CHAMPCAR/CART: Milwaukee post-race notes

Miller Lite 200 Notebook Milwaukee, WI (May 31, 1998) -- Sunday's Miller Lite 200 yielded career-best finishes for two of the rising stars on the FedEx Championship Series circuit, as well as a season best for the most experienced driver on the...

Miller Lite 200 Notebook

Milwaukee, WI (May 31, 1998) -- Sunday's Miller Lite 200 yielded career-best finishes for two of the rising stars on the FedEx Championship Series circuit, as well as a season best for the most experienced driver on the tour. The career-best performances were provided by rookie Helio Castro-Neves (Alumax Reynard Mercedes), who finished second, and Richie Hearn (Budweiser/Ralphs Swift Ford), who finished sixth. Castro-Neves topped his previous best of seventh last week at Gateway while Hearn topped his career-high of seventh at Rio three weeks ago. Veteran Bobby Rahal (Miller Lite Reynard Ford), who leads CART's all-time career list with 252 starts, posted a season-best with his fifth place effort ... Sunday's race featured seven different leaders, one off the season high of eight previously established at Long Beach. The inaugural Budweiser 500 at Twin Ring Motegi, Japan also featured seven different leaders ...

Jimmy Vasser's (Target Reynard Honda) victory helped boost the United States to a 123-93 over Canada in the Nation's Cup competition. Italy is third with 92 points, all scored by PPG Cup leader Alex Zanardi (Target Reynard Honda). Reynard leads the Constructor's Championship with 145 points, followed by Swift with 60. Vasser scored the fourth victory of the season for Honda, which takes a 128-107 lead over Ford Cosworth and Mercedes-Benz in the Manufacturer's Championship. Castro-Neves took over the lead in the Jim Trueman Rookie of the Year standings on the strength of his runnerup finish. He has 28 points, followed by previous leader Tony Kanaan (LCI Reynard Honda) with 22. Zanardi tops the season earnings list with $390,000, followed by Greg Moore (Player's/Indeck Reynard Mercedes) with $343,250, Vasser, with $314,250, Adrian Fernandez (Tecate/Quaker State/Labatt Reynard Ford), with $238,750 and Michael Andretti (Kmart/Texaco/Havoline Swift Ford), with $213,750 ... Sunday's race ended with Moore five laps off the pace, the first time this season he has failed to complete every lap and every mile of competition. He was passed by Vasser in both categories. Vasser has completed 1,247 of a possible 1,250 laps, to 1,245 for Moore. Vasser has also completed 1,664.248 of a possible 1,668.801 miles, to 1,663.641 for Moore ... Hearn nearly tripled his career total of laps led prior to the Miller Lite 200 when he led Laps 77-95 and Laps 122-125, a total of 23 laps. Prior to Sunday, Hearn had led a total of eight laps, including four at Rio de Janeiro earlier this month, in two-plus seasons as a Champ Car driver ... For the 14th consecutive FedEx Championship Series event, the Marlboro Pole Award rollover bonus went unclaimed at Milwaukee. The bonus will thus be augmented by an additional $15,000 in rollover bonus money at next week's ITT Automotive Detroit Grand Prix, making for a total rollover bonus of $225,000 and a total potential payout - including the $10,000 which is awarded to each FedEx Championship Series pole winner at the conclusion of qualifying - of $235,000. The potential jackpot, which has not been claimed since Zanardi's victory at Cleveland in July, is a record for six-year history of the Marlboro Pole Award. Altogether, a victory from the pole at Detroit will be worth $335,000, including the $100,000 first-place prize which goes to the winner of each FedEx Championship Series event ...

Attendees at the Miller Lite 200 included Formula One driver Rubens Barrichello, driver of the Stewart-Ford for three-time Formula One World Champion Jackie Stewart and Stewart Grand Prix. Barrichello attended by invitation of Tasman Motorsports Group driver Kanaan, a friend since their days growing up in Brazil. "Rubens and I have been friends since 1984 when I was nine years old," said Kanaan of his fellow countrymen. "With the Formula One race in Montreal next week, he decided to come over early. He is bringing me his lucky gloves to wear this weekend. It's my secret weapon for the race." Kanaan finished 17th ... Milwaukee Brewers manager Phil Garner attended Saturday's qualifying session as a guest of Team Rahal. Owner/driver Rahal threw out the first pitch at Wednesday's game between the Brewers and the Pittsburgh Pirates, and visited with Garner and other members of the Brewers in the team's clubhouse prior to the game. Future Hall of Famer and longtime Brewer Robin Yount accompanied Garner at Saturday's qualifying ... Team Rahal hosted Milwaukee Bucks' head coach Chris Ford in its pit area Sunday ... Target/Chip Ganassi Racing hosted Eric Bergoust and Nikki Stone, two gold medal-winning members of the U.S. Olympic ski team, on Saturday. Bergoust won the gold medal in the men's aerial competition at Nagano, Japan, setting world records for single-jump and two-jump totals en route to the award. Stone won the gold medal in the women's aerials at Nagano ...

The PacWest Racing Group suffered from something of a split personality when it came to Sunday's seventh game of the NBA's Eastern Conference championship series between the Indiana Pacers and the Chicago Bulls. Motorola, primary sponsor of the Motorola PacWest Mercedes driven by Mark Blundell is paced in Chicago, while the PacWest team is based in Indianapolis, home of the Pacers. To resolve the conflict, the team painted "Go Bulls!" on the left cockpit side of Blundell's car, and "Go Pacers!" on the right. Blundell refused to cast the deciding vote. "Instead of getting in the middle, I think I'll concentrate on trying to win the Miller Lite 200," he said. Blundell finished 12th. ... Rahal's parents, Michael and Barbara, of Glen Ellyn, Ill. gave the command to start engines prior to Sunday's Miller Lite 200 .

Source: CART Online

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Michael Andretti , Jimmy Vasser , Adrian Fernandez , Alex Zanardi , Jackie Stewart , Chip Ganassi , Greg Moore
Teams Stewart Grand Prix