LEXINGTON, Ohio (August 14, 1999) - On a day when rain-soaked conditions kept all but a handful of cars off the race track, Team KOOL Green's Dario Franchitti maintained the pole position for Sunday's Miller Lite 200 at the Mid-Ohio ...
LEXINGTON, Ohio (August 14, 1999) - On a day when rain-soaked conditions kept all but a handful of cars off the race track, Team KOOL Green's Dario Franchitti maintained the pole position for Sunday's Miller Lite 200 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course (3:30 p.m. ET, one-hour tape delay, ESPN) Franchitti's record-setting lap of 124.394 miles per hour (1 minute, 5.347 seconds), recorded during provisional qualifying Friday, stood up in the day-long mist to bring Franchitti his first pole of the season. It was the seventh pole of his career and the PPG Cup point he earned for the accomplishment extended his championship lead over Juan Montoya (Target Honda Reynard) to 137-131 entering Sunday's 14th round of the title chase. Montoya qualified eighth at 122.840 mph (1:06.174). Only four drivers took to the track during qualifying Saturday, and none improved their qualifying times from Friday. Bryan Herta (Shell Ford Reynard) qualified second at 123.493 mph (1:05.824). The effort is a season best, improving on third at Long Beach. Paul Tracy (KOOL Honda Reynard) qualified third at 123.336 mph (1:05.908). He moved from fourth to third on the provisional grid after the car driven by Mark Blundell (Motorola PacWest Mercedes) failed post-qualifying technical inspection Friday afternoon. Rounding out the top five starters were Tony Kanaan (McDonald's Championship Racing Team Honda Reynard), who qualified fourth at 123.190 mph (1:05.986), and Jimmy Vasser (Target Honda Reynard), who was fifth at 122.994 mph (1:06.091). The top 10 drivers were separated by 1.005 seconds. In an effort to reward the fans who braved Saturday's inclement weather, CART, in conjunction with its drivers, set up an impromptu autograph session. All the drivers competing in Sunday's Miller Lite 200 were available for autographs and photographs at their respective team hospitality transporters following final qualifying. The session was scheduled for a half-hour, but was extended to an hour to accommodate the large amount of fans that took advantage of the opportunity. "It was terrific to meet as many fans as we did today," said Scott Pruett (Pioneer/MCI WorldCom Toyota Reynard), president of the Championship Drivers Association. "We felt bad about the weather. It's great to get the opportunity to reach out to the people in the paddock, and it's great that so many of them came on short notice." DARIO FRANCHITTI, KOOL Honda Reynard: "We don't want a repeat of last year [when Franchitti exited on the opening lap due to contact with Bryan Herta and Jimmy Vasser]. We want to get the race over with. It's very important to finish here. We haven't even discussed race strategy yet, but obviously, we want to keep doing what we've been doing. The team is working very well together, and the goal is to score as many points as you can. If that means winning races, so much the better."
BRYAN HERTA, Shell Ford Reynard: "Obviously, starting toward the front is a big advantage if it's raining or if it's dry. I'm pretty happy with the car. We're starting to get things turned around from earlier in the season, and we're looking forward to a good finish. [Regarding last year's incident of opening-lap contact with polesitter Dario Franchitti] Dario's not a guy I worry about racing with. We'll probably do the same thing all over again but get it right this time."
PAUL TRACY, KOOL Honda Reynard: "I really feel that we didn't show the full potential of the car yesterday. I locked up in the keyhole on my quick lap and lost a couple of tenths [seconds]. I'm pretty happy with the KOOL car. Both Dario and I felt that we didn't need to go out [in the rain] and risk damaging our primary cars. So I'm very happy, and I hope we can go out tomorrow and have a good strong finish." * Dario Franchitti (KOOL Honda Reynard) has qualified on the front row for 11 of his last 17 FedEx Championship Series starts on road or street courses, dating to last year's outside pole at Portland.
* Bryan Herta (Shell Ford Reynard), who will start second, has qualified third or better for each of his past three starts at Mid-Ohio, including a pole in 1997 and a third-place effort last year.
* By starting Sunday's Miller Lite 200, Jimmy Vasser (Target Honda Reynard) will move into sixth place on the CART consecutive starts list, with 100. Vasser's streak began at Laguna Seca in 1993. His 100th straight start will move him past Rick Mears, who made 99 consecutive starts from 1986 to 1992.
Qualifying for the Miller Lite 200 will air 8 p.m. ET Saturday and 12 a.m. Sunday (late Saturday) on ESPN2. CART 2Day airs 11 a.m. ET Sunday on ESPN2, with ESPN's tape delayed race broadcast beginning at 3:30 p.m. ET.
FedEx Championship Series Race No. 14 Miller Lite 200 Lexington, Ohio Starting Line Up August 14, 1999 Results courtesy of OMEGA Timing
Row Pos Car Driver Residence (Nation) Time Speed Sponsor(Car)
--- --- --- --------------- ----------------------------------- ------ ------- 1 1 27 Dario Franchitt Pompano Beach, Florida (SCO) 65.347 124.394 KOOL (Honda/RI/F) 2 8 Bryan Herta Valencia, California (USA) 65.824 123.493 Shell (Ford Cos/RI/F) 2 3 26 Paul Tracy Las Vegas, Nevada (CAN) 65.908 123.336 KOOL (Honda/RI/F) 4 44 Tony Kanaan Miami, Florida (BRA) 65.986 123.190 McDonald's Championship Racing (Honda/RI/F) 3 5 12 Jimmy Vasser Las Vegas, Nevada (USA) 66.091 122.994 Target Honda (Honda/RI/F) 6 5 Gil de Ferran Fort Lauderdale, Florida (BRA) 66.133 122.916 Valvoline/Cummins Special (Honda/RI/G) 4 7 9 Helio Castro-Ne Sao Paulo, Brazil (BRA) 66.137 122.909 Hogan Motor Leasing, Inc (Mercedes/LT/F) 8 4 Juan Montoya Bogota, Colombia (COL) 66.174 122.840 Target Honda (Honda/RI/F) 5 9 7 Max Papis Miami Beach, Florida (ITA) 66.316 122.577 Miller Lite (Ford Cos/RI/F) 10 22 Robby Gordon Orange, California (USA) 66.352 122.510 Johns Manville/Panasonic/Menard (Toyota/SW/F) 6 11 6 Michael Andrett Nazareth, Pennsylvania (USA) 66.463 122.306 Kmart/Texaco/Havoline Ford-Cosw (Ford Cos/SW/F) 12 10 Richie Hearn Henderson, Nevada (USA) 66.557 122.133 Budweiser (Toyota/RI/F) 7 13 71 Memo Gidley San Rafael, California (USA) 66.578 122.094 Payton Coyne Racing (Ford Cos/LT/F) 14 25 Cristiano da Ma Miami, Florida (BRA) 66.645 121.972 MCI WorldCom Toyota Reynard (Toyota/RI/F) 8 15 20 Jan Magnussen Gainesville, Georgia (DEN) 66.857 121.585 Visteon Patrick Racing (Ford Cos/RI/F) 16 36 Gualter Salles Miami, Florida (BRA) 66.889 121.527 AAR Denso/Castrol Toyota Eagle (Toyota/EA/G) 9 17 17 Mauricio Gugelm Coral Gables, Florida (BRA) 66.930 121.452 Hollywood PacWest Mercedes-Benz (Mercedes/RI/F) 18 19 Michel Jourdain Mexico City, Mexico (MEX) 66.999 121.327 The Herdez/Viva Mexico! Car (Ford Cos/LT/F) 10 19 11 Roberto Moreno Weston, Florida (BRA) 67.004 121.318 Big K-Mart Ford-Cosworth Swift (Ford Cos/SW/F) 20 24 Scott Pruett Lake Tahoe, Nevada (USA) 67.007 121.313 Pioneer/MCI WorldCom Toyota Rey (Toyota/RI/F) 11 21 40 PJ Jones Scottsdale, Arizona (USA) 67.237 120.898 Tecate/Quaker State/Patrick Rac (Ford Cos/RI/F) 22 2 Al Unser Jr. Albuquerque, New Mexico (USA) 67.292 120.799 99 Marlboro Mercedes Lola (Mercedes/LT/G) 12 23 15 Naoki Hattori Indianapolis, Indiana (JPN) 67.300 120.785 Alpine (Honda/RI/G) 24 21 Luiz Garcia Jr. Brasilia, Brazil (BRA) 68.040 119.471 Hogan Motor Leasing, Inc. (Mercedes/RI/F) 13 25 99 Greg Moore Maple Ridge, British Columbia (CAN) 68.086 119.390 Player's/Indeck (Mercedes/RI/F) 26 18 Mark Blundell Scottsdale, Arizona (ENG) no time 0.000 Motorola PacWest Mercedes-Benz (Mercedes/RI/F) Chassis Legend: PC=Penske, RI=Reynard, SW=Swift, LT=Lola, EA=Eagle Engine Legend: Ford Cos=99 Ford Cosworth, Honda=Honda Turbo V8, Mercedes=Mercedes-Benz E3, Toyota =Toyota Tire Legend: F=Firestone Firehawk, G=Goodyear Eagle Track Length: 2.258 miles Track Type: Road Lap Record: August 13, 1999 Dario Franchitti 65.347 seconds 124.394 mph Race Record: August 14, 1994 Al Unser Jr. 1:40:59.436 110.770 mph Page created: August 14 1999 14:25:44 (C) 1999 Swiss Timing Ltd. - All rights reserved