CHAMPCAR/CART: Patrick Racing Motegi preview

Jimmy Vasser has started strong in his inaugural season with Patrick Racing. He has finished in the top-six in all three races this year placing sixth at Mexico, fifth in Long Beach and fourth in Nazareth. Vasser is tied for third in the FedEx ...

Jimmy Vasser has started strong in his inaugural season with Patrick Racing. He has finished in the top-six in all three races this year placing sixth at Mexico, fifth in Long Beach and fourth in Nazareth. Vasser is tied for third in the FedEx Championship Series standings with 30 points. He is one of six drivers to have completed every lap and mile run so far this year.

*Vasser, 35, a native of California, now resides in Las Vegas, Nevada. He is in his tenth CART season and first with Patrick Racing. He has nine career CART victories, including five oval wins (most recent Fontana - 1998) and seven poles. He won the CART Championship in 1996

*Vasser has started 150 CART races with 89 top-10 finishes including 26 podium showings. He has finished 88 of his last 106 starts and placed in the points 84 times (dating to Milwaukee in 1995).

*Vasser has scored points in 43 of his 58 (32 of last 39) oval races. He has 40 top-10 finishes with 21 top-five showings including 12 podiums and five wins on ovals.

*Vasser is one of four CART Champions and one of three Americans currently competing in the FedEx Championship Series.

*The 2001 Firestone Firehawk 500 will be Vasser's 151st CART start.

*This will be the fourth time Vasser has competed at Twin Ring Motegi. In three previous races he has started in the top-three twice including on the pole in 1998 (starting grid based on practice times due to rain). He has finished in the points twice with a high of seventh in 1998.

JIMMY VASSER:

"I have run near the front at Motegi every year. It is an interesting oval. You have to make a decision on whether to go for pure speed or mileage. If you are going for speed you shift going into Turn #3, if you are looking for mileage you don't shift. It is going to be a very competitive race and I am looking forward to giving Toyota its first victory in Japan."

"Patrick Racing has shown improvement each race this year. We have consistently placed high in the points, but as a team we won't be satisfied until we are winning races and finishing on the podium. The crew has done an outstanding job preparing the cars and in the races. We need to work on our qualifying, but overall it has been a good start to the season."

ROBERTO MORENO - #20 VISTEON/PATRICK RACING TOYOTA REYNARD

*Moreno, 42, a native of Brazil, now resides in Weston, Florida. He is in his eighth CART season and second with Visteon/Patrick Racing. Moreno has one career CART victory and one pole (both at Cleveland in 2000).

*Moreno, had the two best oval performances, and best 500-mile oval finish, of his career last year, placing second at Homestead and Fontana. In nine ovals races in 2000 he had seven top-10 finishes with five top-five performances including four podium showings (he has finished in the points in 12 of his last 15 oval starts dating back to the 1999 season). Moreno had the best record on ovals of any active driver in 2000.

*Moreno has finished in the top-10 in 18 of his last 36 CART starts and in the points 24 times.

-PR

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Jimmy Vasser