Laguna Seca (September 9, 1998) -- With four races remaining and his second consecutive FedEx Championship Series title already sewn up, Alex Zanardi (Target Reynard Honda) is well within reach of the records for PPG Cup points in both 16 and ...
Laguna Seca (September 9, 1998) -- With four races remaining and his second consecutive FedEx Championship Series title already sewn up, Alex Zanardi (Target Reynard Honda) is well within reach of the records for PPG Cup points in both 16 and 17-event seasons.
Zanardi's fourth-place finish at Vancouver last Sunday enabled him to clinch the championship earlier than any driver in FedEx Championship Series history. He enters this weekend's Texaco/Havoline 300, feature event of the Honda Grand Prix of Monterey, with 218 points, the third-highest total in Championship Auto Racing Teams history.
Zanardi has amassed his point total in 15 events. Al Unser Jr. (Marlboro Penske Mercedes) holds the FedEx Championship Series record for most points after 16 events, 225, set in 1994. Zanardi could exceed Unser Jr.'s total by finishing sixth or better this weekend, or by finishing seventh and sweeping the single points awarded for winning the pole and leading the most laps.
Zanardi has finished first and third, respectively, in his two career appearances at Laguna Seca, in 1996 and '97. He also won the pole position, his fourth of a CART-record six poles in a row, in '96.
Zanardi stands 16 points shy of the FedEx Championship Series record for points in a 17-event season, 234, set by Michael Andretti (Kmart/Texaco/Havoline Swift Ford) in 1991. Zanardi could eclipse both Unser Jr.'s and Andretti's marks by winning Sunday, or by finishing second and either winning the pole or leading the most laps.
Only four drivers have scored as many as 200 PPG Cup points in a season since the current scoring system was adopted in 1983.Unser Jr. has done it twice, scoring 210 points en route to his first series championship in 1990. Bobby Rahal (Miller Lite Reynard Ford) scored an even 200 points while finishing second to Andretti in 1991.
Source: CART Online