CHAMPCAR/CART: Milwaukee Monday track notes

WEST ALLIS, Wis. -- Good morning from cloudy but hopeful Milwaukee, Wisconsin for what may become Race Day with the running of the Miller Lite 225! The rains that halted yesterday's competition ungraciously hung around for an encore performance...

WEST ALLIS, Wis. -- Good morning from cloudy but hopeful Milwaukee, Wisconsin for what may become Race Day with the running of the Miller Lite 225! The rains that halted yesterday's competition ungraciously hung around for an encore performance this morning, producing a wet track and some good fishing holes in the turn aprons. But the rains have halted as of 8 a.m., and the jet blowers are back at work, circling the Milwaukee Mile, and CART officials are hopeful that the FedEx Championship Series can produce a race today. And if any racing series in the world can pull it off, it would be the teams and officials of CART. We will keep you updated as often as possible from the track, so stay tuned to CART.com for the progress of the track-drying process.

A statistical evaluation of the past few years' races may give some insight as to who may climb to the top step of the podium after the Checkered Flag today. First of all, the winner of the Milwaukee event has come from the third row four of the last five years, with the front row qualifiers failing to win the race since 1989, when Rick Mears pulled off the win from the pole. The race winner has averaged a 6th-place start over the last 10 years. The Milwaukee race is certainly becoming a tighter race as the storied history of the Milwaukee Mile marches on. In the last five years, the margin of victory averages less than three seconds, compared to an average victory margin of just under 12 seconds over the first half of the 1990's. The track is a tight 1.032-mile, nearly flat-banked oval that still produces speeds in excess of 180-190 mph. Yet the skill of the Champ Car drivers is evidenced by the fact that over the last five years, an average of only 2.2 cars have retired from the Miller Lite race due to contact. The Yellow has come out an average of just under five times each race in the 1990s, with the first Caution appearing by the fifth lap over the last five years. In fact, three of the last five years, the Milwaukee race has started with a Yellow Flag. And if the averages hold up, there should be 21 cars running at the end of the Miller Lite 225. You can be sure the Crew Chiefs of the FedEx Championship Series have weighed the stats into today's race plan.

GREEN FLAG waves at 12:30 p.m. to start the 15-minute warm-up session. Firestone engineers report a track temperature of 74 degrees F. and an ambient temperature of 64 degrees F. at the start of the session.

YELLOW FLAG waves at 12:32 p.m. after #5X NAKANO breaks traction in Turn 3 and makes hard contact against the outside wall with the rear of the car. The car comes to a stop at the top of the track.

At 12:40 p.m., 10 minutes into the session and under the Yellow Flag, the fastest driver is #1 MONTOYA with a lap of 158.047 mph (23.507 seconds), followed by #7 PAPIS (155.774 mph; 23.850 seconds) and #8 BRACK (157.564 mph; 23.576 seconds).

CART Race Control announces that 12 minutes will be added to the end of the session to allow the competitors more time than will be available because of the delay precipitated by the NAKANO incident.

GREEN FLAG waves at 12:46 p.m. to resume the session.

At 12:50 p.m., 20 minutes into the session, the fastest driver is now #17 GUGELMIN with a lap of 165.554 mph (22.441 seconds), followed by #8 BRACK (165.061 mph; 22.508 seconds) and #3 CASTRONEVES (163.983 mph; 22.656 seconds).

CHECKERED FLAG waves at 12:57 p.m. to end the session with the fastest driver still #17 GUGELMIN with a lap of 165.798 mph (22.408 seconds), followed by #8 BRACK (165.061 mph; 22.508 seconds) and #3 CASTRONEVES (165.017 mph; 22.514 seconds). FedEx Championship Series drivers introduced 23 different cars to the track in this final practice with secondary cars utilized by #20X MORENO, #6X ANDRETTI, #18X BLUNDELL, #97X DA MATTA, #5X NAKANO, and #12X VASSER. VASSER only completed four laps in the session while most of the leaders of the session turned 23 to 28 laps. The team subsequently decides to use the secondary #1X car of MONTOYA for #12 VASSER to drive in today's race.

Walker Racing rookie SHINJI NAKANO was awake and alert at the scene of the incident, according to Dr. Terry Trammell of the CART Safety Team. Trammell said Nakano was transported to the CART Medical Facility as a precaution. According to Trammell, NAKANO had no injuries and will be released shortly. Trammell said NAKANO has been cleared to drive in today's Miller Lite 225.

At 12:45 p.m., the command "Gentlemen, Start Your Engines!" is given by Honorary Starter Robin Yount.

At 12:46 p.m., the CART Pace Car begins to roll with the field of 23 cars in tow for the first of four pace laps.

GREEN FLAG waves at 12:50 p.m. to finally start the Miller Lite 225! #1 MONTOYA fights off an attack on the bottom of the track from #32 CARPENTIER and snares the lead into Turn 1.

#1 MONTOYA leads the first lap by .662 seconds over #27 FRANCHITTI, #32 CARPENTIER, #2 DE FERRAN, and #26 TRACY.

On Lap 10, the running order is #1 MONTOYA leading by .963 seconds over #27 FRANCHITTI, followed by #32 CARPENTIER, #2 DE FERRAN, and #26 TRACY. #6 ANDRETTI has jumped from 10th to 6th at this point of the race.

On Lap 20, the running order is #1 MONTOYA leading by 3.146 seconds over #27 FRANCHITTI, followed by #32 CARPENTIER, #2 DE FERRAN, and #26 TRACY. The 2nd to 5th place cars have become bottled up behind the lapped car of #5 NAKANO.

On Lap 22, #32 CARPENTIER passes #27 FRANCHITTI to take over 2nd place.

On Lap 25, #6 ANDRETTI passes #26 TRACY at the Start/Finish line to take over 5th place.

YELLOW FLAG waves on Lap 27 after #5 NAKANO spins off of Turn 4 and broadslides down the front stretch before regaining control and continuing on course with a flat right rear tire. Of the lead lap cars, #8 BRACK, #40 FERNANDEZ, #97 DA MATTA, #20 MORENO, #3 CASTRONEVES, #12 VASSER and #18 BLUNDELL pit as they were all on the tail-end of the lead lap.

GREEN FLAG waves on Lap 30 to resume the race with the top five positions unchanged.

On Lap 40, the running order is #1 MONTOYA leading by .647 seconds over #32 CARPENTIER, followed by #27 FRANCHITTI, #2 DE FERRAN, and #6 ANDRETTI.

On Lap 50, the running order is #1 MONTOYA leading by .957 seconds over #32 CARPENTIER, followed by #27 FRANCHITTI, #2 DE FERRAN, and #6 ANDRETTI.

On Lap 60, the running order is #1 MONTOYA leading by .508 seconds over #32 CARPENTIER, followed by #27 FRANCHITTI, #2 DE FERRAN, and #6 ANDRETTI.

On Lap 66, #2 DE FERRAN passes #27 FRANCHITTI on the backstraight to take over 3rd.

On Lap 70, the running order is #1 MONTOYA leading by .450 seconds over #32 CARPENTIER, followed by #2 DE FERRAN, #27 FRANCHITTI, and #6 ANDRETTI.

On Lap 76, #2 DE FERRAN pits and drops from 3rd to 20th after returning to the race.

On Lap 77, # 6 ANDRETTI falls from 5th to 19th, while #27 FRANCHITTI pits and falls from 4th to 18th.

On Lap 80, the running order is #1 MONTOYA leading by .548 seconds over #32 CARPENTIER, followed by #17 GUGELMIN, #7 PAPIS, and #20 MORENO.

On Lap 82, #32 CARPENTIER pits and gives up 2nd place.

On Lap 85, #1 MONTOYA pits and drops from 1st to 11th.

On Lap 90, the running order is #20 MORENO leading by 3.988 seconds over #12 VASSER, followed by #3 CASTRONEVES, #8 BRACK, and #40 FERNANDEZ.

On Lap 100, the running order is #20 MORENO leading by 3.109 seconds over #12 VASSER, followed by #3 CASTRONEVES, #8 BRACK, and #40 FERNANDEZ.

On Lap 102, #1 MONTOYA passes #6 ANDRETTI to take over 10th spot, which is the lead position of the "in-pit-sequence" cars.

On Lap 103, #3 CASTRONEVES pits and falls from 3rd to 11th.

On Lap 109, #8 BRACK passes #20 MORENO to take over 1st place. #40 FERNANDEZ then passes #20 MORENO to take 2nd.

On Lap 110, #20 MORENO pits and drops from 3rd to 17th.

On Lap 111, #33 TAGLIANI pits and a fire breaks out while the crew is refueling the car. The driver exits the car as CART safety workers quickly pour water all over the pit which extinguishes the fire. TAGLIANI subsequently retires from the race.

On Lap 113, #40 FERNANDEZ pits and drops from 2nd to 11th.

On Lap 114, leader #8 BRACK pits and has trouble getting back out of the pits. BRACK returns to the race in 17th.

On Lap 130, the running order is #1 MONTOYA leading, followed by #6 ANDRETTI, #32 CARPENTIER, #2 DE FERRAN, and #26 TRACY.

On Lap 140, the running order is #1 MONTOYA leading by 1.777 seconds, followed by #6 ANDRETTI, #32 CARPENTIER, #2 DE FERRAN, and #26 TRACY.

On Lap 150, the running order is #1 MONTOYA leading by 2.226 seconds, followed by #6 ANDRETTI, #32 CARPENTIER, #2 DE FERRAN, and #26 TRACY.

On Lap 153, #6 ANDRETTI pits and falls from 2nd to 15th while #2 DE FERRAN also pits and falls from 4th to 17th.

On Lap 157, #27 FRANCITTI pits.

On Lap 159, #11 FITTIPALDI pits.

On Lap 160, the running order is #1 MONTOYA leading, followed by #32 CARPENTIER, #26 TRACY, #7 PAPIS, and #17 GUGELMIN.

BLACK FLAG is shown on Lap 164 to #26 TRACY for a Pit Road safety violation.

On Lap 165, #26 TRACY pits to comply with the Black Flag drive thru penalty.

On Lap 170, #1 MONTOYA pits and gives up the lead.

On Lap 180, the running order is #40 FERNANDEZ leading by 12.793 seconds, followed by #12 VASSER, #1 MONTOYA, #6 ANDRETTI, and #20 MORENO.

On Lap 182, #12 VASSER pits and drops from 3rd to 9th.

YELLOW FLAG waves on Lap 184 after #34 MARQUES makes hard contact against the outside wall with the right side of the car. The driver exits the car under his own power, but the car is retired from the race due to contact.

On Lap 187, leader #40 FERNANDEZ pits along with #8 BRACK and #20 MORENO. The drivers give up 1st, 5th, and 6th place, but return to the race in 5th, 6th, and 7th, respectively.

On Lap 190 and under the Yellow Flag, the running order is #1 MONTOYA leading, followed by #6 ANDRETTI, #2 DE FERRAN, #32 CARPENTIER, and #40 FERNANDEZ.

GREEN FLAG waves on Lap 194 to resume the race.

On Lap 196, #40 FERNANDEZ slides up the track in Turn 1 and 2, regains control, but falls from 5th to 10th spot.

On Lap 200, the running order is #1 MONTOYA leading by 3.508 seconds, followed by #6 ANDRETTI, #2 DE FERRAN, #32 CARPENTIER, and #8 BRACK.

On Lap 210, the running order is #1 MONTOYA leading by 5.063 seconds, followed by #6 ANDRETTI, #2 DE FERRAN, #32 CARPENTIER, and #8 BRACK.

On Lap 218, #2 DE FERRAN pits and falls from 3rd to 12th.

On Lap 220, the running order is #1 MONTOYA leading by 2.889 seconds over #6 ANDRETTI, #32 CARPENTIER, #8 BRACK, and #20 MORENO.

On Lap 222, the running order is #1 MONTOYA leading by 2.319 seconds over #6 ANDRETTI, #32 CARPENTIER, #8 BRACK, and #20 MORENO.

On Lap 223, the running order is #1 MONTOYA leading by 1.906 seconds over #6 ANDRETTI, #32 CARPENTIER, #8 BRACK, and #20 MORENO.

WHITE FLAG waves on Lap 224 with the running order is #1 MONTOYA leading by 1.587 seconds over #6 ANDRETTI, #32 CARPENTIER, #8 BRACK, and #20 MORENO.

CHECKERED FLAG waves for the winner of the Miller Lite 225, JUAN MONTOYA! MONTOYA takes the victory in his Target Chip Ganassi Racing Toyota Lola by 1.015 seconds. MONTOYA wins his first victory of the season and the eighth of his CART career. MONTOYA logs the first victory in CART history for engine manufacturer Toyota. The win is also the first by a U.S.-designed and built engine since Mike Mosley won here 25 years ago in a Gurney-Chevrolet. MONTOYA is also the ninth driver in history to follow a win in the Indianapolis 500 with a win at Milwaukee; the last to do it was Al Unser Jr. in 1994. MONTOYA is now tied for ninth on all-time CART wins with teammate JIMMY VASSER. MONTOYA also led a race high 179 laps in today's victory.

MICHAEL ANDRETTI comes home 2nd today in his Big Kmart Texaco Havoline Ford/Lola. This is ANDRETTI's second podium of the season, the other coming at Motegi, Japan. This is also ANDRETTI's 86th podium of his career.

PATRICK CARPENTIER gives Players a 3rd-place finish today in his Forsythe Racing Ford/Reynard. This is the Canadian's season-best finish as he previously finished 5th at Homestead. This is also CARPENTIER's third career podium. CARPENTIER finished on the podium at St. Louis and Vancouver.

PAUL TRACY hangs onto the points lead for the FedEx Championship Series Championship with 59 points, but ROBERTO MORENO is now in 2nd with 52, followed by VASSER with 48, ANDRETTI with 44, and MONTOYA with 44.

MONTOYA took 1 hour, 37 minutes, and 38.526 seconds to win today's race with an average speed 142.684 mph. There were 19 cars running at the end of the race with 10 cars on the lead lap. The Yellow Flag flew twice for a total of 15 laps. There were four different leaders with MONTOYA leading the most laps with 179, followed by MORENO with 23, FERNANDEZ with 16, and BRACK with 7.

This makes six different winners in six races in the FedEx Championship Series 2000 season.

Today represents the fastest race in Champ Car history at the Milwaukee Mile, with MONTOYA's average speed of 142.684 mph. The previous record was 142.448 mph, set by MICHAEL ANDRETTI in 1992.

There were an estimated 25,000 avid Champ Car fans present for today's postponed Miller Lite 225, according to Milwaukee Mile officials.

Quotes from today's top three finishers follow:

JUAN MONTOYA: "I'm really happy. We've been very unlucky in the last few races. I think it was very good to win for Toyota and Target. I'm really glad to win for Toyota, because they've worked so hard. There's so many people working hard for Toyota and we should have won before now. We had the speed all year, but we finally got to the end. There's 14 races left and last year I had a huge lead and then going into the last race I was actually behind. We need to make consistent points and we'll see what happens. The win had to come sooner or later. We were leading more than 50 percent of the laps. Today, we finally did it."

MICHAEL ANDRETTI: "It was a good day. My car was half-decent, not perfect. All the passing for me was done at the start and in the pits. The Kmart/Texaco/Havoline crew did a great job in the pits all day. I was actually able to pass Juan in the pits, but he got me back in traffic. With about five laps to go he got caught in traffic and I was driving as fast as I could, but I just ran out of laps. If there were ten laps to go, it would have been interesting."

(On the fans coming out on Monday) "I was impressed big time. It looked like there were almost as many people here today as there were yesterday. I think that was very impressive. We have some real loyal CART fans here in Milwaukee."

PATRICK CARPENTIER: "I'm very happy. Player's did a great job today. At the end my car was a bit loose and I couldn't push hard. Early on, I think we were running about the same speed as Juan. I was just trying to keep up with him, but the car got loose later on. But we've got a good package and I look forward to being up here a lot more this year."

-CART-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Al Unser Jr. , Rick Mears , Chip Ganassi
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing