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CART 2000: Saturday Practice-Andretti on Top, Moreno Crashes

28 October 2000

By David Treffer
Contributing Motorsports Editor
Roberto Moreno's slim chances of winning the 2000 CART Championship have been reduced by half. After showing progress in Friday's first practice session, Moreno crashed in the early Saturday morning practice. Moreno's chances of winning the CART Championship were predicated on several goals being achieved. The first hurdle for Moreno was to attain pole position. While qualifying for tomorrow's Marlboro 500 has yet to be conducted the realistic chances of Moreno winning the coveted position and the vital 1 point are all but gone.

Involved in a crash with Moreno was Team Rahal/Miller Lite driver Max Papis. Both drivers were released at the infield care center and given clearance to race tomorrow.

Newman-Haas/K-Mart driver Michael Andretti turned in the fastest time of today's practice. Andretti's average speed was 241.588mph in a time of 30.235seconds. Following closely on Andretti's heels was Team Penske/Marlboro driver Gil de Ferran with an average speed of 241.412mph. Should de Ferran grab pole position he will all but eliminate Paul Tracy and Kenny Brack from the 2000 championship chase.

Patrick Racing driver Adrian Fernandez, currently five points behind de Ferran, turned in the 10th best time of the day with a respectable speed of 236.335mph in a time of 30.907 seconds. Fernandez' team appears to be in search of finding the correct race set-up strategy rather than put all of their efforts in achieving pole position.

Target driver Juan Montoya turned in the fourth fastest time today. Montoya set the speed benchmark in Friday's practice with a staggering average speed in excess of 242 mph.

Changeable weather conditions have hampered the amount of practice time on the track. An early forecast for clear skies on Sunday has been down-gradred to a chance for rain during the race. None the less the teams ignore the forecast and search for the answers to solve the speed riddle at Fontana.

Editors Note: To view hundreds of hot racing photos and art, visit The Racing Photo Museum and the Visions of Speed Art Gallery.