CHAMPCAR/CART: Texaco/Havoline Grand Prix of Houston - 14 Weeks to Go

September 29, 30 and October 1, 2000 The FedEx Championship Series so far this year: Race ...

September 29, 30 and October 1, 2000

The FedEx Championship Series so far this year:

Race # 7 for the FedEx Championship Series was last Sunday at Belle Isle in Detroit. Thus far in 2000, there have been no repeat winners.

Helio Castroneves took the checkered flag in Detroit, his first career Champ car victory. (More about Helio below). This win was the 101st Champ car victory for Team Penske.

The other two podium finishers were Max Papis in second and rookie Oriol Servia with PPI Motorsports, in third.

Points standings after seven races:

Paul Tracy maintains the lead with 59 points; Jimmy Vasser in 2nd with 54, third place: Roberto Moreno - 52 points; fourth: Max Papis - 47 points and 5th place is Gil de Ferran also with 47 points. The 1999 Champion, Juan Montoya is currently in 6th place with 46 points.

Kenny Brack is leading the other five rookies in points. Kenny has 39 followed by Oriol Servia with 26.

Brazil maintains the lead for the Nation's Cup with 112 points, followed by the US with 92.

Other CART news:

Andrew Craig, Chief Executive Officer and President, announced his resignation from CART last Friday. In the interim, Bobby Rahal will serve as CEO and president pending selection of a new CEO.

What's going on for the 2000 THGPH?

Ticket purchasing is easier than ever. The Grand Prix has expanded the website at to offer the convenience of on-line ticket purchasing. Ticketmaster has the tickets on-line and in their ticket outlets at Krogers, Fiesta and Foley's.

The operations department is working on the paddock area layout inside the George R. Brown Convention Center. With the CART teams, the Toyota Atlantics, the Trans-am Series and the Dayton Indy Lights, there are a lot of race vehicles and transporters to park. This year, the paddock area will have to be expanded and some of the teams will be located just outside the convention center.

Who's Who?

Helio Castroneves

Until last weekend in Detroit, Helio Castroneves had not taken the checkered flag in his three year Champ car career. He had two runner-up finishes -- 1998 in Milwaukee and Gateway in 1999. Helio was runner-up in the Rookie of the Year in 1998.

He was born in Sao Paulo, Brazil and now resides in Miami.

Helio, like many of the other drivers, began his racing career in go-karts. He then moved into Formula 3 in South America, then on to Indy Lights in 1996, driving for Tasman Motorsports.

Champ Car Jargon: --

What does it mean?

Stagger:  The difference in circumference between right and left side 
tires.  In oval events, it is preferable to have right side tires that
are slightly taller to help the car turn.  On road circuits, most cars will 
have all four tire diameters equal.  This is called "zero" stagger.

Chicane: A quick right-left or left-right turn.

No Man's Land - a 10 to 20 foot strip between the track and the spectators where only CART officials and media personnel with credentials issued by CART may stand while the cars are on the track. Usually, it's between fences and behind barriers, but varies from track to track.

Dyno: Derived from dynamometer -- a machine used to test and monitor an engine's horsepower and other performance factors.

Did you know?

Champ cars all share the following:

All are single-seat cars; they have open cockpits; they have open wheels (no fenders covering the wheels); wings at the front and rear of the car to provide downforce; the engines are behind the drivers.

The chassis is formed almost completely out of carbon fiber and aluminium honeycomb, making them very strong and lightweight. The entire chassis weights only about 1000 pounds when it arrives from the factory.

All about Houston:

At the start of the new year, the Houston Challenge 2000 was begun. Challenge 2000 is a leadership campaign undertaken to inspire everyone in the Houston metro area to work through their chosen organization, such as government, civic club or place of worship, to take on a civic improvement project.

The intent is to recognize 2000 projects through Houston by year end in celebration of the millennium.

Two large projects have been undertaken. Costwold 2000, is a $54 million development of downtown. the total project covers approximately 90 blocks of the northern part of downtown, incorporating new street lights, trees, water fountains and street paving.

The first neighborhood project for Challenge 2000 is the Martin Luther King beautification. Four miles of streets will be planned with trees and flowers. Artwork will be incorporated and a strong emphasis will be made on the heritage of Dr. Martin Luther King. Jr.

Next race for the CART FedEx Championship Series is the Freightliner G.I. Joe's 200 in Portland, this Sunday, June 25. ESPN2 will air the show at 6:00pm CDT.

For the latest updates about the Texaco/Havoline Grand Prix of Houston, visit our website:

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Gil de Ferran , Jimmy Vasser , Max Papis , Roberto Moreno , Bobby Rahal , Paul Tracy , Oriol Servia , Kenny Brack
Teams Team Penske