The Indianapolis Star from Indianapolis, Indiana on September 13, 1999 · Page 23
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The Indianapolis Star from Indianapolis, Indiana · Page 23

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Indianapolis, Indiana
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Monday, September 13, 1999
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Page 23
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THE INDIANAPOLIS STAR MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 13, 1999 C3 Stewart breaks through with Elements in place for Indiana driver to be star on the Winston Cup circuit. By David Poole THE CHARLOTTE OBSERVER RICHMOND, Va. The inclination is to say Tony Stewart finally got his first Winston Cup win Saturday night in the Exide 400 at Richmond International Raceway. The sense that the victory was overdue, of course, is an indication of just how excellent the Indiana native has been in his rookie season at stock-car racing's highest level. In dominating the 25th start of his career he led the final 144 Herta's performance is dominating again By Robin Miller STAFF WRITER I MONTEREY, Calif. Sunday's Shell 300 had about as many ' strange storylines as possible. - Neither winner Bryan Herta nor runner-up Roberto Moreno has a ' ride secured for 2000. Juan Mon- ,-toya! didn't pass anybody all afternoon yet increased his FedEx Championship lead. And Ford finished 1-2-3, but Honda clinched the engine manufacturers title. In another dominating drive at Laguna Seca's 2.2-mile road course, Herta had no peers for the second consecutive year as he led all 83 laps and scored the second win of his Championship Auto Racing Teams career. 'The 29-year-old Californian .started on the pole and held off Tony Kanaan early and Moreno late "in -the Shell ReynardFordFirestone to become the 10th different " driver in 1999 to take a checkered flag.' After being told by owner Bobby 'Rahal his contract won't be renewed for next season, Herta drove like a man who needs a job. "I did the best possible thing to 'Improve my situation," said Herta, who has always run strong on road courses but has struggled on ovals ' during his four years with Team i -Rahal. 1 " "There aren't many seats open ''and. someone is going to be out when the music stops. I know ' where I want to be. I want to drive for. Patrick Racing and they know " - Ironically, Moreno is the other candidate for Patrick's car, and he ' continued his excellent relief work ' for Christian Fittipaldi by coming ' from 14th to 11th in the Kmart .SwiftFordFirestone. "It's been a great day because this. was my best ever result in ' CART," said the 40-year-old veteran from Brazil, who subbed eight times this season for Mark 1 Blundell and five for Fittipaldi as 1 they recovered from injuries. "My crew got me three positions on our ' last pit stop and I passed Max (Pa- pis)- and Michael (Andretti) on that last restart. ' "It's been a ball this year, and I think I'm very close to a full-time job next year. If not, I'll be avail- - able." If every race was at Laguna, Herta wouldn't be looking for work. He . lost on the final lap to Alex Zanardi in 1996 and has led 68 percent of - the laps in the past four years. "If there's a reason, I don't know it, or care. I'm just happy to have a i place like this where I can enjoy success," said Herta, who finished '1.8 seconds ahead of Moreno, i ; "But it's a little bittersweet be-':' cause of what happened yesterday "' to Gonzalo (Rodriguez, who lost his life in a practice accident)." It was a good day all around for Team Rahal as Papis posted his best CART finish with a third in the ' Miller ReynardFordFirestone. YOU GET YOU PAY 410,000 .... $73.00 $20,000 ..... $146.00 $30,000........... $220.00 $40,000........... $293.00 $50,000 $365.00 'Paymttiis Basedw75S Wsf Iteiffoi M morrtfr term. CtetffprovaJ reiiBfeiyWes subject lb change, r-; v- WR-T.9 inafv9rfBj)fKli8pii term anions.; laps and a total of 333 laps in the 400-lap race Stewart became the sixth rookie to win a race in NASCAR's modern era. "It's unbelievable," Stewart said after holding off Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Bobby . Labonte to become the 152nd different winner in Winston Cup history. "We have a rookie team, a rookie driver and rookie crew chief. There are not that many rookie teams." What had everybody else feeling victory was inevitable for Stewart was the performance of his race mm CART Shell 300 (Top finishers) Driver Car 1. Bryan Herta R-F 2. Roberto Moreno S-F 3. Max Papis R-F 4. Paul Tracy R-H 5. Adrian Fernandez R-F 6. Gil De Ferran R-H 7. Scott Pruett R-T 8. Juan Montoya R-H 9. Patrick Carpentier R-M 10. Michael Andretti S-F Chassis: R-Reynard, S-Swift. Engines:H-Honda, F-Ford, M-Mercedes, T-Toyota. Series points leaders: Montoya 199, Franchitti 171, Tracy 134, Andretti 127. "Bryan drove a tremendous race like he usually does here and we had a good day other than our second pit stop when the engine stalled," said Papis, who ran out of fuel while comfortably leading the U.S. 500 at Michigan. Too hectic for Dario Franchitti, whose title hopes took another big hit here Sunday when he crashed trying to pass Greg Moore for eighth on lap 31. "Greg was definitely holding me up and we really needed to get by him to make inroads on the guys up front," said Franchitti, who spun trying to pass Montoya for the lead at Vancouver a week earlier. "I got alongside him and he didn't give me any room." Montoya was mired in 13th place when Franchitti went off course. But by keeping his nose clean all day and watching the competition drop out or crash, the 23-year-old rookie finished eighth. "We really struggled all weekend with the car and I didn't want to push too hard in the race and make any mistakes," said Montoya, who increased his lead over Franchitti to 28 points with only three races remaining. Paul Tracy's fourth place clinched Honda's third manufacturers crown of the past four years. Notes In the postrace celebration, the three drivers on the podium decided not to spray champagne on each other but, instead, toast the memory of Rodriguez Di- dier Andre captured the PPG Dayton Indy Lights race. INDIANA MORTGAGE FUNDING : C. 800-733-4344 317-598-0100 7321 Shatleland Station; Suite 145 -Indianapolis, IN 4625$ ' , NASCAR team. From the season's first moments, when Stewart qualified second fastest for the Daytona 500, you had the sense this was not going to be a typical first-year operation. The strong backing from Gibbs was there, and Stewart's glittering resume featured championships in the top three U.S. Auto Club divisions and in the Indy Racing League. All the elements were in place for success. "If I had come to the end of the season without winning a race, I wouldn't have regretted any of it," Stewart said. "I never expected to win a race. I didn't expect to win a mi K t ftT ixrartoi , JJLpJUIUhiJi(lJUff (3Mnai?!fiB;0!)fil3ia'& TMwMlWMBrtl lie Ti iTn-m (T& l si OUR EQUIPMENT IS USED IN HOSPITALS WORLDWIDE Electrostatic Filters & Sanitizing Available for Additional Charge UIIMKmMH """J Licensed since te' : BnlR IU lm VI 11 IK i 'k -: ll ft likl tft in A I wrn n j3 WORLD r -v. . whi in I If . X A CLEANER PLACE Copyright United Restoration 1997 Expires 101399 Offer: IN913 victory race by the end of the season. It's a luxury to win." If it's a luxury to win, it would be extravagance to look at just how well Stewart could wind up doing once the season is over. No rookie has finished in the top 10 in points since Jody Ridley was seventh in 1980. The best rookie points finish was James Hylton's second place in 1966, and Stewart sits fourth in the standings, 40 points behind third-place Labonte and 80 points behind second-place Mark Martin. "I think back over the past 20 years of my life, every win is special," said Stewart, 28, of Columbus. Ind. "(But) when you win on the Winston Cup series, you beat the best." ll CLEAMIfiG PROCESS: i I- I VISA' 1981 Insured HOURS: DirAliJrAlMO U..I,.- (M The Ultimate Game Room Store 0 I'-'-Jiaw BUILD UP NOT OUT America's Garage Builder since 1952 l ' v r-Tffiimm 1 1 i" i i hi triil it ir -T i n 'nr "i"-'- ' '' WHOLE HOUSE CLEANING! NO HIDDEN FREE AIR HANDLER CLEANING Service Includes: Complete Duct Vacuuming Clean all Vent Covers Brush and Vacuum Coil Clean out Condensate Pan Inspect Blower Wheel Up to Ten Vents Helps Eliminate DUST MITES BREE In Your Vents! 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