Mid-Ohio preview

DUBLIN, Ohio (July 28, 2000) -Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio, will play host to four races during the Miller Lite 200, August 10-13, when the CART FedEx Championship Series makes its way to Mid-Ohio for Round 13 of the 20-event...

DUBLIN, Ohio (July 28, 2000) -Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio, will play host to four races during the Miller Lite 200, August 10-13, when the CART FedEx Championship Series makes its way to Mid-Ohio for Round 13 of the 20-event schedule.

While it will be the Champ Cars that take center stage at the 2.25-mile, 13-turn permanent road facility for the Miller Lite 200, three support races will complete the weekend. The Dayton Indy Lights Championship, Barber Dodge Pro Series and American City Racing League (ACRL) will all be featured at the historic racing venue.

This year marks the return of the Dayton Indy Lights Championship to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course where it last raced in 1994. The 2000 Mid-Ohio race will serve as Round Seven of the 12-race season schedule. The Dayton Indy Lights Championship is CART's top-level development series, and is internationally recognized as one of the most competitive top-tier training ground series in the world. While the name and concept of the series has remained consistent over time, much has changed since 1994.

Since 1997, the Indy Lights series has utilized a Lola chassis with production-based, non-turbocharged GM V6 engines, giving the machines up to 425 horsepower and the capability to reach speeds of 190 mph. Capital raised from the public sale of CART stock allowed Championship Auto Racing Teams to purchase the Dayton Indy Lights Championship in 1998, giving CART control over its top developmental series.

The most noticeable change to the series is the emergence of new names and faces in the paddock. In the early 1990's, drivers like Patrick Carpentier, Adrian Fernandez, Bryan Herta and Paul Tracy piloted Indy Lights machines on their way to the top-level Champ Cars. The past three Indy Lights Champions - Tony Kanaan, Cristiano da Matta and Oriol Servia - also have stepped up to CART. In 2000, a new group of drivers are competing with hopes of one day driving in CART.

The 2000 Dayton Indy Lights Championship points battle has been tightly contested since the first race of the season in Long Beach, with four different winners in five events. Jason Bright, with 57 points, holds a one-point edge over both Scott Dixon and teammate Casey Mears. Felipe Giaffone is just four points behind. The top six spots are separated by only 16 points, not an insurmountable gap with seven events remaining.

The Barber Dodge Pro Series will also return to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for Round Seven of the 11-event season schedule. Mid-Ohio has been a mainstay on the Barber Dodge Pro Series schedule for the past 14 years, dating back to 1987.

Like many of today's top racing talents, 1999 CART season champ and defending Miller Lite 200 winner Juan Montoya refined his skills in the Barber Dodge Pro Series. Montoya enjoyed success in the series, winning the 1994 Mid-Ohio race from the pole. 1999 Indy 500 winner and 2000 CART rookie Kenny Brack is also a successful series graduate, having claimed the 1993 season series title.

The 2000 Barber Dodge Pro Series season has lived up to expectations with Jon Fogarty in a close battle with Nilton Rossoni for the most points and victories. Fogarty claimed his first victory in the Barber Dodge Pro Series at Mid-Ohio in 1998 and finished fifth one year ago. Rossoni has found victory lane three times in the first six races of the 2000 season. Both drivers will be looking for strong finishes at Mid-Ohio to remain at the top of championship contention.

The American City Racing League (ACRL) will make its second appearance of the season at the Miller Lite 200. The ACRL was created in 1988 to provide high quality recognition for cities and sponsors through motorsports. Teams from Akron, Atlanta, Chicago, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus, Detroit, Miami, Milwaukee, Palm Beach, Philadelphia, New York, Reading, St. Louis and Tampa are all expected to compete. Cities score points based on the top three leading drivers' total points for each team. In addition to team prizes, drivers may also take home individual awards in their Sports 2000, Classic Sports 2000 and Sports 1600 vehicles. Similar to football, a team effort can often outweigh an individual performance to help a city claim victory.

John Fergus, driving for Team Columbus, has had a stronghold on the competition at Mid-Ohio claiming victory in 1999 and winning one of two races held at Mid-Ohio in June of this year. Team Columbus and its fellow competitors will return to Mid-Ohio looking for a strong run with only three racing weekends remaining on the schedule.

All three support series will be on track Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, with the ACRL and Barber Dodge Pro Series taking to the track on Thursday, August 10, for a day of testing. The green flag drops for the ACRL race on Saturday afternoon at 4:00 p.m. The Dayton Indy Lights Championship race is set for Sunday at 11:30 a.m., and the Barber Dodge Pro Series will run at 4:30 p.m., immediately following the Miller Lite 200.

For tickets to the Miller Lite 200, call 1-800-MID-OHIO or (419) 884-4000, Monday-Friday, or go online at www.midohio.com <http://www.midohio.com>. Tickets are available for 10 percent off all orders received by Thursday, August 3, at 5:00 p.m.

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Series Indy Lights
Drivers Casey Mears , Adrian Fernandez , Paul Tracy , Scott Dixon , Tony Kanaan , Bryan Herta , Kenny Brack , Jon Fogarty , John Fergus , Nilton Rossoni , Jason Bright , Cristiano da Matta