1997-98 Round 5

Red Dog Halloween 250 - HO Road America - Greendale, WI

October 30, 1997

Round 5 of 14

1997 Red Dog Halloween 250


GREENDALE, WI (Oct. 30, 1997) - On a Halloween night that saw jack-O-Ianterns burning brightly, pit problems

with air jacks were the only thing that went wrong for Jim Kaehny, who scored a win from the pole here

Thursday night at H.O. Road America in the Halloween 250-Presented by LCI. It was the first win ever for the

new Jelly Belly racing team and it marked Kaehny's ninth career pole and ninth career win. "We're a new team

and that led to some problems on that pit stop, but I only lost a lap and managed to drive through that. This is

fantastic," Kaehny proclaimed afterward.

Kaehny's win was the first for a Swift chassis in the series and it moved him up to fourth in the championship.

The New Berlin native grabbed the lead by the tenth lap and never lost it. Second place finisher Ev Kamikawa

finished only two laps back, shaving what was once a six-lap lead by Kaehny. "We had a tire losing air pressure

toward the end," explained Kamikawa. "There was no way we could catch him after that." But by placing his

Ferrari in second, Kamikawa becomes the points leader in the series, eight points better than former PPPG

champion Dave Austin after five races.

Austin managed to make the Final Four, but he quickly picked up a problem with fading brakes and flnished well

off the pace in fourth. His LCI Reynard Honda was 14 laps off the pace in the end.

Dan Margetta (Motorola Reynard Ford) turned in a strong performance, placing himself on the podium in third

after fighting his way through the field from his seventh place starting position on the grid. Margetta was

obviously pleased with the effort afterward saying, "We're light years ahead of where we were a year ago. And

this LC I phone card I won for being third ... 1 'II use that to call the authorities to look for Dave (Austin) 'cause he

sure didn't show up in the Final."

Shell driver Rick Osterbrink turned in a career-best second place in qualifying, but the twisting turns of this

famous road course got the best of him during the race and he settled for a fifth place finish.

Marlboro Team Penske H.O. was once again no where to be found in the Final. Former PPPG champion Phil

Cianciola turned in a lackluster sixth place effort, struggling with a quirky Penske chassis and marble-filled

Goodyear tires when he ran in the outside groove during his heat race. His partner John Baas fared even worse,

failing to make the grid with a lowly 65 laps in qualifying, 27 laps off the pole pace. Baas was clearly struggling

with sleep deprivation after his water bed exploded during the night previous to the race. He was seen yawning

numerous times in the paddock area before the race and one report had him sleeping in the cockpit just before

his qualifying run.

Leinenkugel's driver Chad Sorce was haunted by the ghosts of Road America as well. His string of four straight

Final Four's was abruptly snapped when he finished in seventh place. The newlywed's only consolation was a

solid fight with Cianciola in the consi before Sorce won it for a championship point .:

Rounding out the field was Tony Perkins who is now embroiled in rumors of a team switch after another less

than stellar effort with the Williams/Renault F1 team. Perkins qualified fifth and finished eighth in a night that

saw no handling whatsoever. Going into the event, the Indy native himself confirmed that he needed results in

the, Halloween race or there would be a possibility of "a move back to the Players team."


Neither PPPG rookies Tom Spehert nor Lance Allan entered the Halloween 250. Spehert continues to lead in the

fight for rookie of the year with six points thus far this season.

Kaehny's victory was his first since winning the 1996 TO MY Christmas Classic. And after five of 14 races this

season, there have now been five different winners. The Jelly Belly driver also took home the Marlboro Pole

Award bonus money of 33 (thousand) dollars. "I'll take it," he said. "I think I'll buy pizzas for the entire crew

tonight. "

The PPPG CART World Series travels to Kaehny's home track next, The Inside Edge for the annual Turkey Trot

race on November 20th. The race will mark the second of three road course venues in a row before the mid­

season holiday break. Kamikawa won the race a year ago and Kaehny sat on pole.

-- CART H.O. --




o WHAT: The Red Dog Halloween 250

o WHERE: H.O. Road America Greendale, WI

o WHEN: Thursday, Oct. 30th 6:30 p.m.

o DEFENDING CHAMPION: Dave Austin 250 laps/20:08

o DEFENDING POLESITTER: Phil Cianciola 96 laps

o TRACK LAYOUT: Replica of Road America

o RACE LENGTH: 250-lap Final Four

o RACE RECORDS: Qualifying- Phil Cianciola 96 laps 1996

Race- Dave Austin 2501aps/20:08 1996

o RACE #: 5 of 14

o NEXT EVENT: The Hobby Town Turkey Trot Thursday, Nov. 20th

The Inside Edge New Berlin, WI


Last year's Halloween race featured a classic battle between Dave Austin and Phil

Cianciola. The race came down to the final five laps, when Austin out maneuvered

Cianciola in a couple of turns to take the win. Jim Kaehny wasn't far behind in third

place. Dan Margetta had to fight the marbles in the outside groove and settled for

fourth place in the race a year ago. Cianciola has won the pole here three years in a

row now.

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

Both Ev Kamikawa and Chad Sorce fell behind due to handling woes ... lt was Austin's

first win of last season ... He was also docked three points for a swearing violation

while already on probation ... Once again, no one crashed out at the Halloween

race ... Cianciola set a qualifying record and Austin set a race record.


Year Race Winner Pole Winner

1993 Jim Chitel Jim Kaehny

1994 Dave Austin Phil Cianciola

1995 Phil Cianciola Phil Cianciola

1996 Dave Austin Phil Cianciola

Things to watch for this year. ..

Austin is always strong at his home track and this year things should be no different.

Since the race was moved here in 1994, no one has ever been on pole except Phil

Cianciola. Veteran Ev Kamikawa, who has been strong thus far this season, has

never found success at this track. And veteran Tony Perkins returns to action, making

the trip from Indy for the race after missing the Parma Fall Classic.

--CART H.O.--