FedEx CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES HAPPENINGS Notes and Quotes from Championship Auto Racing Teams, June 28, 1999 Fifteen FedEx Championship Series drivers, including three of the top five in the PPG Cup points race, will be participating in a two-day...
FedEx CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES HAPPENINGS Notes and Quotes from Championship Auto Racing Teams, June 28, 1999
Fifteen FedEx Championship Series drivers, including three of the top five in the PPG Cup points race, will be participating in a two-day CART Open Test beginning Tuesday at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
The test has been scheduled to help drivers and teams prepare for the Aug. 15 Miller Lite 200, Round 14 of the FedEx Championship Series, which will be contested on Mid-Ohio's 2.258-mile permanent road course. On-track testing is scheduled for 8 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5 p.m. each day.
Heading the entry list is rookie and FedEx Championship Series points leader Juan Montoya (Target Honda Reynard) of Target/Chip Ganassi Racing, who claimed his fourth victory of the season at Sunday's Medic Drug Grand Prix of Cleveland Presented by Firstar. With the win, Montoya became the first FedEx Championship Series driver to top 100 points this season while extending his lead over second-place Gil de Ferran (Valvoline/Cummins Special Honda Reynard) to 112-87. While de Ferran will not be participating in the Mid-Ohio test, two of Montoya's other pursuers will. Third-place Dario Franchitti (KOOL Honda Reynard) trails de Ferran by two points in the championship and is the defending pole-sitter at Mid-Ohio. Greg Moore (Player's Forsythe Racing Team Mercedes Reynard) stands fifth with 69 points and owns a 1997 runner-up finish at Mid-Ohio among his 16 career podium results.
Other noteworthy participants in the Open Test will be Jimmy Vasser (Target Honda Reynard), the 1996 series champion; defending Miller Lite 200 champion Adrian Fernandez (Tecate/Quaker State/Patrick Racing Ford Reynard) and Christian Fittipaldi (Big Kmart Ford Swift), who has scored PPG Cup points in eight of nine starts this season.
Locally-based Team Rahal and Forsythe Championship Racing, both located in suburban Columbus, also will participate. Team Rahal will be represented by Bryan Herta (Shell Ford Reynard), who won the 1997 pole at Mid-Ohio and comes off an outstanding drive Sunday which saw him recover from a first-lap spin which had him running 27th and last in the field to finish sixth.
Tony Kanaan (McDonald's Championship Racing Team Honda Reynard), winner of the 1998 Jim Trueman Rookie of the Year Award, will drive for Forsythe Championship Racing.
* ANDREW CRAIG FEATURED AT RAINBOW SPORTS CONFERENCE CART Chairman and CEO Andrew Craig will be a presenter at the inaugural Rainbow Sports "Sports in the New Millenium," conference conducted Wednesday and Thursday at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C. The conference will include reports on the status of minorities in professional sports and feature workshops on several topics, including motorsports. Craig, who is participating at the invitation of Rainbow/PUSH Coalition Founder and President Reverend Jesse Jackson, will be presenting CART's perspective on the issue as well as answering questions from the assembled attendees in the 10:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Thursday session. Rainbow Sports, which is part of the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, defines its mission as challenging the sports industry to develop specific standards and practices to facilitate inclusion, expansion and opportunity for minorities.