CHAMPCAR/CART: Patrick Racing Fontana preview

JACKSON, MI - - NOVEMBER 2, 2001 - - A purse of $1 million and places in the top-10 in the 2001 FedEx Championship Series final standings are at stake for Visteon/Patrick Racing at this weekend's season ending Marlboro 500 presented by Toyota at...

JACKSON, MI - - NOVEMBER 2, 2001 - - A purse of $1 million and places in the top-10 in the 2001 FedEx Championship Series final standings are at stake for Visteon/Patrick Racing at this weekend's season ending Marlboro 500 presented by Toyota at California Speedway in Fontana, California.

As the team heads into the season finale Roberto Moreno, piloting the #20 Visteon/Patrick Racing Toyota Reynard, sits 11th in the championship standings with 76 points. Teammate Jimmy Vasser, driving the #40 Visteon/Patrick Racing Toyota Reynard, who has steadily moved up the point standings the last four races, now holds down the #12 spot also with 76 points. Moreno gets the tiebreaker based on his victory at Vancouver to Vasser's season high fourth place showing at Nazareth. Both drivers are just seven points out of 10th place in the championship standings.

Moreno, who is making just his second start at California Speedway (he finished second last year), is looking to snap a streak that has seen him fail to score points in his last five races. Since his victory on the streets of Vancouver on September 2, the native of Brazil had an electrical problem in Germany, placed 13th at England, experienced gearbox problems in Houston, went off course at Laguna Seca and had a mechanical problem at Australia. He did, however, manage to earn two points in Australia by taking the pole and leading the most laps before dropping out. Moreno has finished 14 of 19 races this year placing in the points 11 times. He has finished in the top-10 six times with three podiums and one win. The Weston, Florida resident, has three points paying placements in seven oval races this season. He has scored points in 14 of his last 21 oval contests with 10 top-10 finishes, six top-five showings and four podiums.

Vasser is making another patented late season charge in an attempt to finish in the top-10 in the championship standings for the seventh consecutive year. He has finished in the points in four consecutive races for the first time since the start of the season. The talented and determined native of California began the season impressively finishing in the top-six in the first four events. He then became mired in a slump that saw him score points in just one of the next 11 races before his recent string of success.

Vasser has scored points in nine of 19 races this year placing in the top-10 eight times, the top-six seven times and the top-five five times. The Las Vegas, Nevada resident has finished in the points in three of seven oval races this year. In 65 CART oval starts he has finished in the points 46 times with 43 top-10 finishes, 23 top-five showings, 12 podiums and five wins.

Vasser will be making his fifth start at California Speedway. In four previous races he has qualified in the top-six all four times with a best starting position of second in 1997 and 1998. He has finished in the top-five three times with two podiums (second in the inaugural event in 1997 and a victory in 1998).

Patrick Racing History At California Speedway:

In four races, eight starts, at California Speedway, Patrick Racing has qualified in the top-10 three times taking the pole in 1998 (Scott Pruett). They have finished in the top-10 five times, with four top-five showings including two podiums and a win (Fernandez - 1999)

Moreno And Vasser On Road/Street Circuits:

Moreno has finished in the points in eight of 12 road/street events this year with five top-10 showings including three podiums and the win and the pole. He has finished in the points in 21 of his last 35 road/street course races with 16 top-10 placements, nine top-five showings, six podiums and two wins. Vasser has finished in the points in six of the of 12 road/street races, with five top-six showings. In 101 CART career road/street races he has finished in the points 59 times with 51 top-10 finishes, 26 top-five showings, 14 podiums and four wins.

Consistency Key For Vasser and Moreno:

In 166 CART career starts Vasser has 94 top-10 finishes including 26 podium showings. He has finished 97 of his last 122 races placing in the points 89 times (Milwaukee '95). Moreno has finished in the top-10 in 24 of his last 52 starts and in the points 33 times.

McGee Holds Record For Most Wins:

Patrick Racing General Manager Jim McGee is tops on the all-time wins list for a Manager/Chief Mechanic with 89. McGee has nine national championships and

is the only Manager/Chief Mechanic to win a championship in four decades (60's - 90's). He has at least one victory in each of his last five decades (his 20's, 30's, 40's, 50's, 60's) and a least one victory in each of the last five decades (60's-00).

Patrick Racing Facts:

Patrick Racing, in its 29th year of competition, is one of the most successful teams in the history of Champ Car racing. The team has captured 45 victories, three Indianapolis 500 wins and two national championships (1976 - Gordon Johncock and 1989 - Emerson Fittipaldi). U. E. "Pat" Patrick is the co-founder of CART and the "father" of the Dayton Indy Lights Championship Series.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Jimmy Vasser , Roberto Moreno , Emerson Fittipaldi , Gordon Johncock