1997-98 Round 4

Parma Fall Classic - Vernon Farms Superspeedway, Wauwatosa, WI

October 16, 1997

Round 4 of 14

1997 Parma Fall Classic


WAUWATOSA, WI (Oct. 16, 1997) - Farm livin' seems to suit defending PPPG Cup champion Phil Cianciola just

fine, as he became the first man to ever win a race here at the brand new Vernon Farms Super Speedway tri-

oval Thursday night, with a 12-lap victory in the Parma Fall Classic. It was Cianciola's first visit to victory lane

since February of last season, and it marked the second Penske win in a row after John Baas' victory two weeks

ago in the Ford 500. For Cianciola (Marlboro Penske Mercedes) it was his 13th career win, tying him with Dave

Austin in that all-time category.

Running from second on the grid, the Wauwatosa native was never seriously challenged after taking the green

flag from honorary starter, Duane Sweeney, the leqendary Indy 500 starter. A late race tire change to the

Goodyear option tire helped tip in the win as Rick Osterbrink and Chad Sorce nipped at Cianciola's heels after a

round of pit stops.

"Roger gave us a great car tonight and it's an honor to win the first race ever at this great facility," said

Cianciola. It was the Italian's first effort since his burn injuries sustained at the Deercross event in Indy in

September. "I felt much better, and the win makes you forget about any pain."

Osterbrink (Shell Reynard Mercedes) returned to action with a stellar run, tying his best qualifying effort ever

sitting third on the grid. then battling Cianciola through the early stages of the race. But a fateful pit stop with air

jack problems dug a hole too deep for the lanky driver to dig out from. "The track was a little slippery and that

didn't help my chances of catching Phil," he said.

Osterbrink held off third place finisher Chad Sorce (Leinenkugel's Reynard Ford) by just two laps, as those two

drivers provided some of the best racing in the Final. Sorce, who now moves into a tie for the PPPG Cup points

lead with Ev Kamikawa, is now the only driver to have made all four Final Fours of the young season. The

Leinie's driver also managed to grab the first heat race victory of his career. "We made a few small mistakes

tonight, but we learned a lot here," Sorce said after the race.

For the second race in a row, John Baas (Marlboro Penske Mercedes) made the Final, but he struggled with

handling on the inside groove, driving a race car without a rear wing which was banged off earlier when he made

heavy contact with a wall. His fourth place finish moves Baas into fifth in the standings.

Finishing fifth in the Parma Fall Classic was Dave Austin (LCI Reynard Honda). Austin too had handling woes, at

one point in the night simply yelling, "I really sucked tonight." Austin once again finds himself on probation for

the next race, after receiving warnings for language violations,marshal abuse, and nearly for rough driving in the

Consi event. He came very close to losing three championship points in the Consi round when he crashed his car

hard into the "Big Bend" banked turn on consecutive laps.

In the smallest field of the season (seven entries) Ev Kamikawa of Team Ferrari both qualified and finished sixth

on a night that saw a victory in the Consi. He remains tied for the lead in the standings, eligible for only three

more races as a part-time member of the series.

Defending race champion going into the night's action was Jim Kaehny (Jelly Belly Swift Ford) who shocked the

capacity crowd on hand with an amazing 141-lap effort for the pole, six laps better than any other driver. Kaehny

got off to a fast start in his heat race and appeared to have the field covered until an incident in the very corner

of the track that is named after him.

"I came into 'Kaehny Corner' a little too hot and just got hooked up with Chad (Sorce) and got punted. It was a

racing accident...my fault," Kaehny lamented afterward. He was not injured but the suspension on his Swift

chassis was bent beyond repair and he settled for seventh place.

After four races in the young season, four different drivers have now won events. The PPPG CART World Series

travels to Greendale, WI next for the Red Dog Halloween 250 at H.O. Road America, a return to a road course

after two oval races in a row. Only seven points separate first through fourth positions in the standings heading

into race #5 of 14 this season, where Dave Austin is the track owner and defending champion of the event.



o WHAT: The Parma Fall Classic

o WHERE: Vernon Farms Super Speedway Wauwatosa, WI

o WHEN: Thursday, Oct. 16th 7:00 p.m.

o DEFENDING CHAMPION: Jim Kaehny 445 laps

o DEFENDING POLESITTER: Phil Cianciola 170 laps


o RACE LENGTH: 20 minute Final Four

o RACE RECORDS: Qualifying- Dave Austin 171 laps 1995

Race- Jim Kaehny 445 laps 1996

o RACE #: 4 of 14

o NEXT EVENT: The Red Dog Halloween 250 Thursday, Oct. 30th

H.O. Road America Greendale, WI


New Berlin's Jim Kaehny drove to an easy victory, his second out of the first three

races last season. Ev Kamikawa from Milwaukee drove strong until he was punted in

an incident with Phil Cianciola and could not continue. And Greendale's Dave Austin

had his worst showing in 20 starts, prompting him to throw his car into the infield, a

move that promptly got him placed on probation.

Other items of interest from last year's race ...

Neither rookie John Baas nor Jim Kaluzny made the field ... Rick Osterbrink crashed

so hard his Shell car was caught on the top of the catch fence in turn one ... lt was the

last time a Lola finished on the podium in the PPPG ... Jim Kaehny and Chad Sorce

were the only two drivers to have made all three Final Four's.


Year Race Winner Pole Winner

1994 John Shea Phil Cianciola

1995 Dave Austin Dave Austin

1996 Jim Kaehny Phil Cianciola

Things to watch for this year ...

For the first time in four years the race has been moved to a new location and track.

This will be the first time the H.O. Indy cars will run on a huge tri-oval, designed by

John Baas, which may give him a slight edge. There has never been a repeat winner

in this race. Phil Cianciola has been on pole two of the last three years.