Race No. 7
Miller 200 Brewyard Becomes Moore's First
The Milwaukee Mile West Allis, Wisconsin
May 30-June 1, 1997
Canadian becomes youngest CART winner in history at The Mile
By Ray Sprouse
©1997 SpeedCenter Internet Publishing, Inc.The young Canadian Greg Moore won his first race in the PPG CART WorldSeries today at the Milwaukee Mile in West Allis, WI. The young driver,at 22 years old, also becomes the youngest driver ever to win a PPG CARTWorld Series event.
Moore drives for the Players/Forsythe Racing Team in the ReynardMercedes, and becomes the first Firestone shod car to win on an ovalduring the chase for the '97 PPG Cup.
Fuel and pit stops once again played a big part of today's racestrategy, and nearly allowed defending Miller 200 champion MichaelAndretti to make a late race charge for the lead. Following final pitstops. caused by a yellow when the #25 car of Max Papis lost control onturn four, the Player's/Forsythe Racing Team radioed to Moore withinstructions for him to run in sixth gear to conserve fuel. Then, withtwelve laps remaining, Moore got the call to go back to full racerunning in fifth gear.
Andretti had started in fourteenth position, but had made his way tosecond with a brilliant piece of driving. Pit stops hadn't been kind toAndretti during the race, having dropped him a minimum of two positionson each yellow flag pit stop occasion. That final stop caused by thePapis incident proved to be the telling story when Greg Moore and thePlayer's team decided to stay on the track rather than pit.
Defending PPG Cup champion Jimmy Vasser placed third tying his bestshowing of the year in the season opener at Homestead, FL. Vasser'sattempts for success this season have been with point scoringconsistency. He scored only one point by finishing 12th at Surfer'sParadise, Australia, but followed with a ninth at Long Beach, a fifth atNazareth, a ninth again at Rio, and another fifth in last weeks Motorola300 at Gateway. Today's third place finish gives Vasser a total of 47points with the fourteen he earned for third place today. This willunofficially leave Vasser in fith place, following Tracy in first with94 points, Andretti second with 70 points, and Moore and Pruett are nowunofficially tied for fourth with 65 points.
The parity of the manufacturer's battle continued again today as well,with Mercedes-Benz flexing their muscle once again. After last year'sdominance by Honda powered cars, it was unclear who would rein in the'97 chase. At this point in the season though, the only clear loser isstill the development of the Toyota RV8B phase three engines.Dependability and power have been the Toyota nemesis, but two of thefour Toyota powered cars (PJ Jones and Hiro Matsushita) finished therace today. Papis and Juan Manuel Fangio II suffered contact with theturn four wall, and not engine failure in their exit of the MilwaukeeMile.
It was a great race with good, clean passing, and a fifth different winner in seven PPG CART World Seriesevents in the '97 season. That curve has only been skewed by the threeconsecutive wins accomplished by Tracy, who had to settle for asixth-place finish in today's race.
The record for four in a row will remain in the hands of Tracy's teammate, Al Unser, Jr. who suffered another DNF and a twentieth-placefinish in today's race due to gear-box failure, which was actuallycaused by clutch failure exiting the pits on the final yellow flag.
Next week's event, The ITT Automotive Detroit Grand Prix on Belle IslePark, is a return to the street courses, and a welcomed end (for thiswriter) to the string of oval track racing over the past four events.The event, scheduled Sunday, June 8, will be aired live on ABC, with astart time of 2:30PM EDT. Michael Andretti is the defending champion.