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Wisconsin State Journal (Madison, WI). (June 2, 1997): Sports: p1D. From Infotrac Newsstand.
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He had one eye on the fuel gauge, one on his rear-view mirror. And he had his fingers crossed, hoping he'd run the table before he ran out of gas.

At the end Greg Moore was running on empty knowing full well he'd taken a big gamble.


``My guys cut it real close,'' he said. ``But it was a good gamble for us today.''

In the end Moore's margin of victory in a Reynard Mercedes-Benz was as tight as his margin of error.

Moore became the youngest winner to win a CART race when he edged Michael Andretti by 0.348 seconds to win Sunday's Miller 200 at the Milwaukee Mile in front of 47,236 fans. It was Moore's first CART victory and the tightest CART finish in the history of the track.

And it came to the driver -- and the crew -- that rolled the dice.

Moore drove the final 92 laps of the race without a pit stop, betting he could finish the race before he finished his final allotment of 35 gallons of fuel.

Close. Very close.

``I think we actually might be out of fuel now, because I felt a chug coming down the pit lanes,'' said Moore, who is 22 years, 1 month and 10 days old. Al Unser Jr. won his first CART race at the age of 22 years, 1 month and 29 days.

Andretti, who started the race in the 14th spot, pitted after a yellow flag on the 132nd lap and moved past Jimmy Vasser into second on the 182nd lap. He challenged Moore on the first turn of lap 196. But he couldn't catch Moore. Vasser finished third.

``I was pushing hard,'' said Andretti, the defending race champion. ``Because I knew Greg was going to be close on fuel. And I just kept pushing and pushing and pushing. Unfortunately, we ran out of time.''

Before Moore ran out of fuel.

Moore, who started in the fifth position, passed pole-sitter and race leader Paul Tracy on the third turn of the 41st lap.

Tracy, attempting to win his fourth straight event, got the lead back on lap 56 with a quick pit on a yellow flag, only to lose it to Moore 26 laps later. When Bobby Rahal blocked Moore's exit from the pits after lap 108 -- he actually ran over the nose of Moore's car -- Tracy took the lead again.

``It looked to me like (Tracy) had a huge understeer in traffic and my car was probably better in traffic than it was by itself,'' Moore said. ``Paul, on the restart, would pull away, and we'd get to traffic and, in two or three laps, I'd be back on him.''

Still, Tracy held the lead until, under the final yellow flag, he decided to take a pit stop for fuel and tires at lap 134. At the same time, Andretti stopped for fuel, while Moore, Vasser and Rahal decided to gamble.

Vasser, running lean and staying in sixth gear to conserve fuel, was passed by Andretti. Rahal, who was running fourth, ran out of gas on the next-to-last lap and finished 11th. Tracy came off his pit stop in eighth place and finished sixth.

``I can't believe three guys were able to go 92 laps on 35 gallons of fuel,'' said Mauricio Gugelmin, who started second and finished fifth. ``That's unbelievable. Tracy, Michael and myself all did the same thing by coming in. Some guys took more risks than we did and they got away with it. Rahal didn't, but three others did.''

The final yellow flag -- caused when Max Papis went into the wall on turn four on the 132nd lap -- might have been just the break Moore needed.

``We guessed there would be another yellow,'' Moore said. ``And there was. On that yellow, I was trying to stay right underneath the pace car -- I almost drafted it. If there wasn't a yellow, (Andretti) probably would have won the race.''

Still, Moore had to conserve. He backed off the accelerator on the straightaways, ran a lean mixture and kept it in sixth gear. That is, until Andretti blew by Vasser then loomed large in Moore's rear-view window with about 10 laps to go.

``My guys said, `Well, we think you have enough, so you'd better go,' '' Moore said. ``So I went back down to fifth gear and started to go.''

And he went just fast enough to make his gamble pay off.

``We didn't take the gamble,'' Andretti said. ``We were pulling more for (CART Championship) points. And we still almost pulled it off.''

Moore, meanwhile, pulled it off.

``I was sort of (eying) the fuel gauge, back to the mirror, back and forth and back and forth,'' he said. ``But, the last couple of laps I just put my head down.''

Source Citation   (MLA 8th Edition)
"MOORE HOLDS ON, WINS MILLER 200 DRIVER OUTDUELS ANDRETTI TO POST FIRST CART VICTORY." Wisconsin State Journal [Madison, WI], 2 June 1997, p. 1D. Infotrac Newsstand, Accessed 18 July 2019.

Gale Document Number: GALE|A69539836