CHAMPCAR/CART: Michigan Team PRG preview

BROOKLYN, Mich. - For the second consecutive race, Luiz Garcia Jr. will make his first appearance in a Champ Car. Last week it was Toronto, this week the famed Michigan Speedway, situated in the Irish Hills of central Michigan. Once again, ...

BROOKLYN, Mich. - For the second consecutive race, Luiz Garcia Jr. will make his first appearance in a Champ Car. Last week it was Toronto, this week the famed Michigan Speedway, situated in the Irish Hills of central Michigan.

Once again, Garcia is riding a wave of optimism and momentum as he scored for the third time this season with a career-tying best of 12th place at the Exhibition Place street circuit. The plucky Brazilian was vying for 11th, however brake problems forced Garcia to settle for 12th. Still, it was an encouraging run for Garcia as he had his best race of the season and recorded the 13th fastest time of the race.

It was a good ending to a trying weekend as Garcia various problems in practice and qualifying forced him to switch from the year-old Reynard, to the 2000 Reynard/Mercedes-Benz. It was also the second time Garcia was the highest finishing Mercedes-Benz powered racer, as he also turned the trick in Portland.

That, coupled with a good run at Cleveland, in which he could have scored more points is the momentum Garcia has for a promising 500 miles, the first time he will attempt to race that distance. He has raced at the Michigan Speedway once, in 1998, in Indy Lights, where he finished 15th.

Garcia will drive the #25 Hollwyood-Embratel-Telegate-Reynard/Mercedes-Benz on Friday, when practice for the Michigan 500 begins.

Notes

· Garcia is one of nine Brazilian drivers in the CART FedEx Championship.

· This season is Garcia's second in the CART FedEx Championship.

· His best finish in a CART race was 12th at Long Beach, Brazil, and Toronto this year.

· He scored his first-ever FedEx Championship point at Long Beach.

· The Michigan 500 will be Garcia's 21st CART start.

· Garcia has won $89,500 in prize money this year.

· Total time span from the Project Racing Group's founding to its first race was less than two months.

· So far, Garcia has completed a total of 915 out of 1,399 laps run this season.

· This will be the 11th start for the Project Racing Group in the FedEx Championship Series.

Quotes

"Racing at the Michigan Speedway in a Champ Car will be quite an exciting experience for me, and it's something I regret that I couldn't do last season. The experience certainly would have been useful, but I'm not afraid of the challenge. I've raced on super speedways in Indy Lights before, but this will be a big test for me. I think I can do well and score some points, and having come off a point-paying finish at Toronto is good for momentum. It's a long race so a lot of us will pace ourselves and wait until the second half of the race." - Luiz Garcia Jr., Driver

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Luiz Garcia