FORSYTHE CHAMPIONSHIP RACING'S PAUL TRACY LEADS 192 OF 221 LAPS TO CLAIM HIS FOURTH MILWAUKEE MILE CHAMP CAR VICTORY MILWAUKEE (June 4, 2005) -- With a trio of Wisconsin oval-track wins and 531 laps led to his credit, Paul Tracy ( ...
FORSYTHE CHAMPIONSHIP RACING'S PAUL TRACY LEADS 192 OF 221 LAPS TO CLAIM HIS FOURTH MILWAUKEE MILE CHAMP CAR VICTORY
MILWAUKEE (June 4, 2005) -- With a trio of Wisconsin oval-track wins and 531 laps led to his credit, Paul Tracy (#3 Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) entered this weekend as the unquestioned king of Milwaukee as the Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford rolled into Beer Town for this weekend's Time Warner Cable Road Runner 225 Presented by U.S. Bank.
The king held court again on a breezy Saturday, ruling with an iron fist as he led 192 of the day's 221 laps en route to scoring victory at the Milwaukee Mile. The 2003 Champ Car World Series champion took the lead with a brazen outside move that carried him around polesitter Jimmy Vasser (#12 Gulfstream Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone), and then fought off the advances of young A.J. Allmendinger (#10 RuSPORT Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) and veteran Oriol Servia (#2 PacifiCare Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) to score his first win of the 2005 season.
Vasser paced the first 18 laps of the day, 13 of which came under caution after Ryan Hunter-Reay (#31 Briggs & Stratton Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) suffered a hard impact in Turn Two, but Tracy's outside pass in Turn Four appeared to put paid to any serious challengers for the majority of the day. Green-flag pit stops caused him to lose his lead momentarily on two occasions, but Tracy easily moved back in front upon completion of the stops and took his seemingly-rightful place at the front of the high-speed procession circling the venerable Mile oval.
Allmendinger made things interesting in the latter half of the race, whittling away on what was once an eight-second advantage for Tracy after his second pit stop. The young American moved to within a couple of car lengths on Tracy on Lap 185, shaving the lead to less than a quarter-second just prior to the final set of fuel stops, which started with 20 laps to go.
The stops showed why Forsythe Championship Racing is among the most-accomplished teams in all of open-wheel racing as they not only got Tracy out with the lead, but added nearly four full seconds to his advantage over Allmendinger, Servia and Justin Wilson (#9 RuSPORT Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone). The stops ended any chance of a top-five run for series points leader Sebastien Bourdais (#1 McDonald's Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) as he exceeded the pit-lane speed limit when entering the pits, earning a drive-through penalty that dropped him out of contention.
The lead that the Forsythe team fashioned for Tracy vanished in one flick of starter J.D. Wilbur's hand however, as a yellow flag for debris bunched the field back up on Lap 210. Champ Car Race Control had already announced that the event would be run under a time limit, meaning that the field had little more than five minutes to run the last 15 laps.
Tracy took the Lap 215 restart ahead of Allmendinger, who was handcuffed by the fact that he had used all of his Power-To-Pass allotment in securing the second spot. Tracy used that to his advantage, using his reservoir of extra horsepower to build a cushion at the drop of the green flag. That cushion ended up telling the tale as the Canadian built a 3.3-second margin by the time the checkered flag flew four laps short of the scheduled distance. Tracy took no chances in the last trips around the Mile, running the fastest lap of the day on his final trip around the Milwaukee oval.
The second-place finish for Allmendinger established a new career high for the second-year driver, and propelled him into the top-five in points for the first time in his young career. Servia scored the third spot in his first race after replacing the injured Bruno Junqueira in the Newman/Haas machine, earning the sixth podium of his career and his first since a third-place effort at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca last season.
Wilson ran in the top five all day and has solidified his status as a title threat in 2005 with today's fourth-place finish, marking the third time in as many events this season that the lanky Brit has ended his day in the fourth spot. Polesitter Vasser celebrated his 200th consecutive Champ Car start with a top-five run, leading 18 laps on the day, putting him ahead of Bourdais. The Frenchman was able to take solace in leaving Milwaukee with the points lead, assuming a seven-point advantage in the standings over Wilson, with Tracy coming in just a single point behind Wilson.
Mario Dominguez (#7 Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) ended his day in the seventh spot, taking advantage of a strong early run that saw him make up five spots in the first six laps of the day. Dominguez was followed by eighth-placed Ronnie Bremer (#55 HVM Inc. Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone), who led 10 laps and was the top finishing rookie on the day, with Timo Glock (#8 DHL Global Mail Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) and Alex Tagliani (#15 Aussie Vineyard Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) rounding out the top 10. Glock's finish gave him a six-point advantage in the Roshfrans Rookie-of-the-Year chase after three events.
The Champ Car World Series will have one week off as the teams prepare for their first set of back-to-back race weekends of the year with a June 19 trip to Portland being followed the next week by a visit to Cleveland's Burke Lakefront Airport course.
QUOTES FROM THE TOP-THREE FINISHERS
Paul Tracy #3 Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "The car was great all weekend. After warm up we knew we would be in good shape. I had a good start and went to the outside to get AJ. I then focused on Jimmy but he squeezed me to the inside so I stayed on his gearbox until the first restart. On the restart we were side-by-side for a lap but I was able to get him in Turn 4. My car was good in traffic and we were able to cruise on the way."
A.J. Allmendinger #10 RuSPORT Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "It was a great race. The RuSPORT car was very consistent today. Paul (Tracy) is the man on the start, so when I lost the position on the start I wasn't too worried. We were just running along and as the tires got older we were able to run down Paul. He was stronger on fresher tires, so we are very pleased with second place. We needed a good run and I'm glad I got one today.
Oriol Servia #2 PacifiCare Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "I'm very happy I had a chance in the PacfiCare car this weekend. We had a very good car and I'm happy I was able to deliver. The team was happy and I want to be back in the car, it is a really good car."
Paul Tracy's win today is the 29th of his career and moves him into a tie for seventh in the all-time Champ Car victory standings. The win also marks the 10th season that Tracy has won a Champ Car race, making him just the 12th driver in series history to score wins in 10 different seasons.
Tracy led 192 laps today, boosting his career laps led total to 3,896. He needs just 104 more to reach 4,000, an achievement that has been matched by only five other drivers in series history.
Oriol Servia's third-place finish was the highest finish for a driver making his debut in a Newman/Haas car since Bruno Junqueira finished third in the 2003 season opener in St. Petersburg.
Paul Tracy's win moved Canada into the top spot in the Nations Cup standings, giving the Great White North a 13-point advantage over France and a lead of 18 markers over England.
Ryan Hunter-Reay was transferred to Froedtert Memorial Lutheran Hospital where X-rays and a CT scan showed no injuries. He was expected to be released from the hospital Saturday evening.