CHAMPCAR/CART: Spring Training Thursday Wrapup

PAPIS, BRACK SET FASTEST TIMES IN CART SPRING TRAINING IN MIAMI HOMESTEAD, Fla. (February 10) -- Max Papis and rookie teammate Kenny Brack ran the fastest laps Thursday at Homestead-Miami Speedway, putting Team Rahal at the top of the charts in...

PAPIS, BRACK SET FASTEST TIMES IN CART SPRING TRAINING IN MIAMI

HOMESTEAD, Fla. (February 10) -- Max Papis and rookie teammate Kenny Brack ran the fastest laps Thursday at Homestead-Miami Speedway, putting Team Rahal at the top of the charts in the closing day of CART's fifth annual Spring Training.

Papis turned in a lap of 25.760 seconds -- 209.907 mph -- besting Wednesday's top speed of 206.044 mph in the Team Rahal Miller Lite Ford Reynard. Brack, the 1999 Indianapolis 500 winner, also dramatically improved on Wednesday's speed, improving to 208.651 mph.

Spring Training gave all of the CART FedEx Championship Series teams and drivers the opportunity to test for the 2000 season, which opens March 24-26 at Homestead-Miami Speedway with the Marlboro Grand Prix of Miami presented by Toyota.

"Overall, it was a good couple of days, and I'm very excited about the upcoming season," said Papis, a native of Italy who now resides in Miami Beach. "We've been evaluating a lot of things, trying to go faster."

"We seem to be going fast when we want to go fast," said Brack. "I don't know if Spring Training is a true reading of the race weekend, but if there' s going to be a chart, it's better to be on top."

Two-time Miami winner Michael Andretti was third fastest at 208.651 mph. Fourth was Jimmy Vasser, followed by Christian Fittipaldi and defending CART champion Juan Montoya.

Dario Franchitti, the 1999 CART runner-up, crashed on Wednesday afternoon in the only incident of Spring Training. He was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, where is is being treated for three non-displaced fractures of the pelvis and several small contusions of the brain. Dr. Steve Olvey, CART director of medical affairs, said no surgery will be required for any of the injuries, but Franchitti is scheduled to remain hospitalized for a few days.

Tickets for the March 24-26 Marlboro Grand Prix of Miami presented by Toyota are on sale by calling (305) 230-RACE. For additional information, visit www.homesteadmiamispeedway.com.

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Michael Andretti , Jimmy Vasser , Max Papis , Christian Fittipaldi , Dario Franchitti , Kenny Brack