Race No. 4

Bosch Spark Plug Grand Prix
Presented By Toyota
Nazareth Motorsports Complex — Nazareth, Pennsylvania
April 25-27, 1997

Tracy Victorious!
Paul Tracy repeats his victory of '94

©1997 SpeedCenter Internet Publishing, Inc.

Nazareth, Pennsylvania (April 27, 1997) —

Paul Tracy repeats his victory of '94 by winning today's Bosch SparkplugGrand Prix held today at Nazareth Speedway.

For the second year in a row, driver's have won the Bosch SparkplugGrand Prix the very race following disciplinary action by CARTofficials. Last year's race resulted in a win for Michael Andretti afterbeing fined and placed on probation in the preceeding race. This year,Paul Tracy was fined $25,000 for several rule infractions duringcompetition at the Toyota Long Beach Grand Prix just two weeks ago.

Tracy started from the pole in his Penske Marlboro Mercedes on Goodyeartires. His track record qualifying speed of 191.174 eclipsed theprevious record of 190.737, set by Tracy himself in capturing the polefor the 1996 Bosch Grand Prix.

The victory gives Penske Racing their first victory since the MolsonIndy Vancouver race on September 3, 1995, when Al Unser, Jr. won hislast race of record. This is Tracy's first victory since June 4, 1995 atthe Miller Genuine Draft 200 in Milwaukee, WI.

Al Unser, Jr's third place finish is definitely a signal that the PenskeRacing camp is back in contention, and that the woes of the past are nowhistory. Even though the '96 season shared no victories with Unser, hefinished fourth in the quest for the PPG Cup with a total of 125 points,marking eleven out of twelve seasons with finishes in the top five inchampionship points.

The notable story of the day is the second place finish by Newman Haas'Michael Andretti in the KMart/Texaco/Havoline Swift Ford Cosworth. Eventhough starting on the outside of row one, Andretti was forced to makean off-schedule green flag pitstop on lap 53 due to a punctured tire.Andretti returned to the field in 17th place and then began his tearback toward the front of the pack.

By the end of lap 176, Andretti had overtaken Little Al for second placeand was able to close a three second gap between he and leader PaulTracy as they approached lap traffic. The close pursuit continued untilAndretti was setting himself for position to pass when the yellow flagcame out on lap 223 of the 225 lap event, ending the race under yellow.

Gil de Ferran in his Walker Racing Reynard Honda Goodyear finishedfourth. De Ferran has both qualified and run strong in the season thusfar, with two finishes of fifth place at the Toyota Grand Prix of LongBeach and IndyCarnival at Surfer's Paradise, Australia. Gil was leadingthe season opener at Homestead, only to suffer a collision withbackmarker Dennis Vitolo while attempting to lap he and Max Papis ofTeam MCI. The race at Surfer's Paradise opened with a horrifying crashwith Christian Fittipaldi. The two collided as they raced toward thestart-finish line to begin the second lap. de Ferran's car was totaled,as was Fittipaldi's, but the race was red flagged and Gil was allowed tore-start the race in his back-up car.

Jimmy Vasser's Target/Chip Ganassi Reynard Honda Firestone rounded outthe top five. Vasser and teammate Alex Zanardi suffered poor performancein qualifying for the Bosch Grand Prix, starting 12th and 21strespectively. Vasser cited the rear-end of his car jumping out andcausing him to have to get out of the accelerator, but both he andZanardi admitted they just didn't have the right set-up for their cars.Still, Jimmy's fifth place finish will net him ten points in his questfor the '97 PPG Cup Championship. Zanardi finished eleventh, just insidethe points window scoring only two points.

Owner/driver Bobby Rahal finished sixth in the Reynard Ford Goodyear,and was followed by teammate Bryan Herta in a Reynard Ford Goodyear.Raul Boesel driving for Patrick Racing in the Reynard Ford Firestone,Mauricio Gugelmin driving for PacWest in the Reynard Mercedes Firestone,and Boesel's teammate Scott Pruett in the Reynard Ford Firestone roundout the top ten.

Goodyear captured the top four positions, and six out of the top ten.This provided the tire-maker a welcome result. Qualifying sessions hadappeared to give favor to Goodyear shod cars, taking seven of the topten grid positions.

Seventy-six of the 225 laps were run under a track record ten cautionflags. The first of the yellows waved after the pace-car had exited thetrack, but before the green flag flew. A "dust devil" had blown over twotents in the infield scattering debris on the backstretch. Subsequentyellows fell on laps 6 (debris,) 13, 35, 59, 82,144, 180, and 192 (allfor contact,) and the final yellow flew on lap 223 for a car fire inJuan Manuel Fangio II's Castrol Jockey/AAR Reynard 96I Toyota. Theprevious record for yellow flags during a Bosch Grand Prix at Nazarethwas 5.