CHAMPCAR/CART: Mid Ohio Saturday Track Note

Miller Lite 200 FedEx Championship Series Track Notes - Saturday Lexington, OH (August 8, 1998) - Today's FedEx Championship Series action begins with a 75-minute practice session at 9 a.m. followed by the final round of qualifying at 12:45...

Miller Lite 200 FedEx Championship Series Track Notes - Saturday

Lexington, OH (August 8, 1998) -

Today's FedEx Championship Series action begins with a 75-minute practice session at 9 a.m. followed by the final round of qualifying at 12:45 p.m. BRYAN HERTA sits on the provisional pole with a track record qualifying lap of 122.977 mph (1:06.100), shattering his own record lap from 1997.

GREEN FLAG waves at 9 a.m. to start the morning session. Firestone engineers report a track temperature of 90 degrees F. and an ambient temperature of 76 degrees F. at the start of the session.

At 9:08 a.m., #10 HEARN spins at Turn 3 but continues on course and immediately pits his car.

At 9:10 a.m., ten minutes into the session, the fastest driver is #8X HERTA with a lap of 120.783 mph (1:07.301), followed by #12 VASSER (120.051 mph; 1:07.711) and #33 CARPENTIER (119.663 mph; 1:07.931).

At 9:19 a.m., #2 UNSER JR. spins at Turn 3 and continues on course to his pit area. The car sustains some wing damage while bouncing over rough ground.

At 9:20 a.m., 20 minutes into the session, the fastest driver is #1X ZANARDI with a lap of 121.745 mph (1:06.769), followed by #27 FRANCHITTI (121.226 mph; 1:07.055) and #8X HERTA (120.783 mph; 1:07.301).

At 9:30 a.m., 30 minutes into the session, the fastest driver is still #1X ZANARDI with a lap of 121.745 mph (1:06.769), followed by #27 FRANCHITTI (121.226 mph; 1:07.055) and #5 DE FERRAN (120.887 mph; 1:07.243).

RED FLAG waves at 9:35 a.m. after #18 BLUNDELL spins into the gravel pit at Turn 3 and stalls the car. CART safety workers tow BLUNDELL from the gravel pit and get the car back to the pit area.

GREEN FLAG waves at 9:39 a.m. to resume the practice session.

At 9:40 a.m., 40 minutes into the session, the fastest driver is #1X ZANARDI with a lap of 122.149 mph (1:06.588), followed by #27 FRANCHITTI (121.305 mph (1:07.011) and #5 DE FERRAN (120.887 mph; 1:07.243).

RED FLAG waves at 9:44 a.m. after #11 FITTIPALDI and #16 CASTRO-NEVES make side-to-side contact at Turn 3 and FITTIPALDI spins into the gravel pit. CASTRO-NEVES continues on course and pits his car. CART safety workers retrieve FITTIPALDI's car from the gravel pit and get the car restarted. FITTIPALDI then drives to his pit area.

GREEN FLAG waves at 9:48 a.m. to resume the practice session.

At 9:50 a.m., 50 minutes into the session, the fastest driver is still #1X ZANARDI with his earlier lap of 122.149 mph (1:06.588), followed by #99 MOORE (121.445 mph; 1:06.934) and #27 FRANCHITTI (121.305 mph; 1:07.011).

At 9:54 a.m., #16 CASTRO-NEVES spins at Turn 1A and continues on course. The car sustains some damage in the incident and CASTRO-NEVES immediately pits his car.

At 9:54 a.m., #16 CASTRO-NEVES spins at Turn 11 but continues on course to his pit.

At 10 a.m., one hour into the session, the fastest driver is still #1X ZANARDI with his earlier lap of 122.149 mph (1:06.588), followed by #12 VASSER (122.039 mph; 1:06.668) and #99 MOORE (121.445 mph; 1:06.934).

At 10:10 a.m., 70 minutes into the session, the fastest driver is now #8 HERTA with the fastest lap of the weekend with a 123.407 mph; 1:05.870, followed by #12 VASSER (122.708 mph; 1:06.245) and #99 MOORE (122.634 mph; 1:06.285).

CHECKERED FLAG waves at 10:15 a.m. with #8 HERTA the fastest driver with his earlier lap of 123.407 mph (1:05.870), followed by #18 BLUNDELL (122.875 mph; 1:06.155) and #12 VASSER (122.708 mph; 1:06.245).

At 10:16 a.m., as the field is completing the final lap, #16 CASTRO-NEVES spins off course at Turn 12 and makes light contact with the tire barrier. CART safety workers get the car back to the pit area.

FedEx Championship Series drivers introduced 29 different cars to the track in this morning's session with secondary cars utilized by #1X ZANARDI, #17X GUGELMIN, #20X PRUETT, #7X RAHAL, #8X HERTA, and #16X CASTRO-NEVES. There are nine drivers within one second of the top speed set by HERTA with 25 cars within two seconds of HERTA's fast lap. CART drivers logged 531 laps during this morning's session.

GREEN FLAG waves at 12:45 p.m. to start the final Group Onse qualifying session. Firestone engineers report a track temperature of 126 degrees F. and an ambient temperature of c91 degrees F. at the start of the session.

At 12:50 p.m., five minutes into the session, the fastest driver is #1X ZANARDI with a lap of 121.678 mph (1:06.806), followed by #3 RIBEIRO (121.026 mph; 1:06.548) and #7X RAHAL (121.752 mph; 1:06.765).

Also at 12:50 p.m., #26 TRACY and #98 JONES make side-to-side contact at Turn 3. TRACY briefly goes briefly off course while JONES continues on course. JONES loses a mirror in the process and pits his car for the crew to make repairs. JONES returns to the qualifying session several laps later.

At 12:55 p.m., ten minutes into the session, the fastest driver is still #1X ZANARDI with a lap of 122.274 mph (1:06.480), followed by #3 RIBEIRO (122.149 mph; 1:06.548) and #7X RAHAL (121.752 mph; 1:06.765).

At 1 p.m., 15 minutes into the session, the fastest drivers and speeds remain unchanged from the 12:55 p.m. report.

At 1:01 p.m., #24 GORDON spins at Turn 3 but continues on course to his pit area.

RED FLAG waves at 1:03 p.m. after #1X ZANARDI slides into the tire barrier at Turn 12. The driver is uninjured in the incident but the car sustains some slight damage to the nose and wing area. CART safety workers quickly tow the car back to the pit area.

GREEN FLAG waves at 1:07 p.m. to resume the Group One qualifying session.

At 1:09 p.m., #98 JONES stalls on the straight just past the start/finish line at the inside of the track.

At 1:10 p.m., the fastest driver is still #1X ZANARDI with his earlier lap of 122.274 mph (1:06.480), followed by #3 RIBEIRO (122.149 mph; 1:06.548) and #7X RAHAL (121.752; 1:06.765).

RED FLAG waves at 1:12 p.m. for CART safety workers to retrieve the stalled car of JONES.

GREEN FLAG waves at 1:14 p.m. to resume the Group One qualifying session.

CHECKERED FLAG waves at 1:15 p.m. at end the Group One session with #1X ZANARDI still the fastest driver with a lap of 122.274 mph (1:06.480), followed by #3 RIBEIRO (122.236 mph; 1:06.051) and #7X RAHAL (121.752 mph; 1:06.765).

At 1:16 p.m., and on the final lap, #34 SALLES pulls off course at Turn 9 and stalls the car. CART safety workers retrieve the car and return it to the pit area.

GREEN FLAG waves at 1:30 p.m. to start the Group Two qualifying session. Firestone engineers report a track temperature of 130 degrees F. and an ambient temperature of 96 degrees F. at the start of the Group Two session.

BLACK FLAG is shown at 1:31 p.m. to #27 FRANCHITTI for a pit road speed violation. FRANCHITTI pits immediately to comply with the Black Flag.

At 1:35 p.m., the fastest Group Two driver is #27 FRANCHITTI with a lap of 122.793 mph (1:06.199; first-fastest overall of the day), followed by #12 VASSER (122.751; 1:06.222; second-fastest overall) and #6 ANDRETTI (121.902 mph; 1:06.683; fifth-fastest overall).

RED FLAG waves at 1:36 p.m. after #33 CARPENTIER goes off course and makes hard contact with the tire barrier at Turn 11. The driver is uninjured in the incident but the car is too damaged to continue in the Group Two qualifying session.

GREEN FLAG waves at 1:43 p.m. to resume the Group two qualifying session.

At 1:45 p.m., the fastest Group Two drivers and speeds remain unchanged from the 1:35 p.m. report.

At 1:46 p.m., #18 BLUNDELL spins at Turn 3 and continues on course to his pit area.

At 1:48 p.m., #8 HERTA takes over the top spot of the weekend and breaks his track qualifying record set yesterday with a lap of 123.407 mph (1:05.870).

At 1:50 p.m., 20 minutes into the session, #8 HERTA is still the fastest with his earlier record lap of 123.407 (1:05.870), followed by #27 FRANCHITTI (122.793 mph; 1:06.199; second-fastest overall ), and #12 VASSER (122.751; 1:06.222; third-fastest overall).

At 1:55 p.m., 25 minutes into the session, the fastest driver is still #8 HERTA with his earlier lap of 123.407 mph (1:05.870), followed by #27 FRANCHITTI (122.907 mph; 1:06.138) and #12 VASSER (122.901 mph; 1:06.141).

At 1:56 p.m., #27 FRANCHITTI takes over the provisional pole with a lap of 123.722 mph (1:05.702), followed by #12 VASSER moving into the second-fastest slot with a lap of 123.474 mph (1:05.834).

At 1:59 p.m., #27 FRANCHITTI ups his top speed lap to 123.766 mph (1:05.679).

Also at 1:59 p.m., #8 HERTA slides off course at Turn 9. CART safety workers pull the car to safety to allow the qualifying session to stay under Green Flag conditions.

CHECKERED FLAG waves at 2 p.m. ending the Group Two qualifying session with #27 FRANCHITTI winning the pole for Sunday's Miller Lite 200 with his tenth lap in the session at a speed of 123.766 mph (1:05.679), followed by #12 VASSER (123.474 mph; 1:05.834). Third on the grid goes to #8 HERTA with a speed of 123.420 mph (1:05.683).

DARIO FRANCHITTI wins the Marlboro Pole award for the Miller Lite 200 and collects $10,000 for the effort. Should FRANCHITTI go on to win the race he will collect the Marlboro Rollover Bonus of $300,000. This is FRANCHITTI's third pole of the 1998 FedEx Championship series season and the fourth of his career. FRANCHITTI also won the pole at Brazil and Toronto. This also represents FRANCHITTI's fourth front-row start in the last five races.

JIMMY VASSER starts second in tomorrow's Miller Lite 200. This is VASSER's fifth front-row start of the season and his third front-row start in the last four races.

BRYAN HERTA will start third tomorrow. This is HERTA's ninth top-seven start in the 13 events so far in the 1998 FedEx Championship Series season. HERTA has also qualified among the top five in five of the last six races.

Secondary cars were utilized by #17X GUGLEMIN, #20X PRUETT, #1X ZANARDI, #7X RAHAL, #16X CASTRO-NEVES, and #98X JONES. CART drivers logged 254 laps during the final qualifying session of the weekend. The starting grid has the top 15 cars within one second of the record pole winning lap of DARIO FRANCHITTI.

Forsythe Racing has announced that the secondary car will be used for PATRICK CARPENTIER in tomorrow's Miller Lite 200. CARPENTIER damaged his primary car in an incident in today's qualifying session.

Driver quotes from the top three qualifiers from today's sessions follow.

DARIO FRANCHITTI, KOOL Reynard Honda: "We were getting progressively quicker through the whole session, and we were able to make it happen on the last lap. I didn't really think we had the answer, because Bryan [Herta] had been pretty quick here, but we were able to put two good laps together and that was good enough. From every race you learn something. What you realize is that you have to hit everything right to win a race. It [the pole] makes my job a little bit easier because I'm starting at the front."

JIMMY VASSER, Target Reynard Honda: "This morning we made changes to the race car that put us in a good direction. The car was pretty good throughout qualifying, then we made a front damper adjustment that put us in the right direction. I'm pretty happy to be on the front row. I would have liked to have a shot at that Marlboro money that Dario's going to get another shot at. It seems like the three of us are the guys who get most of the shots at that. Bryan and I will make sure tomorrow that he doesn't get it (laughing). Right Bryan?

BRYAN HERTA, Shell Reynard Ford: "Obviously, a lot happened at the end [of the session]. It was a pretty good day overall. I got a good lap in on the first set of tires, and I had a couple of good laps teed up at the end, but I'd make a mistake and lose them. Obviously, I knew what was going on. The guys were talking to me on the radio. I gave it everything I had, we just didn't get it done today. (On his last lap spin) I felt it was coming for about three and a half laps. I'm not happy about it at all, but you've still got to put it into perspective. We're third on the grid and we were quickest in practice. The change we made didn't work, but I still feel good about the car and I still feel good about the weekend. It's still better to be on the pole. You get a point, and the Marlboro bonus award isn't small change. That's worth going for, too. If it rains, it's probably bad for us. We're starting toward the front and we have a good car in the dry. I would prefer it to be dry, but if it does rain, it's the same for everybody."

Source: CART Online

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series IndyCar