Race No. 7
Andretti Wins Miller 200
In the end it was the newly implemented (at the U.S. 500) NASCAR-style restart rule that gave Michael Andretti the win at the Miller 200 today. A rule that Andretti had been against.
Andretti passed Unser on the outside late in the race on a restart to take the win.
"I was a little bit surprised I was able to drive past Al like that," said Andretti. "I was just on it."
"I guess the new rule helped me," Michael snickered. "I was one of the ones complaining about it, but it helped me today."
Asked why he was against it, Andretti said, "We don't have fenders, for one. It just basically bunches cars up again and restarts are the most dangerous part of races. ... I also thought it would be cause more confusion and take more time to organize everything. But everybody's handling it real well."
When asked why Andretti passed him so easily, Unser said, "I wasn't set up for a trophy dash. I was set up for long runs."
Paul Tracy, however saw the new restarts a different way, from the third position. "Those restarts are a lot of fun," Tracy said. "If you're leading, it takes away a lot of your advantage, but it gives everybody else a chance to strike."
"The fans were going nuts at the end. I could hear them over the sound of the cars." The record crowd of 48,153 overwhelmingly liked the new restart format.
But what it really came down to was tire/chassis/engine combinations.
Both Honda and Firestone, who had been dominate for the first six races, were basically no-shows at Milwaukee.
Goodyear was responsible for 7 out of the first 10 positions and owned the podium plus-one. The first Firestone-shod car finished fifth (Greg Moore).
Ford-Cosworth won the race but Mercedes-power snagged positions 2-5, and the previously dominate Honda engine didn't even show until the eighth position at the hands of Tasman Motorsports driver, Andre Ribeiro.
Lola took the win at the hands of Andretti, but the Penske chassis finished 2-4, with Reynard's top finisher coming in fifth.
The plot thickens......As does the points battle!
The next race is the ITT Automotive Detroit Grand Prix, June 7-9.
As always, SpeedCenter will provide the best on the Net.
The SpeedCenter Team has prepared a Gallery from Saturday's session - the Milwaukee Gallery.
With more coming soon!