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. -- 


WAUWA TOSA, W I (Sept. 1, 1997) - The oldest race on the oldest track in the PPPG CART World Series gets a new name and a new look for 1997. The Shrine Track, a natural terrain road course, was changed in the off- season to now include a long run up a steep incline into a set of hairpin turns, something never before attempted

in the series. And the Shrine Cup, the traditional season-opening race, now goes by the title of the Trokan Cup- Presented by Harley-Davidson. The Harley-Davidson sponsorship was added this year and the Trokan Cup is now named after three-time champion Phil Cianciola's grandfather Joe, who helped design the facility and passed

away during the off season.

Cianciola begins defense of his 1996-1997 PPPG Cup in a race where he has sat on the pole in two of the last four years. He won this race in 1994. But the Italian driver this year will be looking to improve on a bad memory from last year when he started the season with a DNF and his lowest finish of the campaign (8th).

New Berlin's Jim Kaehny, who missed taking the title from Cianciola at the conclusion of last season by just five points, comes into this race as its defending champion. Kaehny is debuting with a new team and also racing for the first time since injuring his leg in a crash during last season's finale back in April.

Former PPPG champion Dave Austin also opens the season with a new team (LCI/Reynard/Honda). The Greendale native is the only other former Trokan Cup winner expected to be in the field. Austin finished on the podium (3rd) here a year ago.

Milwaukee's Everet Kamikawa returns with Ferrari power this season and is hoping to carryover some momentum from the end of last season when he tasted the cold milk in victory lane at the H.O. U.S. Indy 500. Kamikawa finished as high as second here in 1994.

Placing second here a year ago was Tony Perkins from I ndianapol is, IN. Now in his fifth year, Perkins is another driver with a new team this season, running a Renault powered Rothmans F-1 machine after leaving the Players Ltd. team he drove for last season.

Young Chad Sorce of West Allis, one of the rising young stars of the series, once said he hated this track. But after a strong fourth place effort a year ago, Sorce's quote has changed to "I'm really getting to like this place." He returns with a stable of Leinenkugel's cars to work with this season.

South Milwaukee's Dan Margetta returns for another season in a new car, a Goodyear-shod Motorola Ford Reynard. Margetta has finished as high as fourth in this race in 1995.

Veteran Rick Osterbrink of Milwaukee begins the new season riding the wave of his first PPPG win in 37 starts last season in the Leinenkugel's 400. He followed that up by ending the season with a strong second place finish at the H.O. U.S. Indy 500.

John Baas of Wauwatosa returns for his second season with Team Penske H.O. after taking PPPG Rookie of the Year honors last season. Baas scored his first PPPG Cup points here a year ago with a ninth place finish.

Making a PPPG debut will be rookie John Jagler of Watertown, WI. When he attempts to make the field in his Valvoline/Reynard/Honda it will be his first H.O. race of any kind. Other rookies who may race for the first time include Lance Allen and Tom Spehert, neither with any H.O. Indy car racing experience.

Dick Alpert Jr. returns to PPPG action in the Pennzoil car this season. The Glendale, W I native competed in four races back in the 1993-1994 season before serious injuries sidelined him for several seasons.

The Trokan Cup-Presented by Harley-Davidson will be broadcast on CART Cable TV at 7:00 p.m. CT Thursday, September 4th.

The PPPG CART World Series continues with its longest road trip in history to Indianapolis for a Saturday evening race just blocks away from Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The Deercross Indy Challenge will be held on on Saturday, Sept. 20th.