CHAMPCAR/CART: Jimmy Vasser Testing At Homestead - Tuesday

JIMMY VASSER TESTS AT HOMESTEAD, EYES 4TH STRAIGHT TITLE FOR GANASSI HOMESTEAD, Fla. (Dec. 15, 1998) - Jimmy Vasser has set his sights on a lofty goal for 1999 - his second CART FedEx Championship Series title and a unprecedented fourth...

JIMMY VASSER TESTS AT HOMESTEAD, EYES 4TH STRAIGHT TITLE FOR GANASSI

HOMESTEAD, Fla. (Dec. 15, 1998) - Jimmy Vasser has set his sights on a lofty goal for 1999 - his second CART FedEx Championship Series title and a unprecedented fourth consecutive title for Target/Chip Ganassi Racing. To help accomplish that goal, Vasser and new teammate Juan Pablo Montoya are testing at Miami-Dade Homestead Motorsports Complex, which will host the season-opening Marlboro Grand Prix of Miami Presented by Toyota on March 21. "This time of year we always spend a lot of time at Homestead," Vasser explained. "Not only is it our first race of the year and we have to prepare for it, but it's the only place in the country that really has the weather that we can do some testing." The Target duo were joined at the South Florida test by Patrick Racing teammates P.J. Jones and Adrian Fernandez; Arciero-Wells teammates Scott Pruett and Cristiano de Matta; the Payton-Coyne duo of Michel Jourdain and Dennis Vitolo; Tasman's Tony Kanaan; Team Kool Green's Paul Tracy; and Team Rahal's Bryan Herta. Unofficially, Vasser had the fastest lap of the day, 25.2 seconds - 214.286 mph. Vasser won the 1996 CART championship, beginning a string of three straight titles for Target/Ganassi. Alex Zanardi, who will be competing in Formula One next year, won the 1997 and 1998 crowns to tie Penske Racing's Rick Mears (1981-82) and Al Unser (1983) as the only team to score three consecutive CART titles. Vasser finished second in the 1998 championship and was third in 1997. "The championship," Vasser said quickly when asked of his goals for the 1999 campaign. "Four in a row for Ganassi, simply whatever it takes to do that. I hope it's me, but whether it's me or my teammate, that's our goal for the team." While Vasser's main objective at Homestead was to test tires for Firestone, and Montoya's goal was to get quality track time on an oval, preparing for the season opener is also on the agenda. "We're testing tires for Firestone and doing general systems testing for the season, but at the same time, we're specifically testing the setup for this circuit," explained the 33-year-old native of Canoga Park, Calif. Vasser is no stranger to Victory Lane at Homestead, winning the inaugural Marlboro Grand Prix of Miami Presented by Toyota in 1996, followed by a third place finish in 1997. He qualified third but finished 16th in 1998, with Zanardi putting Target/Ganassi back on the podium with a third place finish. Tickets are now on sale for the Marlboro Grand Prix of Miami Presented by Toyota, the opening event of the 1999 season at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The weekend also includes Saturday's Florida Dodge Dealers 400, the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series opener. For additional information, call (305) 230-7223, or visit the Speedway's official website at www.racemiami.com.

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Jimmy Vasser , Adrian Fernandez , Alex Zanardi , Tony Kanaan , Bryan Herta , Scott Pruett , Al Unser Sr. , Rick Mears , P.J. Jones , Chip Ganassi
Teams Team Penske