CHAMPCAR/CART: PacWest Houston preview

Mauricio Gugelmin Fast Facts ...

Mauricio Gugelmin Fast Facts
#17 Nextel PacWest Toyota

* Gugelmin returns to Houston where he finished sixth in 1999 - his best finish on the temporary street circuit. Gugelmin finished 23rd in last years event after being involved in an accident on lap 56.

* This season, Gugelmin has tallied four top-ten finishes, all of which have come since Round Six of the FedEx Championship Series. He earned his fourth career pole in Cleveland this season and finished a season-best seventh in Toronto.

* Gugelmin raced Formula One for five years, 1988-1992, for March-Judd, Leyton House-Judd, and Jordan-Yamaha Formula One teams. Gugelmin's top finishes in Formula One competition included a third place podium finish at the Brazilian Grand Prix in 1989 with March-Judd and four other top-ten finishes in his five-year F1 career.

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

* Mauricio is currently in his second year as President of the Championship Drivers Association.

Mauricio Gugelmin
"It will be nice to get back to the streets. Houston has always been a tough track for me, and aside from a sixth place finish in 1999, I've really struggled here - as have a lot of others. The track is very bumpy and it's important to qualify as high as possible although it's not impossible to pass or charge to the front from the back. I think we have a pretty reliable street course set-up so it will important to put up good times early and build off that over the course of the weekend. The reliability of the Toyota engine will certainly help me this weekend since I haven't had that here in the past. Keeping the car intact is also key since this track has always seen a lot of "off's" in the past. Even though I'm not in the championship battle this year, I still need too gather up as many points as I can, and with Nextel's interest in this market, I would like to represent them well and put in a good effort for them since they have been so good to me."

Scott Dixon Fast Facts
#18 Enron Powerware PacWest Toyota

* Scott Dixon enters the Texaco/Havoline Grand Prix of Houston after capturing his eleventh points-paying result in the past 14 races with a finish of ninth at the German 500. Dixon is now in seventh place in the Driver's Championship with 86 points - just 6 points away from fifth.

* The New Zealand rookie is currently leading the standings for the Jim Trueman Rookie of the Year award, holding a 36-point lead over his nearest rival.

* Dixon has completed 2069 of the 2149 laps run this season, the series leader in that category.

* Scott has one victory, five top-fives, and nine top-tens at this point of his rookie campaign. He has also scored championship points in six of his past eight starts, including three top-five finishes.

* This will be Dixon's first visit to Houston in a CHAMP car. In 2000, Dixon won the Dayton Indy Lights Championship with six wins, seven podiums and one pole for PacWest.

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

Scott Dixon
"We're coming off a pretty difficult two weeks in Europe so this final stretch of races, beginning with Houston, will prove to be very important to us for several reasons. We definitely need a good showing in Houston to strengthen our position for a final run at the championship, but I would also like to maintain my hold on Rookie of the Year, which I think would be a great accomplishment for my team and me if we can win it. A good result on a street course would really help me since three of the last four races are on street or road circuits. The weekend is also very important from a sponsorship standpoint. Enron Corporation has signed on to be the primary sponsor on my car this weekend so I really want to put on a good show for them since they are headquartered in Houston and maintain such a high profile in the city. Because of Enron's involvement with us this weekend, we will also proudly display United Way and Houston Astros signage on the #18 car. Enron will have a lot of employees and guests in attendance so I plan on representing them well and hopefully we can continue our relationship with them in 2002 and for years to come."

-PacWest-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Scott Dixon , Mauricio Gugelmin