Brooklyn, Mich., July 23, 2000 - Walker Racing rookie driver Shinji Nakano gained valuable seat time in today's Michigan 500. It was the CART FedEx Championship Series rookie's first race at a super-speedway track. Shinji qualified his 5X...
Brooklyn, Mich., July 23, 2000 - Walker Racing rookie driver Shinji Nakano gained valuable seat time in today's Michigan 500. It was the CART FedEx Championship Series rookie's first race at a super-speedway track.
Shinji qualified his 5X avex/Honda car in 19th position on Saturday, because his primary car caught fire at the end of the last practice session before qualifying on Friday and the team was unable to repair it in time for qualifying. The Walker Racing crew prepared Shinji's back-up car perfectly for him to qualify two positions higher than his fastest practice position. Shinji's qualifying time was .31:885 seconds and 225.812 mph, which put him on the starting grid in 19th place. He took the green flag with the rest of the field and was able to keep up with the rest of the field until Lap 105, when he pulled into the pit entrance and had to retire for the day due to a driveline failure.
"It was a great race for the fans, and it was a pity that our car did not make the distance," said team owner Derrick Walker. "Driveline failure sidelined us but up until then we were working our way through Shinji's first super-speedway event. When the fans want to see an exciting show they should come to MIS -- that was one fast 500 miles!"
Look for Shinji to perform well during round 12 of the CART FedEx Championship Series next weekend at Chicago Motor Speedway. The Target Grand Prix presented by Energizer will be held on July 28 - 30 on the 1-mile oval at Chicago Motor Speedway. Shinji's best oval track finish of the season came on another 1-mile track at Homestead Motor Speedway (8th) in the first race of the season. Walker Racing's corporate sponsor partners are avex, Alpine, Mitsuba, Dell Computer Corporation, NGK, St. Elmo Steakhouse, Honda, Reynard and Firestone.