CHAMPCAR/CART: Houston count down continues

The FedEx Championship Series so far this year: It was one of the best finishes in Champ Car racing last Sunday with Michael Andretti and Juan Montoya screaming side by side across the finish line at Michigan International Speedway.

The FedEx Championship Series so far this year:

It was one of the best finishes in Champ Car racing last Sunday with Michael Andretti and Juan Montoya screaming side by side across the finish line at Michigan International Speedway.

Juan Montoya took the checkered flag .04 seconds in front of Andretti.

However, that second place finish moved Andretti to number one in the points standings. Roberto Moreno has dropped to second.

Current points (top 10 drivers) after 11 of 20 races:

Michael Andretti, 104; Roberto Moreno, 90; Paul Tracy, 80; Gil de Ferran, 75; Juan Montoya, 74; Adrian Fernandez, 69; Kenny Brack, 66; Patrick Carpentier, 65; Jimmy Vasser, 63 and Cristiano da Matta, 62.

Brazil still leads in the Nation's Cup Standings with 181 points, followed by the U.S. with 152.

The win Sunday by Montoya was his second victory this season. The 1999 series champion also won Milwaukee earlier this year, following his victory at the Indy 500. Sunday was the first-ever win for Toyota engines in a 500-mile race. And, it's the second straight Toyota win on an oval (Montoya in Milwaukee).

What's going on for the 2000 THGPH?

It won't be long before those familiar sights of grandstands, fencing and barriers appear in the downtown area. Construction crews are scheduled to begin grandstand erection in less than two weeks.

The City of Houston and the Texaco/Havoline Grand Prix will be featured in several television broadcasts with coverage for Indy Lights, Toyota Atlantic, the BFGoodrich Tires Trans-Am Series and of course, the CART race. ESPN2 will air the Indy Lights Race, Toyota Atlantic will be shown via CTV Sportsnet, Speedvision carries the Trans-Am series and the CART event will be the the CART event will be shown nationally on ABC and internationally by ESPN.

The Trans-Am Series this year offers an even wider range of manufacturer and model eligibility. The first competitors to bring new vehicles to the series include defending champion, Paul Gentilozzi, driving a Jaguar XKR, Bruce Qvale in the Italian designed De Tomaso Mangusta and Randy Ruhlman who is campaigning an Oldsmobile Aurora. The legends of Trans-Am racing will be on hand as well, defending their positions, including the Chevrolet Camaro, Corvette and Monte Carlo; the Dodge Avenger, the Ford Mustang, the Oldsmobile Intrigue and Cutlass Supreme and the Pontiac Firebird/Trans Am and Grand Prix.

The Trans-Am race begins at 4:30pm on Saturday, September 30.

LAST CHANCE: All ticket holders who have not purchased their three-day reserved seat tickets yet have one last chance for a very special offer. As long as the three-day reserved seat order is in the Grand Prix offices by end of day, July 31, the tickets will include a private free screening of the movie, Superspeedway, hosted by the racing legend and driver of the century, Mario Andretti. The screening takes place on Saturday, September 30.

Casey Mears

When the Indy Lights teams arrive in Houston, one of the last names should sound very familiar. Casey Mears, the nephew of three-time CART champion Rick Mears, will be one of the competitors for the Indy Light title in Houston.

Mears has a strong family history in racing. He is the son of former CART Champ Car driver Roger Mears, his half brother is Roger Mears, Jr.

Casey began his full-time Indy Lights race career in 1997. He finished second in the points in the 1999 championship. He's the fourth driver in Indy Lights history to complete every lap and every mile run in a single season in 1999.

The new sanctioning body, the United States Auto Club, revived the sport of Champ Car racing in the late '50s and '60s. USAC served as the sanctioning body throughout 1978.

Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART), was formed after the 1978 season. CART in conjunction with the Sports Car Club of America, began hosting Champ Car races in 1979.

What does it mean?

Paddock: The area where the team transporters are parked, and where the teams work on cars between on-track sessions. In CART, this area is usually accessible to the general public.

Pits: The area where cars come in for fuel, tires, adjustments and repairs during on-track sessions. The name originated from early race tracks, where the mechanics actually stood in a shallow pit where they could duck if an out-of-control car came their way. Today, mechanics are protected by concrete walls, and the pit lane is segregated from the actual racing surface.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Casey Mears , Gil de Ferran , Michael Andretti , Jimmy Vasser , Adrian Fernandez , Roberto Moreno , Patrick Carpentier , Paul Tracy , Kenny Brack , Mario Andretti , Randy Ruhlman , Rick Mears , Roger Mears , Cristiano da Matta