1999 Marlboro 500

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United States 1999 Marlboro 500 Presented by Toyota
Race details
Race 20 of 20 in the 1999 CART season
Auto Club Speedway (formerly California Speedway) - Speedway.svg
Track layout
DateOctober 31, 1999
Official name1999 Marlboro 500 Presented by Toyota
LocationAuto Club Speedway
Fontana, California
CourseOval
2.029 mi / 3.23 km
Distance250 laps
500 mi / 804.672 km
WeatherTemperatures reaching up to 93.9 °F (34.4 °C); wind speeds approaching 11.1 miles per hour (17.9 km/h)[1]
Pole position
DriverScott Pruett (Arciero-Wells Racing)
Time31.030 (235.398 MPH)
Fastest lap
DriverChristian Fittipaldi (Newman/Haas Racing)
Time31.732 (230.190 MPH) (on lap 224 of 250)
Podium
FirstAdrian Fernandez (Patrick Racing)
SecondMax Papis (Team Rahal)
ThirdChristian Fittipaldi (Newman/Haas Racing)

The 1999 Marlboro 500 Presented by Toyota was held on October 31, 1999, at Auto Club Speedway (then known as California Speedway) in Fontana, California as the final race of the 1999 CART World Series season. The race was marred by an accident involving Forsythe Racing driver Greg Moore in the early stages of the race, which resulted in the Canadian racer losing his life.

The race was broadcast on ESPN with Paul Page and Parker Johnstone as the commentators. Gary Gerould and Jon Beekhuis were in the pits.

Adrian Fernandez, driving the Tecate/Quaker State Ford for Patrick Racing, won the race. It was his second victory of 1999 following his earlier victory at Twin Ring Motegi in Japan and the fifth of his career. It was also the second time that Fernandez won a race where another driver was killed; he won the 1996 Molson Indy Toronto street course event that saw Jeff Krosnoff lose his life.

This marked the final Champ Car race for the Two Time Champion Al Unser Jr who moved to the Indy Race League, Scott Pruett, PJ Jones, Robby Gordon left the category to join NASCAR. Also Richie Hearn, Raul Boesel, Dennis Vitolo, Naoki Hattori along with Hogan Racing, All American Racers and Goodyear made their last appearance in the category.

Background[edit]

The championship entering the race was still to be decided. The two contenders were Dario Franchitti, driver of the #27 Kool Cigarettes Honda for Team Green, and rookie Juan Pablo Montoya, driving the #4 Target Honda for Chip Ganassi Racing. Franchitti had just won the previous race at Surfers Paradise and held a nine-point lead in the season points standings over Montoya, who wrecked out and scored no points.[2]

Qualifying[edit]

Scott Pruett won the pole for the race, his final pole in the CART,[3] his only of the season and also for the team. His fastest lap had an average speed of 235.398 miles per hour. The championship contenders Montoya qualified 3rd and Franchitti in 8th.[3] Greg Moore was the only driver that did not make a qualifying run, thus starting at the rear of the field. Moore was not even certain to be in the race due to an accident in the paddock area the weekend before the race, where he was hit by a vehicle while riding his motor scooter. Moore suffered a broken hand in the incident and his team, Forsythe Racing, hired Roberto Moreno as an emergency backup driver if Moore could not run the entire race. After a medical consultation, and an in-car test, he was allowed to race using a hand brace and had the pain dulled with an injection of medicine.

Qualification Results[edit]

  • The championship contenders are in bold