Early Father's Day Forecast; Pkv Racing's Jimmy Vasser Scheduled to Pull Alongside Mario Andretti in Champ Car History Next Weekend in Portland INDIANAPOLIS (June 10, 2004) -- American Champ Car standout and 1996 Series Champion Jimmy Vasser (...
Early Father's Day Forecast; Pkv Racing's Jimmy Vasser Scheduled to Pull Alongside Mario Andretti in Champ Car History Next Weekend in Portland
INDIANAPOLIS (June 10, 2004) -- American Champ Car standout and 1996 Series Champion Jimmy Vasser (#12 Gulfstream Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) of PKV Racing has contested many a race in the Champ Car World Series throughout his career-- 207 to be exact-- but when the 10-time racewinner takes the Green Flag at next weekend's Grand Prix of Portland on Father's Day for number 208, history in the form of the legendary Mario Andretti awaits him on the all-time Champ Car Career Starts List [Modern Era].
Vasser's 208th scheduled Champ Car start June 20th on Portland International Raceway's 1.969-mile road course will tie him for fifth all-time with fellow Series Champion and racing icon Mario Andretti, who turned the championship trick in 1984. He is scheduled to pass Andretti with his 209th start during the 23rd Annual U.S. Bank Presents the Champ Car Grand Prix of Cleveland, July 1-3 at Burke Lakefront Airport.
In addition to the spectacular Starts List statistic, the California native is rapidly closing in on former Champ Car competitor Al Unser Jr., who is perched atop the Most Consecutive Starts list with 192. In Cal Ripken Jr.-like fashion, Vasser, known for being one of the most durable drivers in any racing paddock across the motorsport landscape, is scheduled to pass Unser Jr. with consecutive start number 193 later this season in Round 10 in Montreal, Quebec Canada. Vasser's current streak dates back to his 22nd career start at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in 1993, with his first Champ Car start coming in Surfers Paradise, Australia in 1992.
Most recently, in start number 207 Vasser vaulted four notches from 14th to 10th in the championship point standings in Round 3 at Milwaukee on the strength of a fourth-place run, a season-best for the second-year PKV Racing team in which he co-owns with venture capitalists Kevin Kalkhoven and Dan Pettit.
Vasser's much-touted racing resume includes a $3,071,500 (US) championship run in 1996, Series Runner-Up honors in 1998 and winning the fastest race in Champ Car history in 2002 at California Speedway (197.995 mph). In addition to capturing 10 wins, eight pole positions and 30 podiums, the Las Vegas resident is one of just seven drivers to earn more than $11 million in a Champ Car career. Now in his 13th season, Vasser ranks in the top-20 in almost every statistical category, while having helped mold the careers of former teammates and Champ Car titlists Alex Zanardi (1997-'98) and Juan Pablo Montoya (1999) along the way.
Watch Champ Car star Vasser and his PKV Racing rookie teammate Roberto Gonzalez (#21 NII Holdings, Inc. Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) Live Father's Day afternoon on HDNet (4:00 ET) and Spike TV (4:00 pm ET/PT) in Round 4 of the Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered By Ford, the Champ Car Grand Prix of Portland.