CHAMPCAR/CART: PacWest Chicago preview

Mauricio Gugelmin Fast Facts ...

Mauricio Gugelmin Fast Facts
#17 Nextel PacWest Toyota

Mauricio Gugelmin heads into Round 12 of the Championship after a disappointing run at Michigan in which he finished 15th after qualifying for his third top-12 start of the season.

Gugelmin has four top-ten finishes so far this season, all coming in the six most recent events. He has also scored points in five of the last seven races.

This will be CART's third visit to the Chicago Motor Speedway. In two previous visits, Mo has one top-ten finish - a seventh from last year's event. In 1999, he failed to finish due to mechanical problems, finishing 19th after starting in the 12th position.

Gugelmin's Nextel pit crew captured a wild-card spot for the season-ending Craftsman Pit Crew Challenge by spending the least amount of time in the pits during the Michigan 500. The team will have the opportunity to win $50,000 at the California event.

Gugelmin, one of CART's most experienced drivers, is in his ninth year of FedEx Championship Series competition, and eighth full season.

Gugelmin, one of CART's most respected drivers, is in his second year as President of the Championship Drivers association.

Mauricio Gugelmin
"I'm looking forward to going back to another short oval. Last season we ended up with a decent result in Chicago, and this year we need to build on that and show up ready to compete. Chicago is a really tough track to pass on, so it will be important to qualify very well this weekend so we're not starting this race with a disadvantage. My team has given me great race day strategies this season, so I know we can come out strong and keep our momentum going. This is always the toughest part of the season with six races in seven weeks, and I know the teams are wearing down, but if we can stay focused we will be right there on Sunday for the payoff."

Scott Dixon Fast Facts
#18 Powerware Panasonic PacWest Toyota

By finishing tenth at Michigan, PacWest rookie Scott Dixon maintained his seventh place standing in the 2001 driver's championship. He made a late charge through the field to capture another points-paying finish after fighting the handling of his car for most of the race.

Dixon has six top-ten results this season, all in the past eight events.

Dixon has completed 1,358 out of a possible 1,404 laps run so far this season (96.7%) and leads all championship contenders in that category. He is also seventh in laps led (54) and sixth on the prize money leaderboard.

Scott has performed exceptionally well on ovals this season, trailing only Championship leader Kenny Brack in points scored on ovals. He also holds a comfortable lead in the chase for the Jim Trueman Rookie of the Year Award, leading his nearest rival by 30 points.

In the two previous events at one-mile ovals, Dixon has tallied podiums at each, scoring a victory in Nazareth and a third at Milwaukee.

The Kiwi has enjoyed an unparalleled level of success at Chicago, with two wins and a pole position during his two races at the track with the Dayton Indy Lights Series. In 1999, he won for the first time in North America after starting from the pole position and last season's win at Chicago was an important victory on his way to the Championship.

Dixon is the youngest-ever winner of a Champ Car race, scoring a victory earlier this season in Nazareth at the age of 20.

Dixon was the 2000 Dayton Indy Lights Champion with six wins, seven podiums, and one pole position, finishing the season with 155 points.

Scott Dixon
"I love racing in Chicago. The track really seems to suit me and I've had a lot of success there the last two years. I really think the experiences I've had racing in Chicago in the Lights series will help me this weekend, it's just a matter of qualifying well and maintaining position throughout the race. Passing is pretty tough, but obviously not impossible. I've never lost a race in Chicago (winning from the pole in 1999, and winning from third position in 2000), and I'm going to do my best to make sure I keep that streak alive. My crew has been awesome in the pits all year, so as a team I feel really good about this weekend."


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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Scott Dixon , Mauricio Gugelmin , Kenny Brack