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Swede Kenny Brack replaced Bryan Herta in the cockpit of the Shell-sponsored entry in 2000 to partner with Italian Max Papis, and both drivers made their presence felt early on. Papis became the first Team Rahal driver since Bobby Rahal in 1995 to lead the series point standings when he won the season opener at Homestead for his first career Indy Car victory. But as the season wore on, it was Brack that consistently piled up points on his way to the series’ Rookie-of-the-Year Award. Brack scored nine top-five finishes including runner-up spots in Cleveland and Surfers Paradise and earned podium runs at Nazareth and Elkhart Lake as well. Papis also finished second at Detroit and joined Brack in the top five with a fourth-place run at Mid-Ohio, but finished 14th in the final standings. Team Rahal ran its first-ever three-car effort at the season finale at Fontana as Casey Mears (son of Roger, nephew to four-time Indy 500 champion Rick) joined the team. The youthful Mears became the first driver to compete in the Indy Lights and the Indy Car events in the same weekend and finished a sparkling fourth, leading 10 laps in his debut. Brack paced a race-high 47 laps that day before retiring with mechanical issues.