CHAMPCAR/CART: PacWest Michigan preview

Mauricio Gugelmin Fast Facts ...

Mauricio Gugelmin Fast Facts
#17 Nextel PacWest Toyota

* Mauricio Gugelmin goes into Michigan off his best finish of the season, a seventh in Toronto.

* After starting the season slowly, not scoring points in his first two events, Gugelmin has now gone on to score points in five of the last six races, recording top-tens in four of those events.

* Mauricio's career best finish at Michigan is second, a result from 1996's second Michigan event. 1996 was a good year for Mo at Michigan, as he scored a podium finish of third in the Inaugural U.S. 500. In 1997, he qualified on the front row, his career best starting position and finished that race with his third, and most recent top-ten at the superspeedway.

* Last year, Gugelmin was robbed of a point-scoring finish when his car broke down with less than ten laps remaining in the race. Reliability has been a strong point for his Toyota/Reynard this season, as he has finished six of the eight races he has competed in.

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

Mauricio Gugelmin
"I'm really excited to go to the first superspeedway event of the year. The key to a 500-mile race is to make sure you are around at the finish, and typically if you are, you will be rewarded with a solid result. The Nextel team has given me an extraordinarily reliable car this season, so I am confident we'll be able to compete at the end of the race. The team has been doing a great job in the pits, so that should definitely give us an advantage for the race. As a group, we are really picking up momentum and hopefully we can get a result at Michigan to keep that up."

Scott Dixon Fast Facts
#18 Powerware Panasonic PacWest Toyota

* Fresh off his third top-five finish of the season, PacWest Racing Group rookie driver Scott Dixon is currently seventh place in the 2001 CART FedEx Series Championship. His efforts in Toronto catapulted him past two rivals and upped his point total to 54.

* Dixon has five top-tens so far this season, all coming in the seven most recent events.

* The New Zealander also stretched his lead in the chase for the Jim Trueman Rookie of the Year Award, now standing 21 points clear of his nearest rival.

* So far this season, Scott's point-scoring prowess on ovals is second only to current Championship leader Kenny Brack. Michigan will be the series' first oval event since Milwaukee, where Dixon picked up his second podium of the season.

* Race day will be Scott's 21st birthday.

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

* In two previous visits to Michigan with the Dayton Indy Lights series, Dixon has one top-ten start and a best finish of fourteenth in 2000. Last season, Dixon dominated the superspeedway event at Michigan's sister track, California Speedway, winning the race from the second starting spot.

* 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
"This will be my first race with the full Hanford Device, so I am very interested to figure out how to experience how the drafting works out. I have raced twice at Michigan and I finished off my Indy Lights career with a victory at California, which is a similar track, so I have an idea of what to expect for this race. The track itself is great and always allows a lot of passing, so qualifying isn't nearly as important here as it is at other tracks. I've done very well this season on ovals, so we are looking to continue our climb up the standings the next couple weeks. Thanks to my Powerware/Panasonic crew and the reliability of the Toyota Reynard, we've done a great job of finishing races this season. If we can do that at Michigan, we'll certainly be in line for a good result."

-PacWest

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