CHAMPCAR/CART: Team Motorola Long Beach preview

Indianapolis, IN-Team Motorola and driver Michael Andretti will take to the streets of Long Beach, California on Sunday, April 8th for the second round of the CART FedEx Championship Series. After the first round of competition, Andretti and his...

Indianapolis, IN-Team Motorola and driver Michael Andretti will take to the streets of Long Beach, California on Sunday, April 8th for the second round of the CART FedEx Championship Series. After the first round of competition, Andretti and his team stand fourth in points after qualifying fifth and finishing fourth at the season opener on March 11th in Monterrey, Mexico.

"For our first race as a team I was very pleased," said Kim Green, general manager of Team Motorola. "We scored championship points and worked well as a team and based on our qualifying and race results from Mexico we should be competitive at Long Beach."

Team Motorola is only a six-month old team and for them to begin the season so competitively has been satisfying. "Our testing prior to Mexico had gone well so we were optimistic going into our first race weekend," explained Tony Cotman, team manager. "Now the goal is to show up at the track and improve our results every weekend throughout the season."

The Long Beach race has always been an extremely successful event in the CART FedEx Series and for Andretti too, considering it was the sight of his first Champ Car win in 1986. "I've always liked Long Beach although I've not had the best results here in the last couple of seasons," said Andretti. "I think this year is going to be different. My first win in CART was at Long Beach with Barry Green as my team manager so maybe it will bring good luck this year with him as my owner." (Andretti's race ended early last year when after leading 13 laps an engine fire took him out of the competition.)

In order to improve on the finish in Mexico, Andretti made a list of goals to accomplish this weekend in Long Beach and explained them this way: "I was pretty pleased with our results in Mexico but we missed a few things and I'd like to see us get those right this weekend. I think we were off a bit on our set-up and with the way Team Motorola works, we should be right on the money in Long Beach. It's my job to save the tires and be smart about positioning myself to be competitive throughout the race. If we can accomplish these goals, I think you may see Team Motorola in victory circle come Sunday."

<pre> What: Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach Round 2 of 21 of the CART FedEx Championship Series

Where: 1.968-Mile Temporary Street Circuit Long Beach, California

When: Sunday, April 8, 2001 at 1:00 p.m. PST 4:00 p.m. EST live on ABC Television

</pre> Fast Facts:

--Long Beach was the site of Andretti's first CART victory in 1986. --Andretti finished second at Long Beach in 1989, which was his only other podium finish at this venue.

--Andretti started from the pole at Long Beach in 1991,'92 and '95.

--In 1983 Andretti competed in his only Super Vee race of the year and one of his competitors was his current engineer, Eddie Jones. Andretti went on to win the race while Jones finished fifth.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Michael Andretti , Kim Green , Barry Green