CHAMPCAR/CART: Portland Sunday track notes

Good Morning for Race Day from Portland International Raceway! The weather today is gorgeous; nothing but blue skies, cool breezes, and snow-capped mountains ringing the track. And there is no threat of rain in sight, a welcome change for the...

Good Morning for Race Day from Portland International Raceway! The weather today is gorgeous; nothing but blue skies, cool breezes, and snow-capped mountains ringing the track. And there is no threat of rain in sight, a welcome change for the FedEx Championship Series! Today's CART on-track schedule kicks off with the traditional morning practice session at 10 a.m. followed by the start of the Freightliner/G.I. Joe's 200 Presented by Texaco at 2 p.m.

CART Chief Steward J. KIRK RUSSELL has announced that Dale Coyne Racing has decided to use the secondary car for driver #19 TAKUYA KUROSAWA in today's race and therefore the driver will have to start last on the grid.

GREEN FLAG waves at 10 a.m. to start the final practice session of the weekend. Firestone engineers report a track temperature of 71 degrees F. and an ambient temperature of 100 degrees F. at the start of the session.

BLACK FLAG is shown at 10:07 a.m. to #32 CARPENTIER for a short cut violation incurred at Turn 1. CARPENTIER subsequently pits the car to comply with the Black Flag drive thru penalty.

At 10:10 a.m., 10 minutes into the session, the fastest driver is #40 FERNANDEZ with a lap of 116.439 mph (1:00.882), followed by #12X VASSER (115.449 mph; 1:01.399) and #96 SERVIA (115.245 mph; 1:01.507).

At 10:13 a.m. #16 JOURDAIN Jr. slides into the run-off at Turn 1 and stalls the car. CART Race Control orders the incident to be handled with a Local Yellow Flag. CART safety workers move the car to a safe place to await the end of the session and the Local Yellow Flags are withdrawn.

BLACK FLAG is shown to #12X VASSER at 10:15 a.m. for a Pit Road speed violation. VASSER subsequently pits his car to comply with the Black Flag drive thru penalty.

At 10:19 a.m., #2 de FERRAN logs the fastest lap of the session with a speed of 116.841 mph (1:00.667).

At 10:20 a.m., 20 minutes into the session, the fastest driver is now #3 CASTRONEVES with a lap of 117.261 mph (1:00.450), followed by #2 de FERRAN (116.947 mph; 1:00.612) and #40 FERNANDEZ (116.429 mph; 1:00.882). At 10:25 a.m., #34 MARQUES spins off course at Turn 6 and stalls the car deep in the gravel pit at the outside of the course. CART Race Control orders Local Yellow Flags for the incident and the car will remain in place until the end of the session.

CHECKERED FLAG waves at 10:30 a.m. to end the final practice session of the weekend with #3 CASTRONEVES hanging onto the top spot with his earlier lap of 117.496 mph (1:00.329), followed by #2 de FERRAN (116.947 mph; 1:00.612) and #40 FERNANDEZ (116.429 mph; 1:00.882). FedEx Championship Series drivers introduced 25 cars to the track in this morning's session with secondary cars utilized by #11X FITTIPALDI, #97X da MATTA, #10X FONTANA, #12X VASSER, #33X TAGLIANI, and #19X KUROSAWA. The Champ Car drivers logged 421 laps during this morning's session.

At 2 p.m., the command "Gentlemen, Start Your Engines!" is given. Firestone engineers report a track temperature of 132 degrees F. and an ambient temperature of 89 degrees F. at the start of the race.

GREEN FLAG waves at 2:10 p.m. to start the Freightliner/G. I. Joe's 200 Presented by Texaco! #3 CASTRONEVES grabs the lead, followed by teammate #2 de FERRAN as the field pours into Turn 1. #8 BRACK makes contact with the right rear of #27 FRANCHITTI and FRANCHITTI's car spins around in the middle of the course. As the drivers start evasive action, #1 MONTOYA takes a hard ride through the gravel pit as #7 PAPIS is hit multiple times before coming to a stop. Also involved are #12 VASSER, #26 TRACY, and #96 SERVIA. PAPIS and VASSER subsequently retire from the race due to contact.

YELLOW FLAG waves on Lap 1 as the stalled cars at Turn 1 are restarted by CART safety workers.

GREEN FLAG waves on Lap 4 to resume the race with #3 CASTRONEVES leading, followed by #2 de FERRAN.

On Lap 5, the running order is #3 CASTRONEVES leading by .966 seconds over #2 de FERRAN, followed by #11 FITTIPALDI, #20 MORENO, and #1 MONTOYA. BLACK FLAG is shown to #27 FRANCHITTI on Lap 5 for a track shortcut violation that occurred during the Lap 1 incident. FRANCHITTI subsequently pits the car to comply with the Black Flag drive thru penalty.

On Lap 7, #32 CARPENTIER slides into the run-off at Turn 1 and returns to the course in 18th position.

On Lap 10, the running order is #3 CASTRONEVES leading, followed by #2 de FERRAN, #20 MORENO, #97 da MATTA, and #1 MONTOYA.

On Lap 11, #19 KUROSAWA pulls into the Turn 1 run-off with an engine fire. CART safety workers quickly extinguish the fire as the driver exits the car. The car is subsequently retired from the race due to a mechanical problem.

On Lap 15, the running order is #3 CASTRONEVES leading by 3.479 seconds over #2 de FERRAN, followed by #20 MORENO, #97 da MATTA, and #1 MONTOYA.

On Lap 19, #11 FITTIPALDI pits and hands sixth to #6 ANDRETTI. FITTIPALDI returns to the race in 17th.

On Lap 20, the running order is #3 CASTRONEVES leading by 5.176 seconds over #2 de FERRAN, followed by #20 MORENO, #97 da MATTA, and #1 MONTOYA. BLACK FLAG is shown on Lap 24 to #10 FONTANA as CART course observers report smoke trailing from the car at speed. FONTANA subsequently retires from the race due to a gearbox problem.

On Lap 25, the running order is #3 CASTRONEVES leading by 4.768 seconds over #2 de FERRAN, followed by #20 MORENO, #97 da MATTA, and #1 MONTOYA.

On Lap 30, the running order is #3 CASTRONEVES leading by 6.007 seconds over #2 de FERRAN, followed by #20 MORENO, #97 da MATTA, and #1 MONTOYA.

On Lap 32, #18 BLUNDELL pits with an engine misfire. BLUNDELL subsequently retires from the race due to a mechanical problem.

On Lap 36, leader #3 CASTRONEVES pits and hands the lead to #20 MORENO. #1 MONTOYA, #6 ANDRETTI, #97 da MATTA, #33 TAGLIANI, and #8 BRACK also pit.

On Lap 37, #20 MORENO pits and hands the lead back to #3 CASTRONEVES, followed by #2 de FERRAN. MORENO returns to the race in third place.

On Lap 38, #55 HERTA pits with a small fire in the sidepod. The crew extinguishes the fire and HERTA returns to the race.

On Lap 40, the running order is #3 CASTRONEVES leading by 5.553 seconds over #2 de FERRAN, followed by #20 MORENO, #97 da MATTA, and #1 MONTOYA.

On Lap 45, the running order is #3 CASTRONEVES leading by 3.215 seconds over #2 de FERRAN, followed by #20 MORENO, #97 da MATTA, and #1 MONTOYA.

On Lap 49, #11 FITTIPALDI pits and hands sixth place to #6 ANDRETTI. FITTIPALDI returns to the race in 11th. FITTIPALDI is about 20 laps out of pit sequence to the leaders at this point of the race. The leaders are expected back in the pits around Lap 72.

On Lap 50, the running order is #3 CASTRONEVES leading by 2.624 seconds over #2 de FERRAN, followed by #20 MORENO, #97 da MATTA, and #1 MONTOYA.

On Lap 55, the running order is #3 CASTRONEVES leading by 1.426 seconds over #2 de FERRAN, followed by #20 MORENO, #97 da MATTA, and #1 MONTOYA.

On Lap 59, #3 CASTRONEVES becomes bottled up behind #25 GARCIA Jr. and loses most of his two-second lead before he can finally lap GARCIA Jr.

On Lap 60, the running order is #3 CASTRONEVES leading by 1.290 seconds over #2 de FERRAN, followed by #20 MORENO, #97 da MATTA, and #1 MONTOYA.

On Lap 63, #17 GUGELMIN pulls off course at Turn 2 with a mechanical problem and subsequently retires from the race. CART safety workers quickly move the car to safety.

On Lap 65, the running order is #3 CASTRONEVES leading by seconds over #2 de FERRAN, followed by #20 MORENO, #97 da MATTA, and #1 MONTOYA.

On Lap 67, #6 ANDRETTI passes #1 MONTOYA at the inside of Turn 1 and takes fifth place.

On Lap 70, the running order is #3 CASTRONEVES leading by .788 seconds over #2 de FERRAN, followed by #20 MORENO, #1 MONTOYA, and #97 da MATTA.

On Lap 72, #2 de FERRAN and #1 MONTOYA pit and #20 MORENO moves up to second. Also on Lap 72, #26 TRACY makes contact with the outside tire barrier exiting Turn 12 and then shoots down Pit Road for a stop. The car is serviced by the crew and TRACY returns to the track. As the car rounds Turn 4, TRACY begins to slow and finally re-enters the Pit on Lap 73. TRACY subsequently retires from the race due to contact.

BLACK FLAG is shown to #55 HERTA on Lap 73 for a Pit Road entry violation. HERTA subsequently pits the car to comply with the Black Flag drive thru penalty.

On Lap 73, #3 CASTRONEVES pits and #20 MORENO again takes the lead.

On Lap 75, #20 MORENO pits and #2 de FERRAN takes over the lead.

On Lap 75, the running order is #2 de FERRAN leading, followed by #3 CASTRONEVES, #97 da MATTA, #11 FITTIPALDI, and #6 ANDRETTI.

On Lap 76, #32 CARPENTIER runs off course at Turn 6 but continues on course without apparent damage to the car.

On Lap 80, the running order is #2 de FERRAN leading by 12.769 seconds over #3 CASTRONEVES, followed by #97 da MATTA, #6 ANDRETTI, and #20 MORENO.

On Lap 88, #1 MONTOYA pits and loses sixth place to #33 TAGLIANI. MONTOYA subsequently retires from the race due to a mechanical problem.

On Lap 90, leader #2 de FERRAN pits and hands the lead to #3 CASTRONEVES. De FERRAN had a 10.129-second lead at the time and after a 9.6-second stop, De FERRAN returns to the race in third place.

On Lap 90, the running order is #3 CASTRONEVES leading by .972 seconds over #97 da MATTA, followed by #6 ANDRETTI, #2 de FERRAN, and #20 MORENO.

On Lap 92, ninth-place #8 BRACK pits.

On Lap 94, #6 ANDRETTI pits and hands third to #2 de FERRAN. ANDRETTI returns to the race in sixth place.

On Lap 95, the running order is #3 CASTRONEVES leading by .447 seconds, followed by #97 da MATTA, #2 de FERRAN, #20 MORENO, and #6 ANDRETTI.

On Lap 100, #97 da MATTA pits and hands second place to #2 de FERRAN.

On Lap 100, the running order is #3 CASTRONEVES leading by 1.157 seconds over #2 de FERRAN, followed by #20 MORENO, #11 FITTIPALDI, and #97 da MATTA.

On Lap 105, #3 CASTRONEVES pits and hands the lead to #2 de FERRAN.

On Lap 105, the running order is #2 de FERRAN leading by .605 seconds over #20 MORENO, followed by #11 FITTIPALDI, #3 CASTRONEVES, and #6 ANDRETTI.

On Lap 110, the running order is #2 de FERRAN leading by .610 seconds over #20 MORENO, followed by #11 FITTIPALDI, #3 CASTRONEVES, and #6 ANDRETTI.

WHITE FLAG waves on Lap 111 with #2 de FERRAN leading by 1.228 seconds over #20 MORENO.

CHECKERED FLAG waves on Lap 112 for the winner of the Freightliner/G.I. Joe's 200 Presented by Texaco, GIL de FERRAN! De FERRAN comes home 2.625 seconds ahead of second-place #20 ROBERTO MORENO. Third place goes to #11 CHRISTIAN FITTIPALDI, 8.982 seconds back of the winner. Fourth place goes to #6 MICHAEL ANDRETTI, 29.731 seconds. #97 CRISTIANO da MATTA logs a fifth place finish, 30.070 seconds back.

Also on Lap 112, #3 CASTRONEVES runs out of fuel and falls from fourth to seventh in the final rundown.

GIL de FERRAN logs his second win of the season in his Marlboro Team Penske Honda Reynard. This is also de FERRAN's fifth career victory. De FERRAN also becomes the first repeat winner at Portland International Raceway since Al Unser Jr. accomplished the feat in 1994-1995. Only two other drivers have pulled off the repeat win: Mario Andretti in 1985-1986, and Michael Andretti in 1990, 1991, and 1992.

ROBERTO MORENO matched his career best finish today by coming home second in his Visteon Ford Reynard. MORENO finished second at Miami this year and second at Laguna Seca in 1999. MORENO also took over the points lead in the FedEx Championship Series for the first time in his seven-year career, as previous points leader PAUL TRACY failed to score today and fell to third in the standings.

CHRISTIAN FITTIPALDI's third-place finish today is his season-best finish as the Brazilian took fifth at Rio earlier this year.

Honda takes over the lead in the Manufacturers Championship as the 22 points scored this weekend moved Honda to a 138 total versus 136 for Ford. Today represents the 15th different podium finisher in the eight events of the 2000 season.

This is the first time in CART history that Brazilians have swept the top three positions in a Champ Car race.

Four of the top six drivers in the chase for the FedEx Championship Series Championship failed to score points in today's race.

GIL de FERRAN averaged 109.564 mph in his victory today; a new race record, taking two hours, 0 minutes and 46.002 seconds to log the win. There were three different leaders in today's race, swapping the lead six times. HELIO CASTRONEVES There were 16 cars running at the end with nine cars on the lead lap. The Yellow flag flew one time for a total of 3 laps.

Quotes from the top three finishers follow:

GIL de FERRAN, Marlboro Honda Reynard: "The car improved after the first stop, and I was able to start closing up ground on the leaders. After the second stop, the car was really fantastic, and Roger just said 'Go.' So I just kept pushing harder and harder and the car just kept going quicker and quicker and quicker. I knew those guys in front of me had to stop, so I just kept biding my time." ROBERTO MORENO, Visteon Ford Reynard: "What can I say? It was a great day for the Visteon guys again. We tried to be in touch with the leaders while saving fuel. Unfortunately, on the last stop, it took about twice as long to put in fuel, so that might have made a difference in the outcome. But it was a great race strategy once again. It was a great day and my guys did a great job."

CHRISTIAN FITTIPALDI, Big Kmart/Route 66 Ford Lola: "I really had to earn my money today. It was pretty tough. I wanted to turn the first corner behind the two Marlboro cars [Castroneves and de Ferran], but I braked a little too late and flat-spotted my tires, literally down to the cords. I'm happy to finish on the podium after a bunch of races that looked good but didn't go my way. I'm definitely happy to finish on the podium today."

Unofficial top ten points leaders are as follows: 1-MORENO 68; 2- de FERRAN 67; 3- TRACY 59; 4- ANDRETTI 56; 5- VASSER 54; 6- PAPIS 47; 7- BRACK 47; 8-MONTOYA 46; 9- CASTRONEVES 44; 10-FRANCHITTI 44.

Player's Forsythe Racing driver PATRICK CARPENTIER was fined $10,000 by CART Chief Steward Kirk Russell for failure to follow instructions of officials in regard to yielding to the leaders near the close of the race.

This concludes the Track Notes for the Freightliner/G.I. Joe's 200 Presented by Texaco. The FedEx Championship next travels to Cleveland for the running of Round Nine of the FedEx Championship Series, The Marconi Grand Prix of Cleveland Presented by Firstar on July 2nd.

-CART-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Al Unser Jr. , Michael Andretti , Mario Andretti , Dale Coyne
Teams Dale Coyne Racing