CHAMPCAR/CART: PacWest Portland Preview

Freightliner/G.I. Joe'S 200 Presented By Texaco Round 8-2001 Fedex Championship Series Portland International Raceway-Portland, Or-June 22-24 What: Freightliner/G.I. Joe's 200 Presented by Texaco-Round 8 of the 21-race CART FedEx Championship...

Freightliner/G.I. Joe'S 200 Presented By Texaco
Round 8-2001 Fedex Championship Series
Portland International Raceway-Portland, Or-June 22-24

What: Freightliner/G.I. Joe's 200 Presented by Texaco-Round 8 of the 21-race CART FedEx Championship Series

When: Sunday, June 24. Broadcast: 4 p.m. ET on ESPN. Broadcast live on CART Radio Network affiliates. Qualifying television coverage: Saturday, June 23, 7:00 p.m. ESPN2. Coverage of practice, qualifying and the race is also live on Practice-Friday, June 22.

Where: The 1.969 mile permanent road course in Portland, Oregon

Mauricio Gugelmin Fast Facts
#17 Nextel PacWest Toyota

* Mauricio Gugelmin enters Portland following three consecutive point scoring events-in those events, he has completed 493 out of a possible 498 laps (99%).

* Gugelmin has scored two top-ten finishes this season, both in the last two races.

* The veteran has seven career starts at Portland International Raceway. His career best finish came in the 1997 event, where he captured the 6th position. That year, along with 1995 saw Big Mo notch the 4th starting position, his career best at the Portland circuit.

* Mauricio has enjoyed 3 top-ten finishes at Portland since 1995.

* Last season's Portland event was a trying one for Gugelmin and his Nextel crew. After qualifying 14th, Gugelmin was relegated to the back of the grid for the start of the race due to failing his post-qualifying technical inspection. He finished 19th after mechanical problems ended his day after only 62 laps.

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

* Gugelmin is in the final year of his two-year term as President of the Championship Drivers Association

Mauricio Gugelmin Quote

"Portland is a beautiful circuit to race on, and a track that I enjoy coming to each season. The Festival Curves are very similar to some European courses I've run, and they always make for some exciting action for the fans - especially at the start of the race. One of our sponsors, Freightliner, is based in Portland so it would be nice to get some good results for them since they are so dedicated to our sport and this particular race as title sponsor. Every year we go to the plant to sign autographs and meet some of the workers at the truck plant and headquarters and have a really good time. We also get a lot of people down from PacWest's Seattle corporate offices that usually only get to see one race per season in person, so this gives me a lot of incentive to do well. Last season was a tough one for me, and my crew, so this year we plan on redeeming ourselves by putting on a good show. We qualified mid-pack but then we failed our post-qualifying technical inspection and were relegated to the back of the field for race day. Starting last on the grid is not where you want to be - ever, so we fought an uphill battle from the get-go. I know that with Toyota power behind me, we have a chance every weekend to contend. My motivation level is very high and I'm coming off a couple of top-ten finishes in row. I have every intention of continuing that streak."

Scott Dixon Fast Facts
#18 Powerware Panasonic PacWest Toyota

* PacWest Racing rookie driver, Scott Dixon, ranks 8th in the 2001 CART FedEx Series with 38 points.

* The Kiwi has led in all but two events this season, is 4th in money earnings, and 3rd in laps completed so far in his remarkable rookie campaign.

* Dixon leads the battle for the Jim Trueman Rookie of the Year award by 15 points over his nearest rival.

* 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 2000, Scott finished 11th in the Dayton Indy Lights Race at Portland, charging back through the field following a first corner accident, setting fastest race lap by a considerable margin along the way.

* 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 Quote

"I really enjoy racing in Portland. The track is fun to drive because it is so wide open and you can go for it. Last year in the Dayton Indy Lights series I completed the quickest lap of the race, but finished 11th after a contact incident. It's a very challenging track and you must be aggressive in the low-speed corners, but then change your technique to be very smooth when you go faster. The corners are all different and the long straightway is followed by such a tight corner - it should be a pretty exciting race for the fans of Portland."

PacWest Racing Group Portland Fast Facts

* In 1997, PacWest Racing Group collected its first CART victory at the Portland International Raceway as Mark Blundell won by only 0.027 seconds over reigning 2000 Champion Gil de Ferran. The team has gone on to capture a total of five victories in the CART FedEx Championship Series, the most recent by Scott Dixon in Nazareth on May 6, 2001.


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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Gil de Ferran , Scott Dixon , Mauricio Gugelmin , Mark Blundell