CHAMPCAR/CART: Milwaukee Shinji Nakano's Race Day Ends Early

WEST ALLIS, Wis. June 6, 2000 - Walker Racing rookie Shinji Nakano's race day ended too early during Tuesday's Miller Lite 225, which was delayed due to steady rain showers on Sunday, June 4. Before today's race, all of the CART FedEx ...

WEST ALLIS, Wis. June 6, 2000 - Walker Racing rookie Shinji Nakano's race day ended too early during Tuesday's Miller Lite 225, which was delayed due to steady rain showers on Sunday, June 4. Before today's race, all of the CART FedEx Championship series drivers participated in a morning shakedown practice session. During the practice, Nakano lost control of the #5 Avex Honda car and hit the Turn 3 wall. He was uninjured, and started the race his back-up car. Throughout the race, Nakano fought an understeer problem in the back-up car, and as a result, he spun at the exit of Turn 4 on Lap 27, recovered control of the car and continued on, despite a punctured tire. The Walker Racing rookie had no choice but to enter the pits under closed conditions to replace the tire, and had to rejoin the race at the back of the field due to CART rules on entering a closed pit. "During the race the car was very loose in the back," said Nakano. "I spun in turn one during the race and did not hit anything. We returned to the pits after the spin with a punctured tire. The team worked very hard on that pit stop and the next one to try to fix the oversteer problem, but they could not. Finally we decided to stop racing since we couldn't fix it. I feel very bad for the team, especially for crashing during the warm-up. That was my mistake. But I am really looking forward to doing much better at our next race in Detroit." Nakano finished in 21st position, after retiring from the race on Lap 71. "It was obviously a very difficult day for the team and Shinji," said Team Manager Rob Edwards. "Short oval racing is very different from anything Shinji has done before, especially when the car is not handling well. Having made a couple of attempts to improve the car for Shinji, the team made the difficult decision to retire from the race rather than continue on and cause a hazard for others, and to also not put Shinji at risk." Formula One veteran Nakano will be able to test his road and street course skills during round seven of the CART FedEx Championship series. The next race will take place during the weekend of June 16 - 18 and will be contested at Belle Isle during the Tenneco Automotive Grand Prix of Detroit. The race takes place on a 2.356-mile temporary street course and will be broadcast on June 18 beginning at 1 p.m. (ET.) Walker Racing's corporate sponsor partners are avex, Alpine, Mitsuba, SpeedWRX.com, Dell Computers, NGK, St. Elmo Steakhouse, Honda, Reynard and Firestone.

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Shinji Nakano