1997 Marlboro 500
|Race 17 of 17 in the 1997 CART season|
|Date||September 28, 1997|
|Official name||Marlboro 500|
2.029 mi / 3.265 km
507.250 mi / 816.340 km
|Weather||Temperatures reaching up to 100.4 °F (38.0 °C); wind speeds up to 10.2 miles per hour (16.4 km/h)|
|Driver||Maurício Gugelmin (PacWest Racing)|
|Driver||Greg Moore (Forsythe Racing)|
|Time||30.900 (on lap 83 of 250)|
|First||Mark Blundell (PacWest Racing)|
|Second||Jimmy Vasser (Chip Ganassi Racing)|
|Third||Adrian Fernández (Tasman Motorsports)|
Before the startEdit
Lap 10 - Lap 52Edit
Chip Ganassi Racing Dutch driver Arie Luyendyk, who was replacing series champion Alex Zanardi, had a pit problem, his car was on fire, but he was able to remain in the race. The restart came out at lap 12. But one lap later, Paul Tracy had a serious crash at turn 4. The 2nd caution came out. It was Tracy's 6th DNF in the season. At lap 14, the top 6 was: Maurício Gugelmin, Jimmy Vasser, Bryan Herta, Michel Jourdain, Jr., Michael Andretti and Mark Blundell. Restart came out at lap 23. At lap 40, German driver Arnd Meier spun at turn 4. Arie Luyendyk couldn't avoid him and Arie hit Arnd car. Both drivers suffered slight injuries. At lap 47, Al Unser, Jr. had a pit problem, just like Arie had laps before. He retired. Restart came out at lap 52, with Andretti leading the field.
Lap 59 - Lap 106Edit
The top 6 at lap 59 was: Michael Andretti, Maurício Gugelmin, Jimmy Vasser, André Ribeiro, Mark Blundell and Greg Moore. After pitstops, Ribeiro leads on lap 90. After 106 laps, Michael Andretti retired.
Lap 119 - 133Edit
Closing stages: 98 laps to go until the finishEdit
With 98 laps to go, Adrian Fernandez stalled in the pits, but kept the engine running, and remained in the race. With 47 laps to go, André Ribeiro's car was out of fuel, but he went to the pits, crawling his car to his pit area. He came back to the track in 6th, 1 lap behind. But 5 laps later, Ribeiro suffered a bad crash at turn 2 and stopped after crashing in the infield wall. He walked away. 5th caution. With 35 laps to go, Maurício Gugelmin takes the lead, as the restart came out. With 32 laps to go the top 10 was: Maurício Gugelmin, Gil de Ferran, Jimmy Vasser, Greg Moore, Mark Blundell, Bobby Rahal, Adrian Fernandez, Christian Fittipaldi, Scott Pruett and Robby Gordon. With 19 laps to go, Gugelmin had tyre problems, and the new leader was Greg Moore, but 8 laps later, Greg Moore had flames on the back of his car. Jimmy Vasser thought the yellow flag was out, but only thought, as Mark Blundell took the lead. Blundell won for the last time in CART. Jimmy Vasser finished second.
Rookie of the Year standingsEdit
- Last win - Mark Blundell
- Fastest lap - Greg Moore: 30.900 seconds
- Last Race for Penske Racing - Paul Tracy
- Last Race - Arie Luyendyk, Parker Johnstone, Juan Manuel Fangio II
- Alex Zanardi was replaced by Arie Luyendyk after two bad crashes on free practice. Rookie of the year, Patrick Carpentier also did not start.
- Robby Gordon replaced Dario Franchitti in this race.