West Allis, Wisconsin, June 1, 2000 As the oldest, continuously active Champ Car venue in North America, The Milwaukee Mile is steeped in history and Team Player's, which takes to the 1.032-mile oval this weekend for Round 6 of the FedEx CART ...
West Allis, Wisconsin, June 1, 2000 As the oldest, continuously active Champ Car venue in North America, The Milwaukee Mile is steeped in history and Team Player's, which takes to the 1.032-mile oval this weekend for Round 6 of the FedEx CART Championship, is part of that history.
Team Player's drivers have twice reached the podium at the venerable track, where Champ Cars have run since 1933 Greg Moore won in 1997 and was second in 1999, while Patrick Carpentier, in a record qualifying time, took the pole in 1998.
Carpentier and Alex Tagliani will be out to duplicate that success this weekend on a track that is both an exciting ride and a trip down memory lane.
"It's always a special feeling when you're racing on The Milwaukee Mile because the track is so unique, with such a sense of history," admitted Carpentier. "You just have to look at the great names in motor-racing who have driven and won on this track to realize it has plenty of tradition. It would be great for the Player's team if we can duplicate the pole we won there two years ago."
This year's Miller Lite 225 on The Milwaukee Mile is especially significant for Carpentier because it marks the first time in eight weeks that he will be competing in a regular weekend session that includes practice, qualifying and the race. Carpentier returned from a broken wrist at Nazareth last week, but because it was a re-scheduled race and the grid had been set seven weeks earlier, it became strictly a one-day event.
"Getting back to a normal race weekend routine of practice, qualifying and then the race is going to be good," remarked Carpentier. "I couldn't really put my wrist to the test in Nazareth last weekend because we were on the track just that one day for the race. Still, I managed to put in more than 100 laps and I think the wrist held up quite well. I expect the fast Milwaukee oval, with its tight turns, will put my wrist to the test, which is good because I want to put in as many laps as possible before the first street course of the season in Detroit."
Tagliani is no stranger to success on The Milwaukee Mile he got to the podium there in 1998 with a third-place finish while driving for the Player's Atlantic team. This time, he is heading to Milwaukee intent on resuming his early-season pace that propelled him to the top of the CART rookie standings. He has been out of the points in the last two races and is now second to Sweden's Kenny Br=E4ck in the rookie race.
"I've said since the start of the season that there are going to be times when the going gets a bit rough and you have to be able to deal with the adversity," said Tagliani. "The last two races have been tough but there were still quite a few positives, especially the tremendous pit-stop work by the Player's team at Nazareth that put us right in contention. That's a good thing to carry into Milwaukee.
"I want to reward the Player's crew for the great work they're doing in giving me a competitive car, and I've got my sights set on recapturing the lead in the CART rookie standings. We've seen so far this season that anything can happen during a race. We've had five different winners in the five races and strategy and reliability have been big factors in the outcome."
Racing fans can watch the Miller Lite 225 live on The Sports Network at 4 p.m. (ET) on Sunday.