Title dream ends for Andretti and Moreno

Michael Andretti and Roberto Moreno both saw their title hopes vanish for 2000 after retiring from the Honda Indy 300

Title dream ends for Andretti and Moreno

Andretti led for much of the race before an engine fire robbed him of the chance to close right in on points leader Gil de Ferran. Moreno was looking set for a podium finish as well until crashing out at a late-race restart. Both drivers held substantial leads in the championship at different stages earlier in the season before suffering various misfortunes in the second half of the year.

"The tyres were a bit too cold for the restart," Moreno explained. "I guess it just wasn't meant to be. We've had a great season and I have to thank the Patrick Racing team for giving me the chance to fight for this title with people who have a lot more experience of this CART game, and of driving good cars, than me."

Andretti's departure from the Surfer's Paradise race was particularly dramatic. His Newman-Haas Lola-Ford caught fire spectacularly while he was running second to Jimmy Vasser halfway through the race.

"I could feel the engine going," he recalled. "It's such a shame because the race was going our way. Everything was looking good for the championship because of all the other contenders that went out of the race.

"They were having all the bad luck that we have had in the past six or seven races. Then it happened to us also."

Now Andretti is aiming for victory in the season finale at Fontana as a farewell present for his Newman-Haas team. He will join Team Green in a third entry in 2001.

"We have always run strong at Fontana and there is nothing I would like better than to have my last race with this team be one that ends with us all celebrating in Winner's Circle together."

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