CHAMPCAR/CART: Milwaukee Sunday Lap Report

FedEx Championship Series Lap Notes- Sunday, May 31, 1998 Milwaukee, WI - Race Day at The Milwaukee Mile! Today's CART on-track activities start with at 30-minute practice session scheduled for the green flag at 9 a.m. followed by the start...

FedEx Championship Series Lap Notes- Sunday, May 31, 1998

Milwaukee, WI - Race Day at The Milwaukee Mile! Today's CART on-track activities start with at 30-minute practice session scheduled for the green flag at 9 a.m. followed by the start of the Miller Lite 200 at 12:30 p.m. On the pole for today's race is PATRICK CARPENTIER. With his effort in winning the Marlboro Pole Award Saturday, CARPENTIER collected $20,000 and stands to take in an additional $210,000 from Marlboro if he can win the Miller Lite 200 today.

GREEN FLAG waves at 9:08 a.m. to start the final practice session of the weekend. Firestone engineers report a track temperature of 83 degrees F. and an ambient temperature of 71 degrees F. under partly cloudy skies with a southwest wind of 10-15 mph.

At 9:13 a.m., five minutes into the session, the fastest driver is #19 JOURDAN JR. with a lap of 166.598 mph (22.435 seconds), followed by #77 MEIER (165.598 mph; 22.435 seconds) and #12 (164.674 mph; 22.561 seconds).

At 9:18 a.m., ten minutes into the session, the fastest driver is #33X CARPENTIER with a lap of 173.308 mph (21.437 seconds), followed by #1 ZANARDI (170.313 mph; 21.814 seconds) and #26 TRACY (169.978 mph; 21.857 seconds).

At 9:23 a.m., 15 minutes into the session, the fastest driver is #24 GORDON with a lap of 175.842 mph (21.128 seconds), followed by #6 ANDRETTI (174.177 mph; 21.330 seconds) and #33X CARPENTIER (173.308 mph; 21.437 seconds).

At 9:28 a.m., 20 minutes into the session, the fastest drivers and speeds remain unchanged from the 9:23 a.m. report.

At 9:33 a.m., 25 minutes into the session, the fastest driver is #99X MOORE with a lap of 176.788 mph (21.015 seconds), followed by #24 GORDON (175.842 mph; 21.128 seconds) and #6 ANDRETTI (174.177 mph; 21.330 mph).

CHECKERED FLAG waves at 9:38 a.m. to end the session with #99X MOORE with his earlier lap of 176.788 mph (21.015 seconds), followed by #12 VASSER (176.304 mph; 21.105 seconds) and #24 GORDON (175.967 mph; 21.113 seconds). There are 23 drivers within one second of the fastest time set by MOORE. Of drivers making the biggest jump in positions from qualifying to this final practice session, MICHEL JOURDAIN JR. was fifth-fastest (25th on the grid), and ROBBY GORDON was third-fastest this morning (16th on the grid).

CHRIS FORD, the coach of the Milwaukee Bucks, will be in the RAHAL pit today for the Miller Lite 200.

At 12:28 p.m., the National Anthem is sung by Tom Greene.

At 12:35, the command "Gentlemen, Start Your Engines" is given by Mike and Barbara Rahal, parents of FedEx Championship Series driver, Bobby Rahal.

At 12:36 p.m., the PPG Pace Car begins to roll with the field of 26 cars in tow for the first of four pace laps.

GREEN FLAG waves at 12:41 p.m. to start the Miller Lite 200. Firestone engineers report a track temperature of 106 degrees F. and an ambient temperature of 76 degrees F.

#33 CARPENTIER leads the first lap of the Miller Lite 200 by .049 seconds over #6 ANDRETTI, who moved up from fourth to second on the first lap. #26 TRACY also moved up from 13th to 7th on the first lap.

On Lap 10, the running order is #33 CARPENTIER leading by .348 seconds over #6 ANDRETTI, #99 MOORE, #12 VASSER, and #3 RIBEIRO.

YELLOW FLAG waves on Lap 17 after #6 ANDRETTI attempts to pass leader #33 CARPENTIER. ANDRETTI's right front tire touches the left rear tire on CARPENTIER and CARPENTIER slides into the outside wall in Turn 4. ANDRETTI slides to a stop at the entrance of pit road with suspension damage to the right wheel. Both drivers are uninjured in the incident but both cars are too damaged to continue.

On Lap 20, #99 MOORE has taken over the lead under a full-course caution flag with #12 VASSER in second, #3 RIBEIRO in third, #26 TRACY in fourth, and #27 FRANCHITTI in fifth.

GREEN FLAG waves on Lap 25 to resume the race.

On Lap 26, #26 TRACY passes #3 RIBEIRO to take over third.

YELLOW FLAG waves on Lap 28 after #11 MORENO spins coming off Turn 4. MORENO straightens the car and continues on-course without damage to the car. MORENO does not pit his car.

On lap 30 and under a full-course caution flag, the running order is #99 MOORE leading #12 VASSER, #26 TRACY, #3 RIBEIRO, and #2 UNSER JR.

GREEN FLAG waves on Lap 33 to resume the race.

BLACK FLAG is shown on Lap 33 to #25 PAPIS for a pit road violation.

On Lap 37, #27 FRANCHITTI passes #2 UNSER JR. to take over fifth place.

On Lap 39, #27 FRANCHITTI passes #3 RIBEIRO to take over fourth place.

On Lap 40, the running order is #99 MOORE leading by .895 seconds over #12 VASSER, followed by #26 TRACY, #27 FRANCHITTI, and #3 RIBEIRO.

On Lap 44, #9 LEHTO passes #3 RIBEIRO to take over fifth.

On Lap 50, the running order is #99 MOORE leading by .580 seconds over #12 VASSER, followed by #26 TRACY, #27 FRANCHITTI, and #9 LEHTO.

On lap 60, the running order is #99 MOORE leading by .843 seconds over #12 VASSER, followed by #26 TRACY, #27 FRANCHITTI, and #9 LEHTO.

BLACK FLAG is shown on Lap 64 to #3 RIBEIRO for a pit road speed violation.

On Lap 67, #27 FRANCHITTI pits and hands over fourth place to #9 LEHTO.

On Lap 70, the running order is #99 MOORE leading by 2.668 seconds over #12 VASSER, followed by #26 TRACY, #2 UNSER JR. and #9 LEHTO.

On Lap 72, #99 MOORE pits and hands the lead to #12 VASSER.

On Lap 73, #12 VASSER pits and hands the lead to #16 CASTRO-NEVES.

On Lap 75, #16 CASTRO-NEVES pits and hands the lead to #20 PRUETT.

On Lap 77, #20 PRUETT pits and hands the lead to #10 HEARN.

On Lap 80, the running order is #10 HEARN leading by 4.582 seconds over #99 MOORE, followed by #26 TRACY, #12 VASSER, and #2 UNSER JR.

YELLOW FLAG waves on Lap 89 after #5 DE FERRAN loses power down the front straight and smoke pours from the rear of the car. On the same lap, #17 GUGELMIN has a flat, left rear tire and pits. DE FERRAN subsequently withdraws from the race with engine problems.

On Lap 90 and under a full-course caution flag, the running order is #10 HEARN leading by 11.544 seconds over #99 MOORE, followed by #26 TRACY, #12 VASSER, and #2 UNSER JR. At this point, ten cars are on the lead lap.

On Lap 91, #99 MOORE pits with damage to the suspension at the right front tire after hitting debris from GUGELMIN's tire at speed.

On lap 96, #10 HEARN pits and hands the lead to #26 TRACY. HEARN returns to the race in seventh place.

On Lap 100 and under a full-course caution flag, the running order is #26 TRACY leading #12 VASSER, #2 UNSER JR., #1 ZANARDI and #27 FRANCHITTI.

GREEN FLAG waves on Lap 101 to resume the race.

On Lap 110, the running order is #26 TRACY leading by 1.512 seconds over #12 VASSER, followed by #2 UNSER JR., #1 ZANARDI, and #27 FANCHITTI.

On Lap 111, #27 FRANCHITTI passes #1 ZANARDI to take over fourth. #16 CASTRO-NEVES follows FRANCHITTI through to take over fifth.

YELLOW FLAG waves on Lap 119 after #24 GORDON makes hard impact with the outside wall in Turn 2. GORDON is uninjured in the incident but the car is heavily damaged.

On Lap 120 and under a full-course caution flag, the running order is #26 TRACY leading #12 VASSER, #2 UNSER JR., #16 CASTRO-NEVES, and #1 ZANARDI.

On Lap 122, all of the cars on the lead lap (12) pit save for #10 HEARN and HEARN takes over the lead from seventh place..

On Lap 126, leader #10 HEARN pits and returns to the race in 12th. #12 VASSER takes over the lead, followed by #16 CASTRO-NEVES.

GREEN FLAG waves on Lap 130 with #12 VASSER leading by .795 seconds over #16 CASTRO-NEVES, followed by #2 UNSER JR., #1 ZANARDI, and #26 TRACY.

On Lap 140, the running order is #12 VASSER leading by .832 seconds over #16 CASTRO-NEVES, followed by #2 UNSER JR., #1 ZANARDI, and #26 TRACY.

On Lap 150, the running order is #12 VASSER leading by 1.140 seconds over #16 CASTRO-NEVES, followed by #2 UNSER JR., #1 ZANARDI, and #26 TRACY.

On Lap 160, the running order is #12 VASSER leading by .402 seconds over #16 CASTRO-NEVES, followed by #2 UNSER JR., #1 ZANARDI, and #26 TRACY.

On Lap 170, the running order is #12 VASSER leading by 1.471 seconds over #16 CASTRO-NEVES, followed by #2 UNSER JR., #1 ZANARDI, and #26 TRACY.

On Lap 180, the running order is #12 VASSER leading by 1.310 seconds over #16 CASTRO-NEVES, followed by #2 UNSER JR., #1 ZANARDI, and #26 TRACY.

On Lap 190, the running order is #12 VASSER leading by 3.788 seconds over #16 CASTRO-NEVES, followed by #2 UNSER JR., #1 ZANARDI, and #26 TRACY.

On Lap 195, #12 VASSER leads #16 CASTRO-NEVES by 6.296 seconds over #16 CASTRO-NEVES.

On Lap 196, #12 VASSER leads #16 CASTRO-NEVES by 6.552 seconds over #16 CASTRO-NEVES.

On Lap 197, #12 VASSER leads #16 CASTRO-NEVES by 6.181 seconds over #16 CASTRO-NEVES.

On Lap 198, #12 VASSER leads #16 CASTRO-NEVES by 6.040 seconds over #16 CASTRO-NEVES.

WHITE FLAG waves on Lap 197 with #12 VASSER leading #16 CASTRO-NEVES by 5.793 seconds.

CHECKERED FLAG waves for JIMMY VASSER, the winner of the Miller Lite 200, with a victory margin of 7.673 seconds over #16 CASTRO-NEVES. AL UNSER JR. finishes third, .033 seconds behind CASTRO-NEVES, with DARIO FRANCHTTI fourth, and #BOBBY RAHAL fifth.

JIMMY VASSER sets a new race record with a speed of 131.349 mph, breaking PAUL TRACY's record from 1997 of 119.597 mph. Today is VASSER's second win of the season and the seventh of his CART career. VASSER led a race-high 77 laps en route to his victory. This is VASSER best finish at Milwaukee; his previous best was a third place finish in 1997. VASSER has scored points in 44 of his last 51 races, dating to Milwaukee in 1995.

HELIO CASTRO-NEVES finishes second and has his career-best finish. CASTRO-NEVES tops his previous best finish of seventh, set at Gateway International Raceway in the Motorola 300 last week. Today also matches Bettenhausen Motorsports career-best finish. Bettenhausen also had PATRICK CARPENTIER score a second at Gateway last year. CASTRO-NEVES also moves ahead of TONY KANAAN in the Rookie of the Year standings with his performance today.

AL UNSER JR. finishes third today in the Miller Lite 200. This is UNSER JR.'s second podium of the season; his other came at Motegi, Japan where he also finished second. Today represents UNSER JR.'s 80th career podium appearance and his third podium in the last four starts at Milwaukee.

Eighteen cars were running at the Checkered Flag with five cars on the lead lap. The time of the race was 1 hour, 34 minutes, and 17.011 seconds. There were eight lead changes among seven different drivers with VASSER leading the most laps at 77 laps, followed by MOORE with 55, TRACY with 26, HEARN with 23, CARPENTIER with 16, PRUETT with 2, and CASTRO-NEVES with 1. There were four cautions during the race for a total of 37 laps.

Today's attendance for the running of the Miller Lite 200 has been announced at 46,376.

The average winning margin through the first seven races of the FedEx Championship series is 2.02 seconds, with the average podium margin at 4.05 seconds.

Driver quotes from today's Miller Lite 200 follow:

JIMMY VASSER, Target Reynard Honda: "We came here and tested about a month ago and we were very quick, but for some reason, we couldn't get it out of the car when the weekend started. Alex was kind enough to open his book to us for qualifying. We used his information and the car was fantastic. We've been working as a team to figure out the black art of one-mile ovals; the car changes so much from the beginning of one fuel run to the end. We had a decent car. It was solid, but it wasn't super fast. I don't think we were the fastest car today, but we were the most consistent, and those are the cars that usually win on one-mile ovals." 7

HELIO CASTRO-NEVES, Alumax Aluminum Reynard Mercedes: "Since my big crash at Homestead [in the season opener], it's been very tough for me on ovals. It's been tough to get comfortable and confident, but everything is starting to get very good for me. I'm just so happy. I'm learning patience in Champ Car racing. It's a long race, with very many pit stops, you just have to be patient. That's what I did last week at St. Louis [where Castro-Neves finished seventh, a career best prior to today]. These guys, Al [Unser Jr.] and Jimmy [Vasser], they're the best. It's very good for me to be in this position right now."

AL UNSER JR., Marlboro Penske Mercedes: "We had a great day today, what can I say? The Marlboro car was strong right from the beginning and we were hanging with the leaders. I want to thank Andre [Ribeiro] and Tom German [Ribeiro's race engineer]. We used their setup today and the car worked really, really well. We were doing everything we could to try and catch these guys. I was praying for traffic, but when it came, they got through that traffic as good as can be done. I just want to congratulate my guys. We showed with the way Andre qualified and with the way we ran today that we've turned the corner. Now, we'll go to Detroit next week and so how the car will do on road courses."

Source: CART Online

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