Team Player's gearing up for a first as Champ Car World Series stages night race on The Milwaukee Mile oval. Milwaukee, Wisconsin, May 28, 2003 Between them, Paul Tracy and Patrick Carpentier of Team Player's have made 299 career starts in the...
Team Player's gearing up for a first as Champ Car World Series stages night race on The Milwaukee Mile oval.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, May 28, 2003 Between them, Paul Tracy and Patrick Carpentier of Team Player's have made 299 career starts in the Champ Car series, but their next race in Milwaukee on Saturday will be unlike any of the others. This time, they will be racing under the lights on the historic Milwaukee Mile oval, as the Champ Car World Series stages its first-ever night race.
"I thought that I had done practically everything there is to do during my years of racing, but this is another first," said Tracy, the defending champion of the Milwaukee Mile 250, which he has won three times, matching Road America as his most successful track. "It's going to be fun. It's going to add to the whole aura of racing on one of the most fabled tracks in motor sports."
Like his teammate, Carpentier is getting his first experience of night racing "unless I raced under some street lamps when I was karting years ago," he said jokingly. He expects that the Champ Car drivers will be able to quickly adjust to the conditions, right from the first few laps of the Thursday night practice session. The teams also have a practice session on Friday afternoon before the evening qualifying session to set the grid for Saturday night's 250 lap race, the sixth event of the Champ Car World Series season.
Tracy regards the Milwaukee race not only as an opportunity to notch another victory on an oval that he considers to be one of the best he has ever run on, but as a chance to regain the form that he and Team Player's flashed in winning the first three races of the season. Tracy is looking to open up a lead in the drivers' standings, where he is currently locked in a tie with Brazilian Bruno Junqueira with 66 points.
"We just have to regroup and try to start another winning streak," said Tracy, whose 22 victories lead all active drivers in the series. "You're going to have your highs and lows during the course of a long season. The important thing is to go into every race with the feeling that you can win it, and going to a track where I've had quite a bit of success simply adds to the feeling of confidence."
Carpentier, whose 595 completed laps is second only to the 599 by French rookie Sebastien Bourdais, is equally upbeat heading into Milwaukee, where he won the pole in 1998 and garnered a podium spot with a third-place finish in 2000. While Carpentier is still seeking his first podium of the 2003 season, he has collected significant points in each of the first five races, a consistency that has him in sixth place and within striking distance of the contenders in the drivers' standings.
"Actually, the 34 points in the first five races is the best start I've had in any season, including last year, when I was in the race for the drivers' title almost to the end," remarked Carpentier. "I feel that a good chemistry has developed between me and the Team Player's crew with every race, and we're ready for a good one on the short oval."
Racing fans can follow Team Player's progress at the Milwaukee Mile 250 throughout the three days by logging on to the team's website at www.teamplayers.ca. They can also watch the race live on The Sports Network at 9:00 p.m. ET on Saturday evening.