CHAMPCAR/CART: MCI/Arciero-Wells Mid Ohio Race Report

LEXINGTON, Ohio (August 9, 1998) - MCI Racing Team/Arciero-Wells driver Max Papis finished 14th today in round 13 of the 1998 FedEx Championship Series at the Mid Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. Robby Gordon, racing the Panasonic ...

LEXINGTON, Ohio (August 9, 1998) - MCI Racing Team/Arciero-Wells driver Max Papis finished 14th today in round 13 of the 1998 FedEx Championship Series at the Mid Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. Robby Gordon, racing the Panasonic Duskin/MCI-sponsored entry, finished eleventh. This is the fifth time this season the Arciero-Wells team has finished in the points; Papis was 11th at Portland, twelfth at Cleveland and eighth at Toronto. Gordon finished seventh at Nazareth and eleventh here today.

Papis and Gordon qualified 24th and 25th, respectively, around the 2.25-mile permanent road course. Papis got caught up in a multi-car accident on the first lap and had to pit to replace the front nose and wing. Papis ran as high as twelfth in the 83-lap race and this was his sixth top-fourteen finish of the season. Gordon ran as high as fifth place.

"We did the best we could today with the MCI car," said Papis. "Unfortunately, we started in the back. I got caught in the middle of the big accident on the first lap. I didn't have anywhere to go and we broke the front wing. Richard Buck made a good call and told me to stay inside but I was already on the grass. We pitted and from there on the car was oversteering a lot. We bent something on the front end in the accident. We had something unusual in the car and it wasn't something we had all weekend. We dialed the car back in towards the end of the race and made it a really good car, again. But we had already lost precious time and it was too late. It was a pleasure to see the improvement of the Toyota engine."

"This was a great race for the Panasonic/MCI team," said Gordon. "I had to pull into the grass on that first lap accident to avoid everyone. I used my off-road

racing experience; I'm pretty good in the dirt. We didn't qualify very well. We took advantage of traffic and we used it real well. We passed a lot of cars. The Toyota engine is getting more and more competitive each race. The car was great.. I have a lot of confidence that Toyota is going to be there; it's just a matter of time."

The next race for the MCI Racing Team/Arciero-Wells is at the 4.048-mile Road America road course in Elkhart Lake, Wis., Sunday, August 16, 1998. The race will air live on ESPN at 3:30 p.m. ET. Please check local listings.

"We tested well at Road America," added Papis.  "We showed that we are
strong and we can run in the top-ten or top-fifteen.  Hopefully we will
finish again in the top-ten.  It is where I got my first points in CART
racing (1996 -- ninth) and now I am looking for a top-six finish."                    

"The motor is more competitive and that's going to make us smile a little bit going into Elkhart," added Gordon.

Source: CART Online

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Max Papis