CHAMPCAR/CART: Team Rahal Track Talk - Cleveland

HERTA'S PAST SUCCESS AT CLEVELAND LEADS TEAM RAHAL BACK TO THE LAKE HILLIARD, OH . . .While he didn't get the result he wanted out of last week's race at Portland International Raceway, Bryan Herta did pick up his second top-ten...

HERTA'S PAST SUCCESS AT CLEVELAND LEADS TEAM RAHAL BACK TO THE LAKE

HILLIARD, OH . . .While he didn't get the result he wanted out of last week's race at Portland International Raceway, Bryan Herta did pick up his second top-ten finish of the season and deposit eight points into his championship total with a sixth-place finish on Sunday. "I am disappointed in a sixth-place finish," said Herta. "I don't race in CART to be happy with just finishing in the top ten, I want to win." In a season, which had more frustration than celebration, Herta finally got some breaks last weekend. He finished in the top ten for just the second time this season and the first time since Long Beach. "I am at the point where I have to race for wins, not points," said Herta. "[Juan] Montoya and [Dario] Franchitti are starting to build a lead on the rest of us, but there is still a lot of racing to be done to decide the championship. I know it sounds like a cliché but we have to focus on each race and try to win or at least maximize the points from each event." Cleveland is a track where Herta has been very successful over the years. From 1995 to 1997, he posted three consecutive top-five finishes, including a second-place finish in 1995. On his way to a fourth consecutive top-five finish in 1998, Herta spun during a last-lap pass attempt and had to settle for 13th place overall. "I have always been fond of the track at Cleveland, not just because I have had success there but because the fans have always been great to me personally. The track is fast and wide which provides ample passing opportunities. This is always a fun and exciting race and this is one of the races I look forward to each season."

PAPIS POSTS CAREER-BEST FIFTH TOP-TEN FINISH Max Papis set another career milestone in his breakout season of 1999 when he posted his fifth top-ten finish of the year. Papis' previous best was 1998 when he posted four top-ten efforts for Arciero Wells Racing. The 29-year-old native of Italy finished his eighth consecutive race for Team Rahal on Sunday, also a career best. Entering the Medic Drug Grand Prix of Cleveland, Papis is ninth in points with a career best 41. Although Papis has compiled the majority of his points on the ovals since joining Team Rahal, he has managed a pair of top ten efforts on the two-road/street courses in 1999. "Cleveland is a good setting for a race," said Papis. "The track is a venue where the driver has a great deal of influence on the car and the outcome. The track is fast and slick and the race is usually pretty exciting."

THE 1999 BOBBY RAHAL AWARD OF EXCELLENCE The second annual Bobby Rahal Award of Excellence will be awarded on Thursday night at the 1999 Grand Prix Ball, a black tie affair hosted by Cleveland Grand Prix Charities. The award, presented annually by Firestone, recognizes an individual for excellence in motorsports. The inaugural award was presented in 1998 to Rahal prior to his final race as a driver at Cleveland's Burke Lakefront Airport.

THE BOBBY RAHAL FOUNDATION BENEFITS TWO CLEVELAND CHARITIES The Bobby Rahal Foundation has made donations to two Cleveland area charities, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and Cleveland Grand Prix Charities. The donations are part of the Foundation's yearlong disbursement to charities in CART markets. Rahal was born near Cleveland in Medina, OH.

The Bobby Rahal Foundation is a not-for-profit endowment created by the three-time PPG Cup Champion prior to his final season as a driver. During the 1998 season and "Rahal's Last Ride" the Foundation raised over $400,000.

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Max Papis , Bobby Rahal , Bryan Herta