C.A.R.T. Mid-Ohio Aftermath and Comments
11 August 1997Honda powered race cars came home first--Zanardi, 5th, 6th, 12th, and 23rd--Johnstone.
Zanardi now leads the points chase with 148 to Paul Tracy's 121. De Ferran holds third with 116. Team Kool Green driver Parker Johnstone started 12th, moved up a few spots, and then tangles with Michael Andretti. His car went over a curb and damaged the wing extension and also dinged the steering gear. After the race, winner Zanardi said, "my boys are the fastest pit crew in the business--we are the team to beat."
Though Zanardi leads in points, Canadian Paul Tracy leads in Laps led. However, the Italian we call Zig Zag leads in pole positions (3), races finished (12), times led (15), and miles completed (2,719.851). His victory Sunday gives Italy 150 points in the Nations Cup competition. Canada leads it with 190 points, and the U.S. has 187.
Bryan Herta looked unbeatable until his right rear Goodyear disintegrated at lap 18. The Toyota powered cars finished 14th, 17th and Fangio called it a day at on lap 13 when his motor let go.
Canadian Greg Moore finished second and allowed that he absolutely had to short shift and conserve fuel the last few laps, but still doubted if he could have caught Zanardi who, after a "splash and go" with 5 laps remaining, really pushed up the wick
Another popular Canadian, Patrick Carpentier, got caught in a crowd of out-of-shape race cars at the start of the race and spun his Team Alumax Mercedes off course, but finally managed a 15th place finish.
Attending the Mid-Ohio race was co-owner of the Rahal team David Letterman, who allowed he loved watching 44 year old Rahal show "the kids" the short way around. Phil Hill's son, Derek, who is hot in Barber Dodge cars was on hand.
There's another Gurney in the on deck circle. Team Green Academy announced their candidates for driver development programs and Alex Gurney, Dan's son who races Skip Barber is on the list.
Bill Maloney -- The Auto Channel