CHAMPCAR/CART: Thursday Practice Story

PPG Cup Leader Moore Leads Practice For Motorola 300 CART Online (May 21, 1998) - Greg Moore posted the fastest speed Thursday during the rain-shortened opening day of practice for Saturday's Motorola 300 at Gateway International Raceway.

PPG Cup Leader Moore Leads Practice For Motorola 300

CART Online (May 21, 1998) - Greg Moore posted the fastest speed Thursday during the rain-shortened opening day of practice for Saturday's Motorola 300 at Gateway International Raceway.

Moore (Player's/Indeck Reynard Mercedes) averaged 177.505 miles per hour (25.757 seconds) on his fastest lap around the 1.27-mile oval. He enters the weekend with a 71-67 lead over defending champion Alex Zanardi (Target Reynard Honda) in the PPG Cup points standings.

Qualifying for Saturday's Motorola 300 (1 p.m. ET, live, ABC-TV) begins at 3:15 p.m. ET Friday. The pole winner collects the $10,000 Marlboro Pole Award, with the opportunity to add an additional $195,000 in rollover bonus money, a record for the six-year history of the award.

Moore's fast lap came on his 27th and final one during the morning practice session. The split afternoon practice session was canceled due to rain. He heads into Friday's qualifying as the quickest, but 24 cars were within a second of Moore's time.

"I'm very comfortable with the laps we ran today," Moore said. "We didn't test at all here [prior], so like Nazareth, we spent the first hour getting used to what the car felt like with speedway wings. The last half-hour, we concentrated on getting some good laps in, and it seemed to work out well."

All cars are running the Gateway oval with speedway wings this weekend, rather than the road-course configuration that was used during the inaugural Motorola 300 last year.

Jimmy Vasser (Target Reynard Honda), the 1996 PPG Cup champion, was second fastest at 177.161 mph (25.807 sec). He pursues his second pole position of the season Friday, after earning the top starting spot at Japan based on fastest practice time when qualifying was rained out.

"The car has a lot less downforce and a lot less grip [with speedway wings], but we're still achieving higher top-end speeds down the straightaways," Vasser said. "We were able to test here one time in this configuration late last year, in October or November, and some of what we learned there has transferred to the [19]98 car, but not everything. We're still confident that we can work with the engineers to solve whatever problems still remain."

Rookie Tony Kanaan (LCI Reynard Honda) was third fastest at 177.106 mph (25.815 sec).

"[The rain] puts us a little bit behind, but at least it's the same for everybody," said Kanaan, who had a career-best third-place qualifying effort at Brazil two weeks ago. "We had a pretty good run today, and I hope the weather can stay the same tomorrow as it was this morning."

JJ Lehto (Hogan Motor Leasing, Inc. Reynard Mercedes) was fourth fastest at 177.010 mph (25.829 sec), followed by Dario Franchitti (KOOL Reynard Honda), at 175.657 mph (26.028 sec).

Qualifying for the Motorola 300 will air 5 p.m. ET Friday on ESPN2.

Source: CART Online

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Jimmy Vasser , Dario Franchitti , Tony Kanaan , Greg Moore , JJ Lehto