Fontana 1998 - Sunday


Adrian Fernandez being interviewed in the morning before the race, no doubt about the previous day's accident.

11:17 Fujicolor A200

Adrian Fernandez
Tecate Girls

The Tecate Girls shade their delicate skin from the sun's harmful rays.

11:30 Fujicolor A200

This is the first time we've seen them at a race all season.

11:30 Fujicolor A200

Strange Lipstick
TV Commentators

ESPN commentators Gary Gerould, Tom Kendall and Jan Beekhuis prepare for the start of the show.

11:34 Fujicolor A200

The scoring tower rises above the pit lane and indicates the starting grid.

11:38 Fujicolor A200

Scoring Tower
Bobby Rahal

Bobby Rahal helping out in Michel Jourdain Jr.'s pit on his final weekend of racing as a Champ Car driver.

11:40 Fujicolor A200

The green flag waves for the start of the race, with Scott Pruett on pole and Jimmy Vasser alongside. Firestone engineers report a track temperature of 104 degrees F and an ambient temperature of 74 degrees at the drop of the green flag.

12:40 Fujicolor A200

The Start
Lap 1 Turn 1

As they enter Turn 1, Michael Andretti moves up on Scott to mount a challenge for the lead.

12:40 Fujicolor A200

But it is Jimmy who completes the first lap in the lead, with Michael hot on his heels. Ninth-place starter, Greg Moore falls to 14th, while Robby Gordon jumped from his 22nd starting spot to ninth on the first lap.

12:41 Fujicolor A200

Jimmy Gets Ahead
Moore and Andretti

Greg gradually worked his way back up through the field to take the lead on lap 41 when Michael pits. By lap 59 though, Michael is on Greg's tail and re-takes the lead. They continue to leapfrog each other for the next 150 or so laps.

13:24 Fujicolor A200

Arnd Meier's Ford Cosworth explodes in a plume of smoke on the front straight during lap 89.

13:39 Fujicolor A200

Arnd Meier in Smoke
Lola Smoking at the Marlboro 500

The only Lola in the field trails smoke and fire down to the apron of Turn 1. Arnd jumps out of the car and CART safety workers quickly extinguish the flames.

13:40 Fujicolor A200

By lap 118, Alex Zanardi, Adrian Fernandez and Robby Gordon have not pitted, thus regaining the lead lap in eighth, ninth and tenth places. On lap 127, all three pit to get back in sequence with the leaders. But Alex leaves the pits with the crew still fueling the car and hits his fuel man. He is black-flagged and called back in for a stop and go penalty for a pit road safety violation.
14:14 Konica 200JX

Alex, Adrian and Robby
Mauricio Leads

The green flag waves on lap 130 with the running order Mauricio Gugelmin leading by .285 seconds over Greg Moore, Paul Tracy, Michael Andretti, Jimmy Vasser and Scott Pruett.

14:18 Konica 200JX

The yellow flag waves on lap 139 after Scott Pruett makes hard contact with the outside wall coming out of turn 4. He rear-ends the wall and slides down into the grass on the front stretch. He is unhurt in the incident but the car is done for the day.

14:23 Konica 200JX

Pruett Hits the Wall
Tracy on a Mission

Paul Tracy rockets out of the pit lane on lap 213, positioning him to challenge Mauricio for the lead at the restart on lap 221.

15:19 Konica 200JX

The yellow flag waves again on lap 235 after Gil de Ferran loses an engine going down the back straight at speed. He keeps control and pulls to the apron in Turn 4. CART safety workers tow the car back to the pit area.

15:37 Konica 200JX

De Ferran Takes Up Smoking
Max and Bryan Double-Act

The yellow immediately flies at the restart on lap 240 as Max Papis moves to the outside of future teammate Bryan Herta before the start/finish line and Bryan moves up the track, making side-to-side contact. Both cars contact the wall and grind to a halt at the top of the track, approximately 300 yards past the line.

15:44 Konica 200JX

With Paul Tracy leading, the race was set to restart on lap 246, but as the cars came up to speed leaving turn 2, Tracy spun off-course and into the inside wall. Another day wasted! On the restart Jimmy and Alex used drafting to great effect to leapfrog past Greg. He managed to recover second place from Alex, but Jimmy took the checkered flag on lap 250 to win the million-dollar, first-place purse!
15:59 Konica 200JX

The Finish
Sunset on Another Race

Another great weekend of racing comes to an end!

16:49 Konica 200JX

Saturday at Fontana

Paul Jasper's Web Site | Racing | Fontana 1998

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