some information and make the small adjustments we needed, so I want to thank him for that. I'm getting used to this kind of stuff with them [the pit crew]. The fact that they were able to get me out ahead of Michael was really the key to the race."

MICHAEL ANDRETTI, Kmart/Texaco/Havoline Swift Ford: "It was a race of track position and traffic, and we didn't get either at the end. We lost track position in the pits, but I thought we were still going to be O.K. because I felt like we had a better car [than Zanardi] in traffic. But we didn't encounter much traffic at the end. The car ran beautifully all weekend. Our pit stop wasn't even bad, they just had a real good one. We gave it our best and we almost came up with it. They just did a great job, you can't take anything away from them. I think we were being careful to make sure we got every drop of fuel in the car [during the pit stop], because if we hadn't had a yellow flag afterward, it would have been really close. The most important thing is that we collected points. There's a long way to go in the championship, and we scored some valuable points today. Unfortunately, Greg and Alex did too. I like the speedway wings. I think it's a step forward in making these oval tracks a little safer and more driveable. It's tough it's not an easy way of racing, but it brings a little bit more of the skill back into it, I think, and I like that."

GREG MOORE, Player's/Indeck Reynard Mercedes: "Because we came here without too much testing, we were a bit behind the eight ball. We really didn't know what the car was going to do in traffic. At the beginning of the race, the car was unbelievably loose and that's what allowed Michael to get by me. After that, it was pretty painless. For everyone on the Player's/Forsythe team, especially considering that we didn't have more than 45 minutes of practice on the track two days before the race, we have to be very pleased with our result today."

Alex Zanardi of Target/Chip Ganassi Racing ended one FedEx Championship Series streak, but is hopeful that he can hold the course on another. Zanardi captured Saturday's Motorola 300 to become the first multiple winner of the season, ending a run of five different winners to open the season that was one shy of the CART record set in 1991. On each occasion that a FedEx Championship Series season has opened with five or more different winners the other seasons were 1987 and '95 the first repeat winner went on to become the PPG Cup champion.

Bobby Rahal accomplished the feat in 1987, Michael Andretti in '91 and Jacques Villeneuve in '95. The current season opened with victories by Andretti (Homestead), Adrian Fernandez (Motegi, Japan), Zanardi (Long Beach), Jimmy Vasser (Nazareth), Greg Moore (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), respectively, before Zanardi notched his second triumph of the season Saturday. Zanardi currently leads the PPG Cup points championship, 87-85, over Moore through Round 6 of 19 in the FedEx Championship Series.

Source: CART Online

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Jacques Villeneuve , Michael Andretti , Jimmy Vasser , Adrian Fernandez , Bobby Rahal , Alex Zanardi , P.J. Jones , Chip Ganassi , Greg Moore
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing