1997-98 Round 1

Trokan Cup presented by Harley-Davidson - The Shrine Track - Wauwatosa, WI

September 8, 1997

Round 1 of 14

1997 Trokan Cup



Championship Auto Racing Teams H.G.



WAUWATOSA, WI (Sept. 8,1997) - Dave Austin is now the winingest driver in the history of the PPPG, but his

climb to the lofty position here Thursday was a difficult one. Austin (LCI/Reynard Honda) put his car on pole,

won his heat race and drove to an eight-lap victory over Phil Cianciola to capture the season-opening "Trokan

Cup-Presented by Harley-Davidson. The Greendale, WI driver's 13th career win and 9th career pole, his first in

over a season, included a scuffle with eventual fourth place finisher Jim Kaehny after a tight battle in their heat


The new hairpin turn at the Shrine road course provided the controversy. In the final lap of the heat, Austin and

Kaehny fought for position going into the turn, with Kaehny ending up in the grass after contact with Austin, who

went on to the win. After crossing the finish line, both drivers exchanged words, then punches before being pulled

apart by course workers.

"What, does he think this is a demolition derby," snorted Kaehny afterward. "He took me out and he knows it."

Kaehny immediately filed a protest, accusing Austin of rough driving. The PPPG promptly placed Austin on a

one-race probation and fined both drivers one (thousand) dollars, money that will be added to the next "Pole To

Victory" award, which Austin took home following the Trokan Cup.

"It's unfortunate that there was an incident with Jim (Kaehny) but what a way to debut a new team. It's a real

honor to win the Trokan Cup because I had the opportunity to .rneet 'Grandpa Joe Trokan' last year. The whole

team did a great job," said Austin.

Cianciola (Marlboro/Penske Mercedes) was held back by a lengthy pit stop due to smoke at the back of his car.

After the race Cianciola explained, "We lost some fluid out of the car for some reason. It was a costly stop, but

I'm not sure we had enough to catch Austin tonight anyway."

For the second year in a row, Chad Sorce (Leinenkugel's/Reynard Ford) put his machine on the podium in third

place. "We're real happy with our start once again. I'm ready to go to Indy and get more points," he said.

Tony Perkins found a successful night with a solid fifth place effort in his new machine (Rothman's/Williams

Renault). Perkins narrowly missed making the Final Four, missing the transfer spot by just three laps.

New Motorola pilot Dan Margetta debuted the new team without a rear wing for much of the race, after making

heavy contact with the wall and crashing out on lap 83. Another early exit was Ferrari's Ev Kamikawa, who lost

control in turn two on lap 64, sending his car into the catch-fencing and parked for the night.

Penske driver John Baas departed from the fray the earliest of them all, collecting the first official 'DNF' of the

new season when he flew off the final turn after completing only two laps! The sophomore driver from

Wauwatosa, WI was not injured. "Nerves, just nerves," said a dejected Baas afterward.

Rick Osterbrink (Shell/Reynard Mercedes) battled mightily with Margetta during qualifying to make the grid,

falling just short. He ended up with ninth place and a win in the Consi race. PPPG rookies Tom Spehert (Harley-

Davidson/Reynard Ford) and Lance Allan (Kmart/Texaco Havoline Swift Ford) both failed to make the grid, with

Spehert scoring the most laps of the two and taking tenth place from Allan.

Austin becomes the only driver to ever repeat as a winner of the Trokan Cup. He also won the race in 1995.

This year's race also marked the first time the pole winner has gone on to also win the race and collect the "Pole

To Victory" bonus money. For the record the win was Austin's 13th in his career and number 10 on a road

course. The pole position was the ninth of his career.

The field of eleven drivers for the season open was the largest field of drivers in the five year history of the

PPPG CART World Series. Dick Alpert (PennzoiIlReynard/Honda) was at the track but did not race due to an

injured cheek.

The PPPG CART World Series moves to Indianapolis next, for the September 20th running of the first-ever

"Deercross Indy Challenge" at the Deercross road course.

-- CART H.O. --