HILLIARD, OH . . . Max Papis started the 2000 FedEx Championship Series with his first career win in the Marlboro Grand Prix of Miami. Since then the personable Italian has suffered with three DNF's in the last four races. Still Papis' 2000...
HILLIARD, OH . . . Max Papis started the 2000 FedEx Championship Series with his first career win in the Marlboro Grand Prix of Miami. Since then the personable Italian has suffered with three DNF's in the last four races. Still Papis' 2000 season point total of 25 is just one point behind where he was at this point of his breakout all-star 1999 season. "Last year we started the season slowly and finished the season strong," said Papis. "I was hopeful after Miami that we could build on our momentum but things beyond our control have cost us the advantage we gained at Homestead. Nothing has changed from when we had three straight podiums finishes, we know what we have to do to be successful." This week the CART FedEx Championship Series heads to Milwaukee for the Miller Lite 225 at the historic Milwaukee Mile. For Papis racing at the Milwaukee Mile holds a special meaning not only because it is an opportunity for him to race in his primary sponsor's home town, but for the track's unique history. "The Milwaukee Mile is the first oval track I ever drove a Champ Car. This track is the oldest in the United States and has a special place in open-wheel racing history. This is a track where just by walking through the pits you get a feel for the history of open-wheel racing in America. I always get excited at the prospect of racing on one of the great historical tracks of our sport."
PAPIS EYES MILLER RACING HISTORY
As the FedEx Championship Series comes to Milwaukee to race at the Milwaukee Mile, the opportunity presents itself to Team Rahal's Max Papis to carve out a unique niche in Miller Racing history. In Miller Brewing Company's 17 seasons of CART Champ Car sponsorship, none of the Champ Car's carrying the Miller logo has ever won a race at the Milwaukee Mile. Papis would like to be the first to deliver Miller a CART win in Miller's hometown. "We approach the Miller Lite 225 like we do any other race, but we know that we will have a lot of fans rooting for us," said Papis. "Miller Brewing has supported me as I strive to reach my goals and dreams and while we have already won a race this year I would love to repay Miller with a win at Milwaukee. The chance only comes once a year so we have to take advantage of the opportunity."
"ROOKIE " BRACK IS ADJUSTING QUICKLY TO CART
After dominating the IRL for two and a half seasons, Kenny Brack joined Team Rahal last November in search of a new challenge. Brack felt the adjustment to CART would take some time, but after five races Brack is seventh in the points (27) and has posted a pair of top-five results among his three top-ten finishes. "I am fortunate to have a very good team behind me and that is making the adjustment easier," said Brack. "There are still some adjustments I have to make but I really feel like the entire package is coming together for us. At Nazareth we didn't have the fastest car in the field but we had superior teamwork and the combination of fast effective pitstops and a great strategy made us successful." "If we can develop a consistency in our performance, even better things are ahead. There are races where we have been better this season than what we were at Nazareth, but we minimized our mistakes and found ourselves on the podium. If we can continue to do those things each time out then we will be at the point where we are ready to win."
BRACK'S NEW BEGINNINGS
Team Rahal's Kenny Brack is off to a fast start in CART, faster than the last two times he joined a new series. Following is a breakdown of his first five races in CART, the Indy Racing League and Formula 3000.
<pre> Race CART (2000) 1 5th - 18th @ Homestead 2 7th - 17th @ Long Beach 3 4th - 10th @ Rio 4 2nd - 5th @ Japan 5 6th - 3rd @ Nazareth
First Win: -na- First Podium: 5th race @ Nazareth (3rd) Race IRL (1997) 1 9th - 11th @ Phoenix 2 15th - 33rd @ Indy 3 3rd - 18th @ Texas 4 6th - 14th @ Pikes Peak 5 18th - 5th @ Charlotte First Win: 14th race @ Charlotte First Podium: 11th race @ Texas (3rd)
Race Formula 3000 (1994) 1 14th - 12th @ Sliverstone 2 21st - DNF @ Pau 3 14th - 11th @ Barcelona 4 15th - 11th Enna-Pergusa 5 17th - 9th Hockenheim
First Win: 16th race @ Magny Cours First Podium: 6th race @ Spa (3rd)