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updated 5/18/99

CART Nazareth Start Page

  1. Tech photos by Mark Kohler. Uploaded 5/18/99
  2. AAR Eagle Aero Details. Uploaded 5/7/99
  3. People at Nazareth. Uploaded 5/7/99
  4. Lola Is Back, the Hogan team and aero details. Uploaded 5/6/99
  5. Aero Doodads at Nazareth. Uploaded 5/6/99


Nazareth Speedway has a lot of history but the cars, enignes, and tires have changed a lot the last few years. I'm not sure CART should race at this track any more.

Nazareth track map


This is a track map I created for the book Inside Racing: A Season with the PacWest CART Indy Car Team. There have been some changes. They're calling The Kink Turn 1 now. The whole south end is Turn 2, but Turns 3 and 4 are the same. The data on this map came from a lap by Mauricio Guglemin in 1997. I didn't get any new data from a team, but the best qualifying laps times have increased by about a second from 18.8 to 19.6.

The big story this year was CART's speedway-wing rule for 1-mile ovals. The smaller wings cut the downforce in half from almost 4,000 pounds to less than 2,000 pounds. Of course that means a decrease in drag so the top speeds are up. Speeds at Start/Finish were 187 mph instead of the 175 on the map above. Top speeds on the back straight were up to 192 from 181 on the map. As a result Turn 1, The Kink, is now a turn that can be taken full throttle only with a brave driver on a qualifying setup. The cars brake heavily for Turn 3 and the hope was there would be some passing there. In the race there wasn't much passing anywhere.

In a press conference Greg Moore was very adamant the speedway wing would not work. Mark Blundell said CART shouldn't be racing at Nazareth. I agree with him. It's too narrow, too short, and too bumpy for good passing. Racing sanctioning bodies need to develop track design technology. It's disgraceful that the ovals at Homestead and Ft. Worth had to be rebuilt twice each. It's pretty dumb to spend $100 million on a track and have bad or unsafe racing.

Pole press conference

The other story at Nazareth was the youth of the quickest drivers and the resurgence of the Lola chassis. From left to right in the photo are Helio Castro-Neves, Juan Montoya, and Dario Franchitti being introduced by Mike Zizzo. Montoya (Honda/Reynard) earned the pole by one thousands of a second over Castro-Neves (Ilmor/Mercedes-Benz/Lola). Franchitti drove a Honda/Reynard. All were on Firestone tires.

Christiano da Matta, another youngster, started 17th but finished just off the podium in fourth driving a Toyota-powered Reynard. Alex Barron started 18th and finished ninth, ending up the highest finishing Goodyear-shod car. This in a Toyota-powered Gurney Eagle.




 The contents of this web site are copyrighted by Paul Haney. No reproduction other than for your own personal use unless full source attribution is quoted. All Rights reserved by Paul Haney, 1999.