CHAMPCAR/CART: This Week in CART History 99-04-27

This Week in CART History 99-04-27 - by Russ Thompson, CART.com historian Nazareth (April 27, 1999) Paul Tracy ended a 27-race winless streak that dated back almost two years to win the Bosch Spark Plug Grand Prix on the 1-mile oval at Nazareth.

This Week in CART History 99-04-27 - by Russ Thompson, CART.com historian

Nazareth (April 27, 1999) Paul Tracy ended a 27-race winless streak that dated back almost two years to win the Bosch Spark Plug Grand Prix on the 1-mile oval at Nazareth. Tracy's win also ended a dry spell for car owner Roger Penske that was almost as long: Penske's last win came with Al Unser Jr. at Vancouver in September 1995 -- or 20 races ago. Tracy held off hometown favorite Michael Andretti to lead 186 of the 225 laps. Andretti hounded him to the finish, and the two put on a stirring duel in the cramped quarters of the odd-shaped oval. Their battle was compounded by the 16 cars still on the track at the time. If Andretti was planning a last lap charge, it was spoiled when Juan Fangio's Toyota engine blew with two laps to go and the race ended under caution. To underline the fact that Team Penske was back, Unser finished third in Goodyear's sweep of the podium.

After the race was postponed a day due to rain, Jimmy Vasser led Target/Chip Ganassi Racing to a one-two sweep of the fourth round of the 1998 FedEx Championship. It was the first win for Vasser on a short oval and the sixth of his career. He led teammate Alex Zanardi across the line by 1.4 seconds. Unusually cold weather contributed to the seven separate accidents during the race, one of which was early leader Michael Andretti. After leading 102 of the first 122 laps, Andretti was caught on cold tires on a restart and spun into the wall. Patrick Carpentier won the first pole of his career as he led a Player's Forsythe team sweep of the front row when he qualified at over 184 mph. Teammate Greg Moore turned his outside front row start into a third-place finish.

Local driver Michael Andretti took control after early leader Paul Tracy had problems on a pit stop. Tracy led the first 87 laps from his pole position when he came into the pits too hot and knocked down one of his crew members. Andretti, on the way to his second victory at his hometown track, took over and led the final 113 laps to win by 12.213 seconds over rookie Greg Moore. The defending Indy Lights champion was making his second appearance on the podium in only his fifth race in the Champ Cars. Al Unser Jr. was third, followed by the other two Penske chassis in the field: Emerson Fittipaldi in fourth and Tracy, who recovered to finish fifth, one lap down.

Source: CART Online

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Al Unser Jr. , Michael Andretti , Jimmy Vasser , Patrick Carpentier , Paul Tracy , Alex Zanardi , Emerson Fittipaldi , Chip Ganassi , Roger Penske , Greg Moore , Al Unser
Teams Team Penske , Chip Ganassi Racing