CHAMPCAR/CART: Milwaukee: Pre-event Notebook

2002 CART FedEx Championship Series Miller Lite 250 Milwaukee Mile WHO'S HOT * Dario Franchitti ( ...

2002 CART FedEx Championship Series
Miller Lite 250
Milwaukee Mile

WHO'S HOT

* Dario Franchitti (#27 KOOL Honda/Lola/Bridgestone) of Team KOOL Green comes into Round 4 of the CART FedEx Championship Series at The Milwaukee Mile as the points leader with 34. With a third place effort at Twin Ring Motegi in Japan, Franchitti overtook Cristiano da Matta (#6 Havoline Toyota/Lola/Bridgestone) who had the points lead heading into Japan. To date, Franchitti has displayed amazing consistency, completing 375 of a possible 376 laps through the first three rounds.

* Bruno Junqueira (#4 Target Toyota/Lola/Bridgestone) of Target Chip Ganassi Racing and pole sitter for last Sunday's 86th running of the Indianapolis 500 is coming off a win at Twin Ring Motegi in Round 3 of the CART FedEx Championship Series. The victory marked the 25-year-old Brazilian's second Champ Car win (Road America, 2000), and his first on an oval. Junqueira is fifth in CART FedEx Championship Series points with 23.

* Michel Jourdain Jr. (#9 Gigante Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) of Team Rahal currently holds the second position in the CART FedEx Championship Series point standings behind Franchitti with 32 - the highest position he has ever held in the points since joining the series in 1996. Jourdain has finished inside the top five in all three rounds this season, including a fourth in Mexico and a pair fifth-place finishes at Long Beach and Japan.

* Paul Tracy (#26 KOOL Honda/Reynard/Bridgestone) is coming off an impressive second-place performance at the 86th Indianapolis 500 May 26th. Tracy led an eight-man CART assault on the 500 field with the runner-up finish.

ON THE RIGHT TRACK

* Michael Andretti (#39 Motorola Honda/Lola/Bridgestone) of Team Motorola has enjoyed much success over the years at the famed mile oval in Milwaukee. Andretti has tasted victory five times in his Champ Car career (1986-87, '91-92 and '96) here and scored two pole positions ('86 and '88). With 22, Andretti holds the sixth spot in the CART FedEx Championship Series point standings on the strength of his 42nd career win in Round 2 at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.

* Paul Tracy of Team KOOL Green has recorded two wins and as many poles at Milwaukee in his Champ Car career. The Canadian pilot took the checkered at The Mile in 1995 and '99 with poles in '96 and '97.

* Other CART FedEx Championship Series drivers who have displayed speed at Milwaukee in the past include 2001 polesitter and race winner Kenny Brack (#12 Target Toyota/Lola/Bridgestone) of Target Chip Ganassi Racing, '98 race winner Jimmy Vasser (#8 Shell Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) of Team Rahal and '98 pole winner Patrick Carpentier (#32 Player's/Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone) of Player's Forsythe Racing, who currently sits eighth in the CART FedEx Championship Series point standings.

MANUFACTURING SUCCESS

* Toyota-powered drivers have won two of three CART FedEx Championship Series events contested this season, including wins in Mexico and Japan with Cristiano da Matta and Bruno Junqueira, respectively. Honda's lone victory came at Long Beach earlier in the year with driver Michael Andretti.

* Lola Cars have won five of the past six CART FedEx Championship Series events, dating to a victory by Max Papis in the Honda Grand Prix of Monterrey Featuring the Shell 300 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca last year. Also included in the run are three consecutive victories by Newman/Haas Racing driver Cristiano da Matta (Australia and Fontana, 2001; Monterrey, 2002) and most recently Bruno Junqueira in Japan. Reynard interrupted Lola's streak when Michael Andretti won at Long Beach in Round 2. Ironically enough, Andretti has since made the switch to the Lola chassis. Lola has also won the past two races in Milwaukee with drivers Kenny Brack (2001) and Juan Montoya (2000).

NOTEWORTHY

* This Sunday's live broadcast of the Miller Lite 250 (CBS, 12:30 p.m. ET) from The Milwaukee Mile will be the first of six CART FedEx Championship Series event to air on CBS Sports this season. Practice sessions, CART Friday Night and live qualifying for the CART FedEx Championship Series Miller Lite 250 will all be broadcast on SPEED Channel.

* The CART FedEx Championship Series has produced three different winners in three rounds of competition this season. Cristiano da Matta scored his third consecutive Champ Car win dating back to last season in the Tecate Telmex Grand Prix of Monterrey, Michael Andretti took the checkered in the 28th annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach and Bruno Junqueira recorded a win in the Bridgestone Potenza 500 at Twin Ring Motegi in Japan.

* After five consecutive years as teammates on the Barry Green-lead Team KOOL Green Champ Car team, drivers Paul Tracy and Dario Franchitti are splitting up. While the longest pairing of drivers in the CART FedEx Championship will both continue to compete as members of TKG, they will no longer be twinned in identical race cars and drivers' suits, thanks to a new livery package that was unveiled May 24th at the team's headquarters in Indianapolis. Starting with this weekend's Round 4 of the CART FedEx Championship Series at The Milwaukee Mile, Franchitti will drop the traditional KOOL green/white/gold color scheme from his car, crew uniforms, and driver's suit and will switch to blue and silver, as the team undergoes a makeover to reflect title sponsor Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corporation's vibrant new KOOL Milds brand packaging. While Tracy's livery package will remain green, it has also been significantly updated to mirror the new KOOL Full Flavor packaging. "This bold new identity certainly conveys the connectedness of the team, but at the same time it allows both Paul and Dario to stand out as individuals," said Barry Green, CEO of Team KOOL Green. "I believe that it expresses the high-energy and the confidence we have going into the Milwaukee race with the points lead. I'm really excited about the change." "This is just great," asserted Franchitti, who currently leads this year's CART FedEx Championship. "I've always thought that we had the best looking cars out on the track, and now this new scheme gives me the chance to drive another standout entry. It certainly provides an opportunity for both Paul and me to be easily identified by CART fans." Paul Tracy agreed that the new team livery was attention grabbing. "It's a great look for the team and it's probably a really good thing for Dario. Now he won't have to worry about being mistaken for me by CART officials ever again."

* Herdez Competition and website developers, @lebrije-IT of Mexico City announced May 28th a new "media only" section of the team's website, www.teamherdez.com. The site will continue to develop over time but key reference items are already available for download by members of the press. Currently available are Adobe Acrobat files of the 2002 Media Guide (in both Spanish and English), Microsoft Word documents of daily trackside "Notes and Quotes" from Round 3 of the CART FedEx Championship Series at Twin Ring Motegi and press releases regarding the team's May testing program. Additionally, photo galleries will be made available allowing members of the media to quickly access photographs for editorial use. Mario Dominguez (#16 Herdez Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) of Herdez Competition leads Townsend Bell (#20 Visteon/Patrick Racing Toyota/Reynard/Bridgestone) in the Jim Trueman Rookie of the Award standings on the strength on a season best 11th place finish at Twin Ring Motegi in Japan after staring 19th.

* The CART hospitality coach will play host to the first-annual "The Best of the Wurst" executive chef competition this Saturday at 11:00 a.m. Track partner Usinger's Bratwurst will present the WURST CUP to the winner of the cook-off with the team chefs from the CART FedEx Championship Series. CBS will provide media coverage of the event.

* In addition to its sponsorship of the CART FedEx Championship Series Miller Lite 250 on Sunday, Miller Brewing Company presents "The 14th Annual CART Reunion Of Athletic Incompetence" at Blue Mound Bowl in Brookfield, Wis. this Friday night at 7:00 p.m. The charitable event, also known as the "Milwaukee Madness Bowling Charity Classic," will be taped for broadcast later that night on SPEED Channel's CART Friday Night with host Derek Daly. This annual alley rumble returns between the officials of CART, SPEED Channel and the Media. It's time to display your incredible athletic talents in front of colleagues, friends and weird bowling groupies!!

-cart-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Michael Andretti , Jimmy Vasser , Bruno Junqueira , Max Papis , Patrick Carpentier , Paul Tracy , Dario Franchitti , Kenny Brack , Townsend Bell , Mario Dominguez , Barry Green , Derek Daly , Chip Ganassi , Cristiano da Matta , Michel Jourdain
Teams Williams , Chip Ganassi Racing , Chip Ganassi Racing