CHAMPCAR/CART: Mid-Ohio preview

DUBLIN, Ohio (July 24, 2000) - The CART FedEx Championship Series will return to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio, for the Miller Lite 200, August 10-13. The stop is Round 13 on the 20-event CART season schedule. The 2000 race...

DUBLIN, Ohio (July 24, 2000) - The CART FedEx Championship Series will return to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio, for the Miller Lite 200, August 10-13. The stop is Round 13 on the 20-event CART season schedule.

The 2000 race marks the 18th consecutive year and 19th overall that the FedEx Championship Series will run at the world-renowned 13-turn, 2.25-mile permanent road course (no event in 1981 and 1982). Last year, Dario Franchitti led from the pole for the first 54 laps before losing the lead to Team KOOL Green teammate Paul Tracy on lap 55. Tracy turned the lead over on the very next lap to eventual CART Champion Juan Montoya, who dominated the rest of the race. Tracy held on for second and Franchitti finished third.

The world's top open-wheel racers are expected to return to the Miller Lite 200 including current series points leader and two-time Miller Lite 200 winner Michael Andretti and defending race winner Montoya. Kenny Brack, Patrick Carpentier, Gil de Ferran and 1998 Miller Lite 200 victor Adrian Fernandez are scheduled to race, as are Roberto Moreno, Cristiano da Matta, Max Papis, Paul Tracy and Jimmy Vasser. They will join a field of 25 entrants for the 83-lap, 187.40-mile race.

The FedEx Championship Series has been very competitive this year, with eight different drivers claiming victory through the first eleven races. Only Andretti, de Ferran and Montoya have been multiple winners in 2000, with two checkered flags each. The Miller Lite 200 could be anyone's race, as only Andretti, Fernandez and Montoya have experience atop the Mid-Ohio podium.

The Miller Lite 200 will welcome the return of the Dayton Indy Lights Championship to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. The Dayton Indy Lights Championship is CART's top-level development series. The last Indy Lights race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course occurred in 1994, when Andre Ribeiro claimed victory over runner-up Eddie Lawson and third-place finisher Pedro Chavez. This year, drivers such as points leader Jason Bright, Townsend Bell, Scott Dixon, Felipe Giaffone and Casey Mears will give fans a glimpse of CART's future stars. The Mid-Ohio race is Round Seven of 12 on the Dayton Indy Lights Championship schedule.

In addition to the Dayton Indy Lights Championship, the Barber Dodge Pro Series and the American City Racing League will provide action during the Miller Lite 200 weekend.

New for this year's race is a 60-minute, question-and-answer Miller Lite 200 Fan Forum featuring some of the biggest names in open-wheel racing. On Friday, from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., spectators will have the opportunity to speak with Team Rahal owner and interim CART President and CEO Bobby Rahal, Team KOOL Green owner Barry Green, former CART champ Rick Mears, CART broadcasters Paul Page and Parker Johnstone, and CART President of Racing Hal Whiteford (List may be scheduled to change). The forum is open to all Weekend General Admission and Friday General Admission ticket holders, and is scheduled for Mid-Ohio's Championship Row.

Additionally, autograph seekers will have their chance to get their favorite drivers' signatures during the All-CART Driver Autograph Session, on Saturday from 4:45 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Access will be guaranteed to Mid-Ohio All Access Season Pass holders and the first 1,000 people who purchase a Deluxe Ticket.

The Miller Lite 200 weekend party starts at Dave & Busters in Hilliard, Ohio, on Wednesday, August 9, from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Fans can meet Team Rahal drivers Kenny Brack and Max Papis, and see an official Team Rahal transporter and show car. The CART FanFest, which features an actual Champ Car, a high performance safety car, a video game wall and real race radio transmissions, will also be on display. A Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course booth will offer fans coupons and event information for the Miller Lite 200. QFM96 (WLVQ-FM, Columbus) will be on-site with a live remote. Dave & Busters is located at 3665 Park Mill Run Drive in Hilliard.

For tickets to the Miller Lite 200, call 1-800-MID-OHIO or (419) 884-4000, Monday-Friday, or go online at www.midohio.com <http://www.midohio.com>. Tickets are available for 10 percent off on all orders received by Friday, August 3, at 5:00 p.m.

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Felipe Giaffone , Casey Mears , Gil de Ferran , Michael Andretti , Jimmy Vasser , Max Papis , Roberto Moreno , Bobby Rahal , Patrick Carpentier , Paul Tracy , Dario Franchitti , Scott Dixon , Kenny Brack , Townsend Bell , Rick Mears , Barry Green , Eddie Lawson